Engineers create various tires to perform well in specific conditions on particular vehicles.
As a result, each tire design serves well for specific terrain and helps drivers get the smoothest ride possible while enhancing driver safety.
If you’re departing between LT and Non-LT tires, it’s essential to know the difference between them.
What is the Difference Between LT and Non-LT Tires?
LT, or light truck, tires are for handling heavier loads. They are usually for SUVs, trucks, vans and are ideal for hauling cargo. Non-LT or passenger tires lack the additional toughness of LT tires, but they are much cheaper and can be a terrific choice for various vehicles, depending on the driving conditions.
LT tires usually consist of a rubber compound that is more resistant to wear and tear. They also contain unique tread patterns to resist hydroplaning and reduce driving resistance.
Non-LT are great tires for automobiles, including minivans, crossover hatchbacks, small pickup trucks, smaller SUVs, and passenger cars.
Below, we will cover these aspects and more in detail.
Differences Between LT and Non-LT Tires
The most significant difference between LT and non-LT tires is the construction.
As mentioned before, LT tires are built with stronger rubber compounds and much higher loading and carrying capacities, which makes sense for heavier vehicles made to tow more oversized loads.
The tread on an LT tire model is typically deeper than what you would find on non-LT models.
This feature comes in handy during time outside the city on different terrain.
Non-LT tires are lighter and contain less durable rubber compounds, making them better for lighter cars not built to tow.
They also tend to provide a much quieter and smoother ride.
LT tires are also more expensive than non-LT tires because of their durability, weight capacity, and the added technological features they use.
Overall, tire technology has advanced so much in recent years that it is almost unnoticeable which type of tire you have unless you read the letters LT after the tire size.
LT tires are perfect for heavier vehicles, so most LT tires are larger than their non-LT counterpart.
However, despite being bigger, LT tires can still provide a favorable ride with their uniquely designed tread patterns.
Are you an off-road enthusiast? If so, I’m going to shed some light on the subject to help you better understand if LT tires are the best thing for your car.
When Not to Use LT Tires
An LT tire should only be on a vehicle if the manufacturer requires it.
If you are unsure, you can quickly look at your owner’s manual to see if it states specific tire requirements that you must use on your vehicle.
If the owner’s manual doesn’t specifically address LT tires, you can choose what type of tire you want to use.
For example, if you drive in areas that see a lot of rain or snow, LT tires may provide better performance and safety.
However, LT tire usage can also change the speedometer from miles to kilometers per hour.
With that said, if LT tires are on a regular passenger car or even a smaller truck or SUV, they can be more dangerous.
This factor is because of how the LT tires will likely throw off your car’s TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) and even fail during high speeds, wet weather conditions, and possibly cause an accident.
It’s also essential to consider what kind and size of vehicle you have before purchasing LT tires because it will affect the tire’s durability.
Heavier vehicles such as SUVs and trucks will wear down tires quicker than a compact car.
Therefore, the wider the tire is, the more road surface contact they have during operation, helping to minimize tire wear.
LT tires are usually bigger than regular passenger tires, resulting in a tire that may not even fit your vehicle.
In addition, due to the increased size, its price tag is significantly more than the alternative.
Problems Caused By Putting LT Tires on a Passenger Car
Many problems can arise from putting LT tires on a car that requires passenger or non-LT tires.
Thankfully, drivers can avoid potential issues by using the proper tire models.
Let’s look at the most prominent issues resulting from putting LT tires on a passenger car.
Increase in Body Roll
One problem you may experience is your car having an increased body roll.
This issue happens because LT tires are specific for handling much heavier loads, making them larger, wider, and less flexible than regular passenger tires.
Driving fast and making quick turns will become potentially dangerous since your car’s optimal balance is likely off.
Your car may also have a bumpier ride due to the increased rigidness on LT tires compared to the more comfortable ride of non-LT tires.
LT tires are also noisier on the road compared to passenger tires due to their stiff construction.
When you hit a bump on a non-LT tire, the tire will absorb the impact. On an LT tire, you will feel everything.
Worse Handling in Wet Weather
LT tires are not ideal for wet weather conditions.
They may be the reason why your car may skid and not turn as well when driving on wet pavement.
In addition, the rigid materials used in manufacturing LT models do not enhance the tire’s ability to grip the road like other non-LT tires, making your car less safe to drive in such conditions.
Decreased Fuel Economy
LT tires are there to support much heavier loads than passenger tires.
So, you may experience a decrease in fuel economy since LT tires require more energy to move.
These tires are also heavier than regular passenger tires, which means your car will use more fuel when accelerating.
Passenger tires are specific for smoother rides and quieter drives.
They use cutting-edge technology and engineering to be more flexible.
Passenger tires also have a lower rolling resistance which helps your car save fuel and give you a better driving experience.
This type of tire is ideal for daily commuters because it helps them save money on gas.
When You Should Choose LT Tires
LT tires are better off-road than non-LT tires because they can handle much heavier loads (up to 3 times more) than regular passenger car tires.
LT tires also have a bigger footprint, which gives you a better grip on sand, gravel, and snow.
LT tires are an excellent option for construction vehicles or farm equipment because they can handle the vehicle’s load.
These stiff tires are also suitable for off-road enthusiasts looking to do more serious off-roading with their trucks.
In closing, LT tires are better for heavy-load vehicles like trucks and construction equipment, while passenger tires are ideal for your daily commute.
However, LT tires can be hazardous to use on a car if they are not made specifically for it.
The main difference between the tires is their overall construction, with LT tires being produced with more sturdy and rigid materials to withstand heavy loads.
If you are interested in putting LT tires on your vehicle, it is best to do your research and ensure that you won’t be doing more harm than good by installing them.