How to Choose a Good Set of Tyres for Your Ride

Oneshift Editorial Team
5 Dec 2013

Introduction, Tyre Markings

Everyone sooner or later must buy a set of tyres for their vehicle. Most people find tyre shopping to be a confusing or even a frustrating process. There are many types of tyres available for most vehicles, each with its own treat patterns and other features you might not fully understand. With the proper knowledge you can make a more informed decision about your next set of tyres, helping save you some grief and hopefully some money.

Tyre Markings

All tyres have a series of markings on them that most people understand about as well as they understand Egyptian hieroglyphics. Those markings on a tyre tell all kinds of information about the tyre, which is why people at tyre shops pay so much attention to them. The letter at the beginning of the series of characters indicates the type of tyre. For example, “P” means the tyre is for a passenger vehicle, while “LT” means it is for a light truck.

The number after that, which is typically three digits long, is the width of the tyre in millimeters, as measured from sidewall to sidewall. A forward slash separates the tyre’s width from the aspect ratio, or the measurement of the tyre’s height in millimeters.

The letter that follows the aspect ratio indicates the tyre’s method of construction (most modern tyres are radials and so are marked with an “R”). The number after the method of construction shows the diameter of the wheel the tyre is designed to be mounted on.

Some tyres have an arrow on the side, which should point toward the front of the vehicle for the tyre’s, tread to be pointed in the correct direction. Another set of numbers on the tyre sidewall show how much weight the tyre can support and the maximum amount of air pressure the tyre can handle.

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