Do I Need Premium Tires?

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob,
I drive a '96 Camaro Z28. Would you please explain to me why I have to have V-rated or Z-rated tires on it. I don't plan on entering either the Indy 500 or the Daytona 500 in the near future.

Most people would argue with me, but this I know from first hand experience on several different types of "sport cars" or high output vehicles. The suspension that is in the car is designed to operate efficiently with the type of tire that the manufacture states.

One of the differences in the tire is the stiffness of the side wall. Step down from a z-rated tire to a h-rated tire, and the side wall becomes softer. This will result in more body roll during a turn. I witnessed this directly on a ford mustang 5.0l GT. The car came with z-rated tires. It was being sold and needed new tires. So, we put h-rated tires on it (why spend the money for someone else?). Well, the car handled rotten. Needless to say, the sale was lost. We put the old z rated tires back on, and the car handled again as it should.

Now, people might say, well those were just bad tires. Well, they actually were a name brand tire. They were returned to the store and replaced. The same thing happened. The car was sold with the z rated tires on it and the h's in the trunk. I know you do not drive the indy, but if you drive the car at 50% of what it was meant to be used, you will notice the difference.

Then there is the safety aspect. I will not make a judgment on that, but realize that when a car system is designed, they do not usually make provisions for someone down the road to change things. And, since you will notice a difference in handling, there may be a situation where something may occur.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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