When you have to replace your old worn-out car tyre then you must know the tyre size beforehand. Otherwise, you will end up buying an incompatible size and may waste your hard-earned money.
Choosing the right set of tyres can increase the overall performance of your vehicle, including fuel consumption and safety.
As tyres are the only connection between your car and the road, so, they are one of the most important parts of your car. Hence, it is very important that you install a good set of tyres as they enhance acceleration, braking and handling quality of your vehicle.
Types of car tyres:
There are mainly two types of tyres- tubed and tubeless tyres.
If you have to choose between these two, then always go for tubeless tyres as they are much more advanced and safer.
Earlier, car tyres had tubes inside them to hold the air. But now, tyres are made in a way that they can seal the air within themselves and a tube is not needed.
As tubed tyres cannot hold air themselves and depend on the tube, a puncture will lead to complete deflation of the air.
On the other hand, tubeless tyres don’t suffer from this problem. Even after getting punctured they can easily take you another 40-50kms easily. So, you won’t be stuck if you don’t get a mechanic nearby.
Additionally, you can repair tubeless tyres by yourself. All you need is a repair kit.
So, after you’ve made your mind on the type of tyre you should install, let us discuss the right tyre size. How can you measure and how can you read the size- everything!
How to read tyre sizes-
Your tyre will have writings like this. Let us understand what these various numbers and alphabets denote:
The first number i.e., 235 in this picture implies the nominal section which is the width of the tyre in millimeter (mm)
The next number written after the symbol “/” which is 55 in this pic. refers to the normal aspect ratio (section height/ section width). In easier terms, you can think of it as the height of the tyre from the attached rim of the wheel. It is denoted in percentage.
Next, you’ll find an alphabet which is R here, which denotes the construction of the tyre. Commonly two types of construction are found in car tyres- radial and bias ply. The main difference lies in their belt construction. Radial tyres have steel belts. These belts run at a 90-degree angle with the tread line. This thing allows the sidewall and the tread of the tyre to function independently on their own. Thus, the sidewall flex is less and contact with the ground increases significantly. Bias ply tyres, on the other hand, have nylon belts. These belts run at an angle of 30-45 degrees with the tread line. The sidewall and tread are connected by multiple overlapping rubber plies. This results in heating of the tyres. Radial tyres are widely used as they give better vehicle stability, longer lifespan and are more resistant to punctures due to the steel belts.
The next number is the inside rim diameter in inches. In this pic., it is 17inch evidently.
99 here is the load carrying capacity index.
Next alphabet (here W) is the maximum speed permissible for this kind of tyre.
Now you know what the writing on the side of your tyre tells.
Points to keep in mind while buying a new tyre:
- Rim Size- While purchasing a new car tyre, you should ensure that the rim size of the tyre is same as your car’s wheel rim size. If it is not the same then most probably the tyre won’t fit and also may hamper the ride quality.
- Tread Width-These days people sometimes prefer wider tread tyres for aesthetic purposes. But it can affect your mileage. If your car generates a lot of power and you generally keep high speeds at the corners then wider treaded tyres will be better for you. But if you want to improve mileage, want to keep steering light and generally drive in city traffic only, then wider tyres are not for you.
Now you can also choose tyres based on different tread patterns. Below is a picture of three patterns
- Symmetrical treads are also called conventional treads. These types of tyres are good at wading water. So, if you frequently drive through a water logged area then it will be a good choice. Also, it is less noisy.
- Asymmetrical treads are good if you drive through different terrains of land. If you are a person who like off-roading and also drives at high speeds then it’ll give you better control.
- Directional treads are meant to be driven in only one direction. You can drive in the opposite direction also, but it is most efficient when it is used in the direction it is meant to be rotated.
Then there are some common general points which should also be factored in while buying a new tyre which is about the overall quality of the tyre. Let us discuss those too.
In the beginning, the thing to worry about is the reputation of the manufacturer. Tyre, as discussed, is one of the most important parts of your vehicle. So, you should not compromise with its quality. Always go for manufacturers who are renowned in this field. Some renowned car tyre manufacturers are MRF, Apollo tyres, Bridgestone and Michelin. Never go for any local brand.
Let’s quickly find out which of these manufacturers is ideal for you.
MRF is an Indian brand and has been the market leader in tyres for a long time. But the other competitors that we have mentioned have evolved much better than MRF and they give some special edges compared to MRF. So, let’s leave MRF out of the race for now.
Michelin is a French tyre manufacturer. If your budget is high then definitely this will be the best as Michelin is the inventor of radial tyres. Therefore, they know everything about radial tyres. They know their job and no one can understand better. But they have their limitations too. If you drive your car in off-roads then Michelin won’t be very suitable for you as puncture resistant is not good in Michelin tyres.
Bridgestone is another renowned manufacturer and provides tyres which have excellent handling power at high speeds.
If you want really strong tyres which are greatly resistant to punctures then you can choose Apollo tyres. They also give good comfort and performance. But handling might be compromised a bit.
So your choice in general should be Michelin, then Bridgestone and then Apollo and at last MRF.
Next, you should never buy a car tyre which doesn’t have warranty coverage. Not providing warranty tells us about the distrust of the quality by the manufacturer itself. Also, you may notice some manufacturing error in the tyre after purchase which is covered under warranty.
The last thing to keep in mind is the manufacturing date of the tyre. It is mentioned on the sidewall of tyres. You shouldn’t buy tyres which are older than 6 months as tyres degrade over time even if not used.
That was all you needed to know about car tyres- sizes, types and various other factors. You do not need to do any further research after reading the blog as it has covered all the things which need to be taken care of.