The Tyre is the most integral accessory of your car, but can often be the least researched accessory.
The right tyre, more often than not, influences all the other parameters of your car including performance, fuel efficiency, ride quality, and safety.
Tyres connect your car to the road.
Let us try to understand some fundamentals about your tyre.
Tyres are essentially of 2 kinds.
Tubeless tyres are pneumatic tyres that do not require a separate inner tube. In a tubeless tyre, the tyre and rim form an airtight seal. The valve is mounted directly on the rim.
In case of a puncture, air escapes through a hole slowly, thus deflation is gentle. In case of small punctures, a liquid sealant can be injected into the tubeless tyres, to prevent deflation.
Tubeless tyres offer advantages of :
withstanding small punctures
have a liquid to seal small punctures
can run on lower pressure
slower deflation hence greater safety, a vehicle will not veer suddenly
There are disadvantages too :
difficult to fit. Expert hands are needed.
fixing punctures in tubeless tyres requires more compact equipment.
In case of a sidewall puncture, the entire tubeless tyre needs to be changed. This is not so in the case of a tube-type tyre.
And tubeless tyres are comparatively more expensive.
Next, it is important to know what is the Tread of a Tyre. The tread of a tyre refers to the rubber on its circumference that makes contact with the road.
Now let us try to understand how to read a Tyre.
A tyre size is typically nomenclature as, for example, 205/55 R 16 91V
This is read as :
· 205: 205mm. Tread width of the tyre
· 55: 55% is the percentage of the tread width that contributes to making the height of the sidewall.
· R: R – Radial refers to the radial construction of the tyre.
· 16: 16 inches is the diameter of the wheel
· 91: 91 refers to the load index of the tyres
· V: V Speed rating of the tyre
The following tips to be followed before settling for your tyre:
Rim Size: The size of the Tyre is the same as that of the rim on which it is installed. If the Rim is larger than your tyre, then it will mean that the sidewall of your tyre too will have a decreased height and your drive quality and handling will get affected adversely.
Tread width: Your driving habits decide the type of Tread width. For example for effective cornering at high speeds or even for a more stylish look, Wider Treads are recommended.
Sidewall Height: After you have selected the accurate rim size and the proper tread width, your next move should be to choose a sidewall height, ensuring that the overall size of the new tyre similar to that of your old tyres.
Tread Pattern: Make an informed decision regarding the right tread pattern for your car :
Conventional Tread: The most commonly used tread pattern. It can be run in both directions and can be mounted on the wheel either way as it does not have either of the uni-directional or asymmetric patterns. These types of tyres are very useful especially in channelling away water while driving through the water-logged area.
Uni-directional Tread: The uni-directional tread patterns work most effectively when they are rotated in a single direction. The sidewalls of these tyres have an arrow mark that mentions the direction in which tyre is meant to be rotated.
Asymmetric Tread: The tyres with asymmetric tread patterns generally have an outside sidewall and an inside sidewall.
The outside one is road facing and the inside one is car facing. There are markings on the sidewalls stating which side is meant to be road facing and which is car facing. This kind of tread pattern helps in high-speed cornering.
The rubber material used in making the tyre is the most important criteria to be kept in mind while buying a tyre.
It is responsible for traction and the treadwear characteristics of the tyre.
Tyres of high-quality material have high traction and the speed rating of the tyre will be high. They help in getting a good grip on your car.
The overall quality of the tyre: A few things that one needs to keep in mind while buying a new set of tyres are:
1. Reputation of the manufacture:
Renowned tyre makers have modern manufacturing plants and provide better quality input material to make high-standard products.
2. Warranty: Always check for the warranty period of the tyre. The fine print to be read very carefully.
3. Date of manufacture: Check on the Sidewall. Date of Manufacturing is generally a DOT code of 4 digits. The first two digits indicate the week and the last two denote the year of manufacture.
It is suggested to not buy a Tyre that is more than 6 months old.