Picking up tyres for your vehicles often seems like a pretty straightforward task. You visit the store, tell the worker what type of car you drive, and you make a purchase, right? Wrong! If you want to make sure you’re absolutely safe while on the road, there’s much more you need to take into account when choosing the right tyres for your car. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most important factors you have to consider before spending any money on new tyres.
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Tyre size is, without a doubt, the most important factor anyone who wants to buy tyres needs to take into account. Tyres that aren’t compatible with your wheels can still be mounted but are dangerous for both you and everyone else on the road. Luckily, determining the right size isn’t hard. All you need to do is take a look at your current set and see what’s written on the side. You’ll see a combination of characters such as 235/55 R17 99W. Just focus on the R17 part as it indicates the rim diameter or, in other words, the size of your tyre.
The width of your new tyres plays a huge role in handling and safety. You can check the width of your current tyres by taking a look at the first three digits on your current tyres. So, a 235/55 R17 99W tyre is 235 millimetres wide. The width of your tyre determines how much contact you have with the road. For example, a wider model allows more contact and provides you with a better grip on wet roads while a narrower model provides less grip, but it’s also less noisy. To opt for the right width, think about the weather conditions in your area.
Many drivers confuse tyre width and profile. While they’re similar, they play quite different roles in your car’s performance. Tyres with different profiles are different when it comes to the thickness of the sidewall. In the example we’ve given above – 235/55 R17 99W, the number you’re looking for is 55. The main differences between different tyre profiles are comfort and aesthetics. High-profile tyres usually are less likely to get damaged, and they make driving more enjoyable. On the other hand, low-profile tyres are less durable and make rides less comfortable. However, they’re often considered better-looking and make steering easier.
The next thing you need to know when buying new tyres is that there are letters that determine the speed rating of a tyre. Therefore, if your label is 235/55 R17 99W, it means your speed rating is W. W stands at 270 km/h on the speed chart that goes from L to Y. A higher speed rating provides you with a better grip and makes breaking easier. However, a higher speed rating also means the tyre is less durable. If you plan to buy tyres with a high speed rating, it’s recommended to change them more often.
There are three tread patterns drivers have to be aware of. Knowing the difference between these three patterns should help you choose the right set of tyres for your vehicle. Tyres with the symmetrical pattern are the most common ones as they’re designed for a more enjoyable and noise-free driving experience. However, they don’t perform well in harsh weather conditions. The directional pattern is, on the other hand, the perfect choice for drivers who spend a lot of time driving on rainy weather. Their treads are specifically designed to provide a firm grip on the road. This also results in more noise. Tyres with the asymmetrical pattern are a good solution for both enjoyable driving experience and driving in harsh weather conditions.
Take these five factors into consideration and picking the right tyres for your vehicle should be a real piece of cake. Just don’t forget to inspect them from time to time and think about replacing them once they start showing signs of wear.