Westlake Tires Review and Buying Guide 2021

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Having quality tires on your car translates to better performance, safety on the road, and saving on regular tire replacement because they don’t wear out easily. It’s one of the best investments you can ever make as a car owner. 

Now, to help you avoid the temptation of cheap car tires, we’ve provided a detailed Westlake tires review and buying guide, along with some other essential facts. Keep reading to learn more about one of the leading tire brands in the world.

The top 5 Westlake tires in 2021 are:

Westlake Tires Review and Buying Guide 2021

Westlake is a brand of tires produced by Zhongce Rubber Group Co. Ltd—a company that ranks among the largest tire manufacturers. Its headquarters are in Hangzhou, China. Plus, there are four other subsidiaries in Brazil, America, Thailand, and Europe.

Under the Westlake tires brand, the company produces a wide range of tires for various uses. Car tires, truck tires, industrial tires, motorcycle tires, agricultural tires, ATV tires, off-road tires, you name it. Read through our buying guide to understand tires and how to pick them.

The Ultimate Tire Buying Guide

Choosing the right tire for your car requires a lot of consideration. There are many brands, tire sizes, and tire types to pick from—among other features and factors. And, to enjoy the best experience, everything must align with your needs. This can challenge and intimidate most people, especially if you know little about tires.

To help you out, we’ve compiled a simple breakdown of things to consider when buying tires. They include:

Understand the Terms

On the side of the tire, there’s a tire code printed. It contains almost everything you need to know about the tire. These are:

Tire Type

The first letter of the code represents the tire type, and it could either be:

  • P: Passenger Tires 
  • LT: Light Truck.
  • ST: Special Trailer (have thicker sidewalls)
  • T: Temporary (spare tires).

Size

Manufacturers express the size of the tire in a series of numbers and letters that follow the tire type.

Tread width: This shows the distance between sidewall edges (mm). It’s approximately the width of the tread that touches the road. It’s a three-digit number.

Aspect ratio: This is a representation of the section height to the section width. A higher number denotes a taller sidewall. Most compact cars have tires with lower aspect ratios, while large trucks’ tires come with higher aspect ratios.

Internal construction: This could be Radial (R), Bias-belt (B), or Bias-ply (“-”). In some tires, you’ll see Diagonal (D) in place of Bias-ply.

Rim Diameter: This shows the size of the rim that the tire would fit well in.

Load Rating (Index)

This shows the maximum weight a single tire can hold. To get the full weight load that the car can bear, you’ll have to multiply by four. The rating starts from 1 (which represents 102 pounds load) up to 150 (represents 7,385 pounds). Check out the load rating chart here.

You should always make sure the car has the right amount of pressure.

Speed Rating (Index)

This shows the maximum speed at which a tire can safely move while carrying the load outlined by the load index. Exceeding the speed rating leads to overheating then tire failure. High-performance cars usually have higher speed ratings than regular SUVs and family cars.

The speed rating is expressed with letters ranging from L to Y that represent different speed ranges. Starting from as low as 75 mph to as high as 186 mph. For instance, T (118 mph), H (130 mph), V (149 mph), W (168 mph), and Y (186 mph).

Picking the correct tire speed rating is vital for your safety and that of other road users. Also, it might influence your insurance because having a lower tire speed rating than what’s required could invalidate your car insurance.

UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grade) Code

This will give you a representation of a tire’s features as per the manufacturer’s tests.

  • Traction: How well your car can stop on a wet, hard surface is represented by letters: AA, A, B, C. in order of the best to the worst.
  • Treadwear: This is represented by three numbers, where 100 is the base or standard wear.
  • Temperature resistance: This represents the speed at which a tire dissipates heat with no risks. It’s measured in mph and denoted using letters. A (more than 115 mph), B (100-115 mph), C (85-100 mph).

DOT (Department of Transportation) Code

The codes under this include:

  • Plant code: This shows the specific manufacturing plant that made the tire.
  • Size of tire: The next symbol represents the tire size. It’s written in such a way that only manufacturers understand.
  • Manufacturer identity number: This is another code meant for the manufacturer’s use—especially in case of a recall of the tire.
  • Date code: This shows the tire’s date of manufacture, starting with the week followed by the year—for example, the 12th week of 2010. This is important because it tells you how old the tire is.

