XL tires have been gaining popularity in recent years as people search for a performance tire with long-lasting durability. But are these oversized tires the best choice for your car? Here’s what you should know about XL Tire disadvantages.
XL tires offer many advantages over standard-sized tires, but they also come with some downsides. By ‘XL’, we’re talking about roughly a 30% increase in tire width over a standard-sized tire.
A wider tire provides better grip and off-road capabilities because it has a large surface area in contact with the road. It also makes for better floatation on snow, and soft sand since its tread covers more surface area and offers more resistance to the terrain.
However, an increased tire size comes with its own set of disadvantages. Below we dig deep into these disadvantages. Keep reading to learn more.
XL Tire Disadvantages
1. XL Tires Can Be Noisy
XL tires are noisy as compared to their smaller counterparts. The larger the tire diameter, the louder the ride. Simply because large tires have a lot of space between their tread and the road, as the tire rolls, it hits bumps in the road, causing the wheel to shudder and vibrate as it moves up and down over the obstacles.
This can be particularly noticeable on rough surfaces like cobblestone or pothole-riddled roads.
2. They Can Impair Fuel Economy
Tires have a significant effect on fuel consumption. They affect the way your car handles, accelerates and brakes. The heavier the weight of your vehicle, the more fuel it will consume.
So, if you have a heavy load on your axle, it will definitely affect your fuel economy by up to five per cent. XL tires have a higher rolling resistance, which increases fuel consumption. These tires also tend to be less stable at higher speeds than normal-sized tires and may lose traction early due to their larger size.
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3. Can Cause Misalignment Issues
XL tires can cause misalignment issues. Their increased weight can cause your car’s suspension to sag slightly, throwing off your alignment. In addition, if you install an XL tire on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, it may cause the front end to pull to one side when driving at high speeds due to the extra weight.
4. Inflation Issues
Unlike standard tires requiring air pressure adjustments before driving, XL tires need frequent inflation adjustments because their weight distribution changes over time due to wear and tear.
This means that there will always be some degree of inaccuracy when checking the pressure in your tires.
5. XL Tires Are Expensive
For some people, the cost of XL tires is simply too much to bear. After all, they’re designed for big trucks and SUVs, not the average sedan or hatchback. Even if you’re looking to improve your car’s performance by adding new rubber, you’ll probably pay more for XL tires than regular ones.
Many manufacturers charge extra for their “high performance” models because of their larger size and heavier treads.
6. Their Increased Weight May Be a Safety Concern
The additional weight of an XL tire affects fuel economy and handling. So, if you’re not careful, it can affect your car’s handling on wet roads. Similarly, a heavy vehicle has less traction, affecting its stopping.
In essence, it takes longer for an XL vehicle to come to a stop when traveling at high speeds because of its increased weight.
7. XL Tires Are Not Recommended for Use on Some Vehicles
XL tires will not fit all vehicles. You must ensure that the tires you choose have been designed for use with larger-diameter wheels before purchase. In addition, if you choose to purchase a new set of tires, you should check with your local mechanic to ensure that they will fit on your car or truck before buying them.
8. Poor Handling in Rain or Snow
Your vehicle’s handling will be affected by the size of its tires and how much traction they provide while driving in rain or snow conditions. So, if you buy XL tires for your SUV, they will provide less traction than their smaller counterparts.
This can make it harder for you to control your car when driving on slippery roads and increase your chances of getting into an accident if you drive too fast when it rains or snows heavily outside.
9. Slower Acceleration and Braking Times
The sheer mass of the XL tires means that it takes longer for them to start moving, and likewise, it takes longer for them to stop moving. Larger tires also have less traction, so it takes more time to accelerate or decelerate.
10. Wear and Tear
XL tires have a larger contact patch with the road surface, so they are likely to wear out faster than standard-sized tires. Therefore, you’ll need to replace XL tires more frequently than regular tires, which can be expensive over time.
11. Inconsistent Quality
Some manufacturers produce XL tires that do not meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency has reported that some XL tires have been produced with substandard materials and inefficient manufacturing processes, leading to problems such as blowouts or sudden failure while driving at high speeds on highways or interstates.
12. Limited Availability
XL tires aren’t available from every manufacturer. They can’t be used in every vehicle application because they require different wheel sizes or bolt patterns to fit properly on your vehicle’s axle assembly (the part connecting wheels to the frame).
For example, if you’re looking for a set of XL truck tires for your pickup truck, you may find it difficult to find a match between your preferred size and brand because each manufacturer uses its design standards when designing its products.
So, is it time to ditch your standard truck tires for the XL variety? Probably not. While the advantages of using XL tires are numerous, they’re not likely to make a world of difference in most scenarios.
Likewise, the disadvantages – very high cost being the major one – mean that you need to weigh them carefully before deciding whether or not XL tires are right for you. But with all the additional XL tire options out there, we think you’ll be able to find something appropriate for your truck.