Buying a car tyre is easy; it’s choosing the right one that’s difficult.

Why is choosing a tyre such a big deal? Well, picking out the wrong one can lessen your car’s capacities. It’ll affect how your car runs. You won’t want to suddenly get stranded just because of a faulty tyre, would you?

What factors do you need to consider in choosing a tyre?

Size

Tyre sizes vary; cars and other automobiles have their own car tyre sizes. The right size can be found in either the car owner’s manual or the placard found on the door jamb of the driver’s side. Both will contain measurements that look like this:

P184-65R 15 86T M+T

Each of the characters represent a tyre component:

  • P represents the tyre type

    • P stands for Passenger,

    • LT stands for Light Truck,

    • ST stands for Special Trailer, and

    • T stands for Temporary.

  • 184 or the first 3 digit numbers mean the overall width of the tyre in millimeters.

  • 65 or the next 2 digits pertain to the tyre’s aspect ratio (height to width).

  • R indicates the materials of the carcass of the tyre.

    • R stands for Radial,

    • B stands for Bias Belt, and

    • D stands for Diagonal.

  • 15 or the next set of numbers refer to the wheel’s diameter size in inches.

  • 86T or the following set gives you the tyre’s load index (i.e. the maximum allowable load the tyre is capable of containing in a particular inflation).

  • M + T identifies both the car tyre’s use and performance based on the manufacturer’s standards.

    • M + T stands for mud + terrain (ideal for trucks and 4-wheel drives)

    • M + S stands for mud + snow (applicable for most vehicles)

Type of Tyre

There are different types of tyres, all with characteristics of their own.

  • All Season Tyres – These are tyres suitable for any type of condition, and are often referred to as the standard kind of tyre.

  • All Terrain Tyres – More often found on SUVs and trucks, they have the capabilities of both an off-road tyre and the regular tyre.

  • Mud Tyres – These tyres are ideal for off-road conditions (e.g. sand dunes, uneven gravel or mud).

  • Low Profile Tyres – These feature a wide tread and a short sidewall, which means they offer good handling and performance.

  • Performance Tyres – These tyres have soft rubber compositions and stiff sidewalls, making drivers capable of reacting quickly and stopping fast.

  • Snow / Winter Tyres

  • Off Road Tyres

  • SUV Tyres

  • Truck Tyres

Vehicle Type

Obvious as it may seem, but you should also factor in the type of vehicle you’re driving.

  • Driving a high-performance vehicle? Choose a tyre that can handle the roads well during precision driving.

  • Casual driving (i.e. just using your car to get to work) will require a tyre that’ll withstand the everyday strains the car will face.

The year your vehicle was manufactured will also count; as years pass, changes may have been made. To adapt to these changes, different types of tyres may have been produced.

Tyre Life Expectancy

A tyre’s life expectancy will depend on different factors: how you drive, road conditions, climate conditions, and the vehicle’s general maintenance.

Manufacturers determine the tyre’s expectancy in miles or kilometers, but this information should not be relied on because of various external factors. For example, tyres installed in poorly maintained vehicles typically end up having short lifespans.

Where You Drive

The roads you drive on will also help you choose a tyre for your car. Are you driving on bumpy rough roads or on smooth highways?

If you’re driving on rough roads, then it’ll help to choose a tyre meant for different terrains. If you’re driving on smooth paths, then it may be easier for you as you have more choices to pick out from.

Once you’ve given these things enough thought, you will then have to factor in your other preferences – afterwards, you’ll finally be able to choose the right car tyre.

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