Believe it or not, your tyres are the most important part of your car, and in the majority of cases, the most neglected part of the car too.
The tyre, usually as wide as your palm, is responsible for ensuring you receive all the power the engine churns out. It is also in charge of making sure you stop in time, and that you don’t go spinning around in the rain. It basically is responsible for keeping you safe in all situations. But yet a lot of us do not quite comprehend the
Maintaining a tyre is tricky business, but easy once you understand the gist of it.
The writing on the side of the tyre (usually referred to as the wall) mean a lot, and this is what it all translates to:
Image by Fast Fit Station
A) The most common tyres on Malaysian roads are rated 185. The basic rule is the wider the tyre the better it is able to deal with power. But too wide and the engine will be under unnatural stress and consume more fuel than it usually does. Stay to your manufacturer recommendation and you should be fine.
B) This refers to the thickness of the wall. The larger the number, the thicker it is. You will notice that luxury cars, vans, MPVs and trucks have very large side walls and thus have a large number. The thicker the wall the more comfortable the car is as there is more rubber to cushion any impact from bad roads.
Sports cars on the other hand have very thin side walls. This may not be very comfortable, but it gives the driver maximum control of the car. A thinner side wall does not flex as much when steering, and as such the car reacts faster to any steering input.
Image by Car and Driver
C) This is the size of your rim, and needs to be correct when you buy a new tyre.
D) This is best left to the experts at the tyre shop to figure out for you, but just for your reference, check out the table below:
Image by Bob Jane
E) This is very important, get this wrong and your tyre will rip into shreds at high speed. We found the table below to help you, but it is best to ask the boys at the tyre shop too.
Image by Bob Jane
Image by Gold Coast Tyres
F) The brand of the tyre (model name), not to be confused with the name of the manufacturer, as demonstrated above by Goodyear. Does not get more straight forward than this.
G) This basically means how much load your car can carry before the tyre explodes.
Image by GTRadial
H) Another important one as tyre pressure is King. It determines fuel consumption, power delivery and even wear and tear. Too little pressure and the car will work harder than necessary. Too much and you expedite tyre wear. Follow the indicated pressure on the tyre, and always fill up when your tyre is cold. Remember, air expands under heat so don’t fill up hot tyres because you will not get the correct reading.
I) The manufacturer of the tyre – Goodyear, Michelin, Bridgestone, etc.
Random Fact: Did you know?
Kumho managed to produce a tyre that smokes colour when you drift your car! Not that we’re advocating you buy these…or drift your car!
Image by Modified Mag