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It's probably the most important part of the vehicle but how many of us really know what to look out for when choosing the right tyre for our ride?

Category: Car Technical Advice


The first thing that comes to your mind when it comes to your car safety will most likely be checking to see if your seatbelts and your brakes are in good order. Just be sure that you remember to check if those tyres are keeping you safely grounded! We have managed to compile a list of tips that will help keep you on track when looking for that perfect tyre or tyre replacement.

Let's go shopping!

Tip 1: Choose the right Tread Pattern for the right purpose. 

Tread Pattern

Advantages

Disadvantages

Used for

Rib shape:

Patterns dominated by multiple circumferential grooves





Lower rolling resistance



Good steering control



Good directional stability



Poor braking grip on wet roads



Poor acceleration grip on wet roads



Sustaining high speeds on paved road surfaces



Truck or bus steer axles

Lug shape:

Patterns with the groove arrangement perpendicular to the circumference of the tyre





Excellent braking power and traction



Tendancy towards high noise when driven at high speed due to their high rolling resistance



Dirt roads



Rear wheels of buses, industrial vehicles and dump

Rib-Lug shape:

Combination of Rib and Lug





Rib in the centre providing directional control



Lug at the sides gives good braking & driving power

 



Paved and dirt roads



Front & rear wheels of trucks and buses

Block-shape:

Patterns consisting of independent blocks divided by circumferential and lateral grooves.





Good steering control and stability on snow-covered and wet roads



Good water dispersal properties



Tread blocks are smaller, tyre wear tends to be heavy



Winter use



All-season passenger car types


Rear wheel use in ordinary applications

Asymmetric:

Patterns differ on either side of the tyre.




Optimize the opposing requirements of dry grip and water dispersal



Must be positioned in the right way to be effective



High-speed cornering due to greater contact area which helps reduce tread wear on the outside of tyre



High performance and motorsport tyres
Directional pattern:

Lateral grooves on both sides of the tyre which point in the same direction.





Good driving force



Good braking performance



Good water dispersal - stability on wet roads



Mounted in the direction of the tread pattern to be effective



Passenger car tyre for high-speed use


Tip 2: Understanding your tyre rating

Your tyre rating are based on a sequence of numbers on the wall of your tyre. For this example, we will be using the numbers P215/60/R16 94T so follow closely.
P215/60/R16 94T - Type 
The first alphabet 'P' refers to the type of car. In this case, the tyre is suited for passenger cars. 

P215/60/R16 94T - Width 
These numbers after the alphabet '215' is the width of the tyre. The wider the tyre the larger the numbers and the larger the contact with the road. 

P215/60/R16 94T - Radial Diameter
The alphabet 'R' refers to the type of construction which stands for 'Radial' and the number following is the diameter of the rim which in this case is '15' inches.

P215/60/R16 94T - Load rating/index
The loading rating or index shows the maximum load capacity of a tyre when driven at maximum speed. In this case, the loading of the tyre in (kg) will be around 669 kg. 

P215/60/R16 94T - Speed Rating
The speed rating of the tyre is the last alphabet. In this case 'T' stands for a maximum speed of 190km/h. Attached is a list of speed ratings.

Speed Rating 

Speed symbol Maximum speed (km/h) mph
N 140 87
P 150 93
Q 160 99
R 170 106
S 180 112
T 190 118
H 210 130
V 240 149
W 270 168
Y 300 186

Speed category

Maximum speed km/h mph
ZR

>240

>149

 
Tip 3: Maintaining your Tyre 

Tyres will face tyre wear due to potholes, speed bumps and even general wear and tear, this will, in turn, lead to tyre alignment issues. Making sure that your all your tyre align up in the same direction is important.

Tyres should be brought to a tyre shop to have them rebalanced if you feel that there are signs of vibration when driving. 

Pro Tip: Understand what your alignment is from the chart below. 


Tip 4: Look for tread wear indicator

Did you know? Run-Flat Technology in Tyres help you drive during a puncture?

Popular brands like Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Firestone, Pirelli, Yokohama has a range of product that offers Run Flat Tyres (RFT) in their tyres. Some of them are named differently like Self Supporting Run Flat (SSR) or Zero Pressure (ZP) which will allow you to continue to drive during a puncture situation.

However, it is recommended that you get it fixed as soon as possible as running on low tyre pressure can cause damage to the tyre causing tyre failure after 80km or so. 



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