What To Look For When Buying The Best Tires For Jeep Wranglers?
Buying tires is not as straightforward as one would think, especially when looking for your Wrangler. Whether your jeep is the Rubicon, Sahara, or even base Sport model, these are four things you want to consider and keep in mind when buying new tires.
Light Truck or P-Metric?
Light truck tires are not only meant for towing heavy loads. The other benefit to an LT metric tire is the stronger sidewalls which are intended to support more weight. You can run them at lower air pressure to get a better grip on trails without sacrificing safety.
P-metric tires will be lighter and have better fuel economy but are not as exceptionally suited for off-road travels.
Depending on what you mainly use the Wrangler for will determine which option to go with.
You probably already know that the stock-size tire doesn’t stay on anyone’s Jeep for very long. So it’s up to you if you want to join the cool kids club and upgrade your tire size or stay with a factory fitment.
When we bought my wife her Wrangler, one of the first things she said was, “the tires look too small.” You can already imagine what happened after that comment.
To find out what the largest tire you can put on your Wrangler is, keep reading. I cover this below.
How aggressive the tread pattern is will determine the quality of ride on roads and the capability it will have off-road.
More aggressive treads that consist of large, jagged tread blocks will have a much easier time grabbing onto boulders and uneven surfaces. The downfall here is that your ride quality will be pretty poor. It will consist of high vibrations, loud road noise, and decreased handling.
If those are three things important to you in a tire, maybe don’t opt for the biggest baddest tires you can find. You will want to look for tires with a higher number of smaller tread blocks to provide better ride quality.
Off Road or Highway Tires
What do you do with your Jeep?
If yours is mainly on highways and city streets, an all-terrain may not be necessary for your needs. If you consistently like to go off-grid or take frequent trail runs, a highway terrain wouldn’t be the best option for you.
Think about what you do with your car before pulling the trigger.
Looks VS Performance
Most Wrangler owners don’t use them for their intended purpose of being off-road machines. I am guilty of this as my wife’s Wrangler only saw dirt four times when we had it.
I can tell you if you care about how your car handles and the quality of ride, please don’t go and buy the knobbiest tire. You will save yourself the headache and trouble of returning to the tire store with complaints of, “these are too loud” or, “it feels like I’m driving on boulders for tires.”
I have seen it first hand when someone demands the most badass tire they can find and then puts it on just to have them return to complain. Be aware of the cons that come with off-road tires before making a decision based on how “cool” a tire looks.
How Much Do Tires For Jeep Wranglers Cost?
I went ahead and shopped for prices to give you an expectation of what to pay when buying new tires. The prices I found below are based on shopping at retailers like Discount Tire, TireRack, SimpleTire, and Amazon.
Five New Tires
Everyone knows Wranglers come with full-size spares, and it looks silly when your tire on the back doesn’t match the ones on the ground. Five new tires for your wrangler will cost you between $750 and $2100.
Plus, when all your tires match, you can do five tire rotations to get longer tread life.
Four New Tires
Buying four new tires on a Jeep Wrangler will cost you between $600 and $1800, depending on the size you need.
Two New Tires
Jeeps are four-wheel drive vehicles, and replacing only two tires on 4WD is never advised.
However, If you only need two new tires, you will be looking at between $400 and $900.
If you need only one new tire, you should expect a price of $200 to $500.
When only replacing one tire, I recommend using the full-size spare. Rather than putting a new tire on the ground, you can install the new one as the spare and buy three more later.
What Tire Size Is Best For A Wrangler?
The best tire size will be the factory size (found on the door placard sticker) for daily drivers and on-road performance. The factory size is meant to give a Wrangler the best handling and being able to take corners without risking rollover.
Going to a plus-size fitment option will increase off-road capability and provide excellent traction on treacherous terrains.
How Long Should Your Jeep Wrangler Tires Last?
Tire life will vary depending on the type of tire you go with. Most all-terrains will get between forty and fifty thousand miles, while a highway terrain will have a much longer life of sixty to eighty thousand miles.
Don’t expect this kind of mileage if you don’t maintain your tires by rotating them every five to eight thousand miles, air pressure checks once a month, and annual wheel alignments.
When To Replace Tires On Your Jeep Wrangler?
It is recommended to replace your tires at either 4/32nds of the tread or at six years of age. If you are running all-terrain tires, I recommend replacing them before 5/32nds since they suffer from huge traction loss at this depth.
Six years is how long the average rubber compound is designed to last before drying out and becoming prone to failure. Dried-out rubber becomes brittle and can blow out from something like hitting a pothole or rock.
Does The Brand Matter For A Jeep Wrangler When Replacing Tires?
The Wrangler can take any tire that meets the weight carrying capacity. The brand won’t matter for the safety of the vehicle. The brand will, however, matter for ride quality and longevity.
Lesser known brands tend to have a lower construction quality, leading to vibrations, poor handling, and road noise.
The brand might not matter for the vehicle, but it could be an essential factor to the car’s driver.
Does the Year of Your Wrangler Matter When Buying New Tires?
Older Wranglers will have smaller tire sizes since thirty-five-inch tires weren’t popular back in the day. I have seen plenty of old Jeeps that have been heavily modified to fit larger tires.
The year of your car might be a factor in the type of tire you purchase. You want to consider how much longer you will keep the car before making a final decision on what tires to put on.
Most consumers won’t put the most expensive option on a car they know they aren’t keeping for the long haul.
What Are The Biggest Tires I Can Put On A Wrangler?
You can fit up to thirty-three-inch tires on a stock Jeep Wrangler without lifting them. However, if you’re willing to put a three-inch lift kit on, you can squeeze thirty fives on them.
NOTE: Thirty-five-inch tires will not fit on stock wranglers without modifications!