Tyres are one of the most important parts of your car as they are the only connection between the vehicles and the road surface. Hence, it is very important that you choose a good set of tyres for your car as they enhance the acceleration, braking and handling quality of your vehicle. Good quality tyres can also improve the fuel efficiency. On the other hand, cheap quality tyres can give you an unpleasant and bumpy ride.
Following are some factors that you need to keep in mind while selecting a set of tyres for your car:
1) Tube-type or Tubeless:
While selecting between tubeless and tube-type tyres, you should always go for tubeless ones as they are much more advanced and safer than the tube-type tyres. In addition to that, they have some other advantages as well. Furthermore, you do not have to get alloy wheels to install tubeless tyres. Your steel wheels will also do pretty good with them given that they are rust free and have an anti-rust coating inside.
2) Size of the tyre:
While buying new tyres, one should give special attention to the size. And for that you should know how to read the size of a tyre. It is generally mentioned on the sidewall of a tyre and is represented in a standardised manner. For example, 195/55 R 16 87V. We can read it as:
195 (mm) is the tread width of the tyre
55 (%) is the percentage of the tread width that contributes in making the height of the sidewall.
R (Radial) refers to the radial construction of the tyre
16 (inches) refers to the diameter of the wheel
87 refers to the load index of the tyre
V refers to the speed rating of the tyre
The size of a tyre can be depicted by three parts; the size of the rim, the width of the tread of the tyre and the height of the sidewalls.
Read more on tyre lettering here: How to read a tyre
i) Rim Size:
While choosing a tyre you need to keep in mind that the size of the tyre is same as that of the rim on which you want to install it. If your rim is larger than your tyre, then it will decrease the height of the sidewall that will adversely effect the ride and handling quality of your vehicle.
ii) Tread width:
You should select the tread width very carefully as it is responsible for your comfort and yout car’s performance on road. Tread width will depend on the kind of driver you are and obviously, on the vehicle you are driving. For example, if your car generates a lot of power, if you often keep high speeds while cornering or if you want your car to have a stylish and robust look, you can go for a wider tread. However, if you want to improve your fuel mileage, want to keep the steering light or if you often drive your car in city traffic, you should not go for a wider tread.
iii) Sidewall Height:
When you are done selecting the accurate rim size and the proper tread width, your next move will be to choose a sidewall height that will help in keeping the overall size of the new tyre similar to that of your old tyres.
Choosing the tread pattern of your tyres is another critical task. Tread pattern of a tyre plays a major role in your overall driving experience as they are responsible for the performance of your car in different weather conditions. They are responsible for channeling the water away when you are driving through a water logged area. Basically, there are three types of tread patterns:
i) Conventional Tread:
It is the most commonly used tread pattern. It can be run in both the directions and can be mounted on the wheel either way as it does not have either of of the uni-directional or asymmetric pattern. These type of tyres are very useful in channeling away water while driving through water logged area. It also curbs the tyre noise while doing so.
ii) Uni-directional Tread:
The uni-directional tread patterns work most effectively when they are rotated in a single direction. The sidewalls of these tyres will have an arrow mark that will mention that in which direction the tyre is meant to be rotated.
iii) 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. You will find a marking on the sidewalls stating that which side is meant to be road facing and which is car facing. This kind of tread pattern helps in high speed cornering.
4) Rubber Compound:
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 the traction and the treadwear characteristics of a tyre. If you buy a tyre that is made off high quality material, then the traction and the speed rating of the tyre will be high. It also helps you get a good grip on your car.
5) Overall quality of the tyre:
There are a few things that one needs to keep in mind while buying a new set of tyres. They are:
i) Reputation of the manufacture:
Buying your tyres from a reputed manufacture makes a lot of difference in the whole scenario. You should take other people’s opinion and do the research work on the manufacture by yourself. Renowned tyre makers have modern manufacturing plants and they also provide better quality material and make high standard products.
You should not buy a product that does not have a warranty period. Read the fine print carefully.
iii) Date of manufacture:
While buying a tyre you should always check the date of manufacturing mentioned on its sidewall. It is a DOT code generally represented by a four digit number where the first 2 digits indicate the week while the last 2 digits depict the year of manufacturing. It is recommended that you do not buy a tyre that is older than 6 months.