Tire Usage

Under this, you’ll find a wide range of options depending on where you’ll be driving your car and the season. There are all-season car tires that have year-round traction and come in varying sizes for different car sizes. You then have performance all-season car tires with their high-speed rating.

Others like all-season truck tires are good for heavy load vehicles, while the all-terrain tires are perfect for off-road use, and winter/snow tires will help you move through snow and ice.

Fuel Economy

The type of tire you use influences your fuel efficiency. For instance, low rolling resistance tires can really help to save on fuel.

Noise

Different tires produce a certain level of noise when air flows through their tread. Unless you just love making noise, consider a less noisy tire.

To Replace or Upgrade the Tires

Once your tires wear out and you start looking for new ones, you have the option of either replacing them with equivalent tires that came with the car or upgrading to higher-performance tires.

Replacement is straightforward because you simply need to search for the same tire—similar brand, type, and size. The best part is that you already know what to expect in terms of performance. So, there’ll be no surprises.

Upgrading, on the other hand, can be a little complicated. You must evaluate many aspects and even consult an expert to avoid making costly decisions. For one, how high up do you want to upgrade? And, will the upgrade fit your type of car? You then have to figure out the best size and the fact that you might have to upgrade all the tires.

Warranty

There are two types of warranties that you could get when you buy a tire: the defect protection and the tread warranty. Manufacturers who trust in the quality of their product will give you both for a significant amount of years. 

Take your time to read through the terms, conditions, and requirements of the warranty before buying into one.

The Top 5 Best Westlake Tires 2021

Our Overview

This tire features a dual steel belt and polyester cord body design, in addition to a rim protector that keeps the wheel in top shape. Its unique tread pattern coupled with a silica enhanced compound reduces rolling resistance and boosts wet grip, thus making the tire perfect for all seasons. This also results in better fuel efficiency.

The tread’s circumferential channels enhance lateral stability, sharp responsiveness lead to fast expulsion of water to keep the grip firm on wet roads. Other beneficial features are the deep tread grooves that handle improved cornering performance. 

There are various tire sizes available (from 16 to 20 inches), most of which are ideal for sedans, crossovers, and sport coupes. They come with speed ratings of either W, V, or Y. The best part is the affordable pricing.

The only shortcoming with the tire is the road noise.

Pros:

  • Affordable pricing.
  • Better fuel efficiency.
  • Has a rim protector.
  • Good traction for dry and wet roads.

Cons:

  • Road noise.

Our Overview

The SL309 traction radial tubeless tire’s excellent road grip is thanks to its unique tread pattern—ensuring it performs remarkably well in all conditions.

There’s a multi-snipe shoulder pattern that’s perfect for water expulsion, which ensures a large area of the tires stays on the road—preventing hydroplaning. 

Variable pitch tread blocks are available to boost traction and reduce road noise. You can use this tire on pickups, vans, SUVs, and commercial light trucks. Thanks in part to its 1200 pounds load capacity and 235 millimeters section width. 

This tire comes with thick and robust sidewalls that enhance its resistance to puncture and tear. It can survive light off-road duties. For aesthetics, it has an impressive look that complements the overall appearance of your car.

For the price, this tire gives users great value. It’s easy to mount, so you don’t need help with installation. The only shortcomings are that it wears faster when used on rough terrain, and it doesn’t hold well with heavy loads.

Pros:

  • All-season tires.
  • Affordable.
  • Good traction.
  • Minimum noise.
  • Looks good.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for off-road use.

Our Overview

If you’re looking for a tire that will get you through on and off-roads smoothly, the SL369 all-terrain radial tire is what you should go for. Westlake designed everything to offer superior performance and durability—starting with the wide, deep grooves and switchback tread blocks that enhance road traction and keep the noise level to a minimum.

