Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Car Tyres

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The tyres are crucial for moving your car forward, side-to-side, and backward. They also stop your vehicle and cushion the load in case there're road imperfections. Here are some frequently asked questions about buying car tyres.

What Are The Right Tyres For My Car?

You should replace your tyres with the ones most suited for your car. Car manufacturers pass through a strict testing phase to make sure that the tyres have the ideal blend of efficiency, handling, braking, ride comfort, wear rate, and road noise. Refer to the car's manual to find the right tyre for your vehicle. The manufacturer will quote the exact size, load, and speed rating.

The brand of the tyre is not important. However, it is recommended that the two front tyres and the two back tyres be of the same brand. When you have different brands on the front or back, you might experience poor handling.

What Is The Code On The Side Of My Tyres?

When replacing tyres, you must get the size right. There's a code on the tyre that indicates the size of the tyre and its capabilities. The code will look something like this: P195/60R16 63H M+S.

In the following sample code, P stands for the type of tyre. 195 is the width of the tyre in millimetres. 60 is the aspect ratio compared to the width. R stands for radial construction. 16 is the diameter of the rim in inches. 63 is the tyre load rating, whereas H is the tyre's speed rating. M+S means the tyre is suited for all-season driving.

If the tyre-size code begins with LT instead of P, this means the tyre is for a light truck. These tyres are used for higher-load capacities, which are commonly found on SUVs and pickups. If you don't know how to read the code on the side of your tyres, write it down for the car tyre dealer to decode it for you.

Do I Need a Wheel Alignment and Wheel Balance?

Your car tyres are usually not perfectly aligned with the vehicle. Over time, the wheel alignment gets out of line. A wheel alignment involves putting the alignment at the right position, so you get the best performance and handling of your car. You need to perform wheel alignment every time you change your tyres; otherwise, you'll get excessive tyre wear. This means you will have to change your tyres prematurely.

The tyre and rim are not perfectly balanced. There's usually more weight on each such that when the wheel rotates, there's a slight vibration. When buying new tyres, you should ensure that the tyre and rim are balanced. This involves putting the rim and tyre on machines that spin to find where the weight is not symmetrical. Special weights will be fitted to the rim to eliminate the imperfections.  

If you have any questions, reach out to a tyre shop in your area.