The overall performance and safety of your vehicle quite literally ride on your tyres, which makes installing the right ones extremely important. In addition to the right size of tyres, conditions in which you drive, and your style of driving are factors that should also be taken into consideration.
First things first - tyre size
The recommended size of tyres for your car (which comprises physical measurements such as width, aspect ratio, construction, RIM diameter, load index and speed rating) is the first thing to consider. This information is immediately available in the owner's manual and/or somewhere inside the vehicle itself (usually in the driver's side door jamb, inside your glove box door, or within your gas tank hatch).
The tyre measurements are usually printed on the sidewall as a series of letters, numbers and slashes. Most tyre shops have a database of factory tyre sizes for various vehicles and would be able to help you match the tyre size to your wheels.
Next – which type of tyre?
Now comes the more uphill task: selecting the RIGHT TYPE of tyres for your car. Because although tyres may appear similar, different types are optimized to perform for diverse usages and conditions. These factors include weather conditions, terrain, and driving style.
Let's take a closer look at each of these factors.
Global warming has had an increasingly noticeable effect on climatic conditions in the Middle East. In many countries in the region, the two main seasons – scorching summers and mild winters have been muddled by sporadic rainfall and flooding, hail, and even snow in the desert. All of which affect tyre performance. Hence it is imperative that your tyres perform not just in your most prevalent climatic conditions but also in other extreme conditions that can arise.
Type of roads/terrain
Usage conditions are another important factor in deciding on the type of tyre that's best for your car.
The vehicle you drive, and the way you like to drive it, play a big role in selecting the type of tyre that's right for your car, and you.
For a quiet, comfortable ride, choose tyres that specify comfort, smooth ride, or low road noise. If it's curve-hugging exhilaration that you enjoy, you need to choose tyres that provide superior handling and steering precision. Often called high-performance tyres, they are optimized to provide better control and a more precise ride, through higher speed ratings.
Here are two important things to consider depending on your vehicle and driving style:
The Speed Rating ensures the safety of your tyres by indicating the maximum speed at which a tyre can be safely driven. The speed ratings for passenger tyres range from N (140km/h) to Y (300km/h) for high-performance supercars. Staying within the speed rating specified by the vehicle manufacturer is advisable. It is important to note that most luxury cars have a high-speed rating, as their powerful engines guarantee a comfortable ride.
The Tread design: Once again, the manufacturer recommendation for tread design is your best guide. Here are the 4 different types of tread design:
Directional (Unidirectional) tyres are ideal for sporty cars that drive regularly on wet roads. This tread type allows for water to be displaced from the tyre to avoid hydroplaning.
Symmetrical is the most common type of tread design and found on most non-high-performance passenger cars because it is typically quiet and long-lasting.
Asymmetrical: Most commonly found on luxury and sports cars, asymmetrical tyres combine a variety of tread patterns for maximum grip on both wet and dry roads.
Directional/asymmetrical tyre tread has the best of both worlds, offering maximized comfort, quiet cruising and enhanced safety, and is ideal for luxury and sports cars.