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The mechanical condition of adjustable components within the vehicle's suspension. When a vehicle is in alignment, the caster, camber, toe-in and thrust settings are set to specification. Severe impacts (hitting potholes or curbs) and worn suspension parts are the leading causes of misalignment.
A term for describing the size of a tyre (195/55R15 for example) where both letters and numbers are used.
Aspect Ratio Graphic 
Aspect Ratio
A term that describes a tyre’s height-to-width proportion. If a tyre’s sidewall height were 65% of its section width, its aspect ratio would be 65. In the tyre size expressed as 205/65R15, the number 65 is the aspect ratio.
The state in which a tyre and wheel assembly spins with all its weight distributed equally. A wheel balancer is used to place weights compensating for static and dynamic imbalances that exist in all assemblies. Not balancing an assembly can result in vibration
Tire Bead Graphic 
A round hoop of steel wires, wrapped or reinforced by steel cords, placed at the very inside of the tyre's diameter. 
Bias Ply Tyre
A pneumatic tyre manufactured such that the plies are laid at alternate angles less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread. These criss-cross plies give the tyre its strength, but generate heat during operation and limit the tyre's wear and performance.
Tire Carcass GraphicCarcass
The tyre body beneath the tread and sidewalls; also called the casing.
Contact Patch
The portion of the tread that contacts the road during operation.
The strands of material forming the plies or layers of tyre. Cords may be made from fiberglass, rayon, nylon, polyester or steel.
DOT Markings
Each tyre has a required Department of Transportation number imprinted on at least one of its sidewalls. That number begins with the letters "DOT" and may contain up to 12 additional numbers and letters. The first and last digits are the most important for the tyre owner. The first two letters/numbers identify the manufacturer of the tyres.
Prior to the year 2000, the last three digits of a DOT number represented the week (two digits) and the year (one digit) of production. For example, if the last three digits are 439, the tyre was produced in the 43rd week of 1999.
Tyres produced after January 1, 2000 have a four digit date code at the end of the DOT number. The first two digits represent the week of production and the last two digits represent the last two digits of the year of production. So, 3500 as the last four numbers indicates that the tyre was produced in the 35th week of the year 2000.
The portion of the tyre that makes contact with the surface of the road.
The resistance of one material (the tyre tread) as it moves against another (the road); this is the force that causes the tyre to grip to the road.
Gross Vehicle Weight
The actual weight of a vehicle when fully loaded with passengers and cargo.
Tire Grooves Graphic

The space between the adjacent tread ribs; also called tread groooves.
Heat Cycling
A method of "breaking in" competition tyres prior to initial use. Heat cycling gradually heats the tyre in a controlled environment to gently stretch the tread compound, resulting in better traction and longer tread life.
Highway Tyres
Also called summer tyres; designed for dry and occasional wet weather driving, but not for use on snow and ice.
A skimming effect caused by tyres losing contact with a surface covered by water.
The innermost layer of a tubeless tyre which prevents air from permeating through the tyre. This thin layer of material replaces the innertube.
Load Index
An assigned number ranging from 0 to 279 that corresponds to the load carrying capacity of the tyre.
Maximum Inflation Pressure
The maximum air pressure to which a cold tyre may be inflated; found molded onto the tyre's sidewall.
OE and OEM
OE means "Original Equipment" and refers to the tyres included with a new vehicle at the time of purchase. The vehicle's manufacturer selects these tyres to provide the optimal performance based on the performance characteristics of the vehicle. "OEM" stands for "Original Equipment Manufacturer."
Overall Diameter
The diameter of an inflated tyre without any load.
Overall Width
The distance between a tyre's outside sidewalls, including lettering and designs.
P Metric
Uniform designation of tyre sizes in metric measurements originally introduced by American tyre manufacturers in 1977. Commonly called "P-metric series." A typical P-metric tyre size is P205/55R16.
Plus size Graphic Plus-Sizing
An option allowing drivers to customize the appearance and performance of their vehicle by mounting lower profile tyres on larger diameter wheels. One-inch greater wheel diameter is referred to as plus-one, two inches is plus-two... and so on. Using a lower profile tyre with a greater diameter rim allows the overall diameter to remain about the same. 
A rubber-coated layer of fabric containing cords that run parallel to each other; extends from bead to bead and goes between the innerliner and belts of tread.
Ply Rating
This letter indicates the load carrying capacity of the tyre in terms of its construction. A "C" indicates the tyre has a 6-ply load carrying capacity. The tyre is not actually built with 6 plies, but contains one or two plies of equivalent strength. A "D" is an 8-ply rating, and an "E" is a 10-ply rating. If there is no letter, the tyre has a standard 4-ply rating.
Pounds per Square Inch. This is the standard unit of measurement for air pressure within tyres.
Radial Ply
Tyre construction where the cords in the body run at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread.
Tire Rim WidthRim Width
Distance between the two opposite inside edges of the rim flanges.
Rolling Resistance
The force required to keep a tyre moving at a constant speed. The lower the rolling resistance, the less energy needed to keep a tyre moving.
Moving tyres from side to side or front to rear on a vehicle in a prescribed pattern to achieve uniform wear on all tyres. Rotations should be performed regularly every 10,000 km.
Section Height
The height of a tyre measured from the rim to the outer tread.
Section Width
The distance between outside sidewalls, not including any lettering or design.
A numerical representation of a tyre’s aspect ratio. For example, 60 Series indicates the tyre’s section height is 60% of its section width (See Aspect Ratio).
Wobbling of wheels from side to side on a vehicle. Improperly balanced tyres, misalignment and bent wheels can cause shimmying.
The part of a tyre where the sidewall and tread meet. Certain tyre design features shoulder blocks for better traction.

