China Tyre Expert

Stock tyres on a car are chosen because they complement

by:Tanco Tire,Timax Tyre     2020-08-14

It's near impossible to put a lifespan on tyres. They're the only point of contact between a vehicle and the road and with so many variables like weather and manner of driving, even quality tyres that claim to last for 10 years may be reduced to just six.

Like all things man-made, tyres must be chosen with care. A slip on the part of the consumer can literally mean the difference between life and death which is why it's advised that only tyres meant for specific types of cars should be used. No mix and match.

Before buying a new set of tyres, consumers should determine what type their vehicles need. Sticking to a brand is not required as long as what is chosen is what is recommended by the car's manufacturer. Further, tyres on an axle must have the same tread pattern and depth otherwise handling will be compromised.

How to decipher tyre codes

Non-experts can find out what tyre their vehicle uses by deciphering a code. Every tyre has alphanumeric markings that contain a wealth of information. Letters like P, T, LT and C refer to what type of vehicle the tyre is meant for. P stands for passenger vehicle, T for temporary (spare tyre), LT for light truck, and C for commercial. Not every vehicle may have these alphabets and the other parts of the code will help.

The first number after the alphabet, for example, '205' or '255' refers to the width of the tyre in millimeters. It's followed by a forward slash and another number which refers to the aspect ratio, i.e., its width relative to its height. Another alphabet will follow which defines how the layers are laid out. For example, 'R' means radial where the plies are arranged 90 degrees from the tyre's center.

The plies indicator is followed by another number which tells you the diameter of the wheel's rim. The last set of numbers which ends with an alphabet refers to the tyre's speed and load rating.

How to choose a tyre

Now that you know what those complicated-looking markings mean, how can you apply the knowledge when making a purchase? The answer is by looking at how you drive and the weather conditions you need to drive under.

All-season or touring tyres are popular because they're designed to hold up in winter, spring, summer and fall. However, they don't do well under adverse conditions. So if you live in a place that sees moderate weather, these are the right ones for your car.

If you live in a very cold region with ice and snow, winter tyres will do the job. The tread pattern is designed to dig into snow and ice for better traction and the softer material doesn't crack owing to flexibility. The marking or label MS, M&S, M/S and M+S indicate tyres with mud and snow designation.

Where to buy them

Where to buy depends on how much you're willing to spend. Dealerships are the most expensive sellers but they use OEM tyres so quality is guaranteed. Discount tyre retailers, meanwhile, sell hard-to-find types while local shops cater to the average consumer.

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