With a load capacity of 2679 pounds and a speed rating of Q, the tire is ideal for light trucks, and you can drive comfortably in different weather conditions—including winter. It has a high resistance to puncture, so you have little to worry about when going on rough terrains.

The tires balance out well when installed and look great. The price is also affordable for those who are on tight budgets.

An issue with the tire is its soft sidewalls which make it wobbly when maneuvering on the road. And, it’s hard to tell the tire’s ply rating.

Pros:

  • It has good traction.
  • High puncture resistance.
  • Great balance
  • High load capacity.

Cons:

  • Soft sidewalls.
  • Hard to tell the ply rating.

Our Overview

This tire offers year-round performance for trucks and SUVs. Their distinct CAD-designed block and sipping pattern tread provide superior all-season traction. The design has a rating of M + S, which means the tire can move comfortably and silently in different weather—be it dry, wet or snowy.

It doesn’t lose grip in the rain whether you break or take off hard. You have several sizes to pick from with speed ratings of T, H, and V. The load capacity stands at 1200 pounds. That’s good enough for a light truck.

The SU318 touring is exceptionally versatile in its performance on and off-road. It’s durable, doesn’t puncture easily and balances well. Plus, it comes with a tread-wear indicator. For its price, the tire offers a great deal of value. 

The only challenge with the tire is that it’s quite heavy, so mounting it can be an uphill task. 

Pros:

  • Offers year-round performance.
  • Superior all-season traction.
  • It comes with a tread-wear indicator.
  • Produces little to no noise.

Cons:

  • It’s challenging to mount.

Our Overview

Wrapping up our Westlake tires review is the Westlake RP18 touring radial tire. It has an all-season tread compound and pattern for superior traction on both wet and dry roads. On wet surfaces, the sipping and tread pattern handles the efficient evacuation of water to boost the grip.

As for the lateral traction and stability—its vertical sipping pattern ensures you get quality performance. Also, the tread pattern is non-directional, allowing for easy rotation of the tire—resulting in extended tread life. It has very responsive steering that offers comfort and a great feel for the road.

This tire offers year-round performance on cars like sedans, minivans, crossovers, coupes, among others. The sizes range from 13 to 16 inches, with speed ratings of H, T, or V. As far as performance goes, this tire easily matches up against many of the more prominent brands.

The drawbacks include unnecessary noise when driving at highway speeds, and poor traction on ice and snow. 

Pros:

  • Excellent traction on wet and dry surfaces.
  • Longer treadlife.
  • Responsive steering.
  • Comfortable ride.

Cons:

  • Too much road noise

FAQ

How Do You Know When a Tire Is Expired?

Look for a four-digit stamp code number on the side of the tire. Usually, it will be at the end of all the other codes and could be marked with an asterisk at the beginning and end. The first two digits represent the week of the year the tire was manufactured, while the last two digits represent the year.

For instance, a number like 2512 means they manufactured the tire on the 25th week of 2012. That said, manufacturers recommend replacing your tire once it clocks four to six years, even if it looks like it’s still in good shape.

Should I Replace All Four Tires?

Yes, if you have the means. It is ideal to replace all four tires of your car simultaneously so that they have the same traction. 

This helps avoid unnecessary wear on your drive train and confusing the traction control system that will think you have a traction problem because of the varying grip of the tires. Plus, lower-tread tires have a reduced diameter, so they spin faster than new tires.

Are Westlake Tires Good Tires?

Yes, they perform well at average speeds on wet and dry roads. Plus, they are more durable than most budget tires.

Conclusion

A good tire makes all the difference in your car ride—be it on or off-road. So, it’s important to always shop for the best tires. From our Westlake tires review, the Westlake SA07 Performance Radial Tire stands out as the best overall. It offers superior performance, comfortable riding, durability—and doesn’t cost much.

The unique tread patterns provide solid traction on dry and wet roads, thus enabling you to drive comfortably and safely in different weathers. It also has a low rolling resistance and a much better fuel efficiency.

If you’re under a tight budget and need quality tire replacements, try the Westlake tires. You can start with the ones we’ve listed above.

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