Tyres are the most important component of your car.
It’s important not to cheap out when it comes to getting new tyres.
Q: Which types should I buy?
They have to be the right size and the right load rating.
You can choose a tyre with load rating greater than the minimum, but not less than that.
Q: Do you get what you pay for when you buy a premium tyre?
The short answer is ‘Yes’. Unlike tyres for heavy trucks, car tyres are not designed to be rethreaded.
Q: Tyres are designed with different tyres of tread, each of which is meant for different road conditions and driving styles. What are the 4 different types of tread?
(1) Directional (unidirectional)
Rotate directional tyres unless they are remounted.
Symmetrical tyre tread has the same pattern – continuous grooves and/or independent lugs – across the whole tyre. This type of tyre is the most common and found on most non-high-performance passenger cars because it is typically quiet and long-lasting. Also, they can be rotated in many different ways, which helps to prolong the life of the tyres and makes them more versatile.
Asymmetrical tyre tread, most commonly found on sports cars, is a bit of hybrid in that it combines a variety of tread patterns for maximum grip on both wet and dry roads. Usually the inside and middle parts of the tyre will be designed for wet and/or winter traction, while the outside of the tyre will have large tread blocks for maximum cornering capability on dry surfaces. To ensure that the tyres are positioned correctly on the car (to maximise handling capabilities), the sidewalls are marked “outside only” and “inside only”.
Directional/asymmetrical tyre tread is the best of both worlds – it features the V-shaped pattern of the directional tread for discharging water away from the tyre and the dry weather traction of the asymmetrical tread. You should follow the same rules as directional tyres when it comes to rotation patterns. Vehicles equipped with different size tyres on the front and rear (staggered), prohibit the ability to rotate directional/asymmetrical tyres unless they are remounted.
Q: Are they steps that I can take to extend the life of my tyres so I don’t have to buy new ones as often?
Simple things like checking your type pressure to make sure they are properly inflated can make a real difference in how long your tyres last. Under- or over-inflated tyres don’t wear evenly and won’t last as long.
Q: How can I save more money on fuel?
Under-inflated tyres are one go the biggest causes of using excess fuel. This is because under-inflated tyres have higher rolling resistance, which means that it takes more effort from the engine to move your vehicle.
Q: Should I check the pressure of my tyres?
Yes! You should make it a habit to check the pressure of all your tyres monthly, including the spare. Even if you don’t see any damage, tyres can lose up to 1 psi (pound per square inch) every month. This can be accelerated by air leaks due to accidental puncture, leaks in the valve or valve cap, or by wheel malfunction.
Q: When should I do this?
For the best results, check your tyre pressure when the tyres are cool – before driving the car or if it has covered less than 3 kilometres at low speed. (Top photo courtesy of Pexel)