Tire Sidewall Graphic

The part of the tyre between the tread and the bead.
An expression that defines a particular tyre in terms of its width, height, rim diameter, aspect ratio and construction type. 205/65R15 expresses tyre size using the metric system. For more detailed information, visit our page on reading the tyre size.
Speed Rating
The speed rating of a tyre is based on U.S. Government standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. Typically, a tyre with a higher speed rating results in better handling. Speed ratings are determined via laboratory tests that simulate road performance at various speeds. Tyres are assigned a single letter (such as H or V) to designate speed rating. 
The friction between a tyre and the road surface; the amount of grip provided.
The part of the tyre that comes into contact with the road. The tread type is distinguished by the design of its ribs and grooves.
Tread Depth
The distance measured in the major tread groove nearest the centerline of the tyre from the base of the groove to the top of the tread. According to law, most states legally consider a tyre to be worn out when it reaches a tread depth of 2/32".
Treadwear Indicator
Narrow bands, sometimes called "wear bars", that appear across the tread when 2/32" of tread remains.
Tread Width
The width of a tyre's tread.
Tyre Chart
A small label typically located on the edge of the driver's door or inside the glove compartment of a vehicle. A placard contains information on the vehicle such as the manufacturer's recommended tyre inflation pressure, seating capacity, and Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).
UTQG (Uniform Tyre Quality Grading)
A tyre information system that provides consumers with ratings for a tyre's traction (AA to C) and temperature (A to C). Treadwear is a numeric rating. Ratings are determined by tyre manufacturers using government-prescribed test procedures, and are molded into the tyre's sidewall. These ratings can only be compared within specific manufacturer's tyres and cannot be compared from one manufacturer to another. Our treadwear, traction and temperature page explains this rating system in much more detail.
A device mounted in the wheel that lets air in or out of the tyre. Valves include caps to keep out dirt and moisture and a valve to prevent air from escaping.
Size (Metric)
Metric Size Tire Graphic
Tyre Class - "P"
The first character(s) in a tyre size designate the tyre's class. In this example, "P" indicates that the tyre is a passenger car tyre. An "LT" before the tire size designates a light truck tyre, and no letter before the size indicates that it is a European metric tyre.
Section Width - "205"
A metric tyre's section width is measured in millimeters. This measurement is taken from sidewall to sidewall. In this example, the section width of the tyre is 205mm.
Aspect Ratio - "65"
This number refers to the height of the sidewall. It is a percentage of the section width. In this example, 65 percent of the section width of 205mm equals 133.25.
Tyre Construction - "R"
The "R" in this example indicates radial tyre construction.
 Wheel Diameter - "16"
This indicates the wheel diameter in inches.
Load Index & Speed Rating
Load Index / Speed Rating Tire Graphic
Load Index - "91"
The load index indicates the maximum amount of weight a tyre can safely carry. Load index ranges from 0 to 279 and corresponds with the load-carrying capacity of a tyre. Passenger car tyre load indices typically range from 75 to 105. It is very important to maintain the proper load index for your vehicle when replacing your tires. See our load index chart for more information. 
Speed Rating - "V" 
A tyre receives its speed rating from the U.S. Government by meeting minimum standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. In general, a higher speed rating will result in better vehicle handling. See our speed rating page for more information and a list of the various speed ratings.
U.S. DOT & Safety Standard Markings
DOT Markings Tire Graphic
The "DOT" marking indicates that the tyre meets or exceeds the U.S. Department of Transportation's safety standard for tyres. 
Manufacturer Plant Code - "CC" 
The first two letters following the DOT marking are codes to identify the manufacturer of the tyre and the manufacturing plant. 
Tyre Size - "9L" 
The third and fourth characters following the DOT marking are codes representing the tyre size. 
Brand Characteristics - "YYY” 
The final three or four letters are codes representing other significant characteristics of the tyre as determined by the manufacturer.
Manufacture Week - "11"
The first pair of digits identifies the week the tyre was manufactured. In this case, the tyre was manufactured in the 42th week. The number 01 would indicate the first week of January, whereas the number 52 would indicate the last week of December.
Manufacture Year - "05"
The second pair of digits identifies the year that the tyre was manufactured, in this case 2008.
Treadwear, Traction & Temperature
Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature Tire Graphic
Treadwear - "520" 
The treadwear rating is a measurement of the tyre's durability, but not the projected tread life. It is important to remember that road surfaces, driving habits, and other factors determine actual tread life. Each tyre manufacturer independently determines treadwear through their own tests. Treadwear is not based on any one industry or government standard. 
Traction - "A" 
The traction rating is a measurement of a tyre's ability to stop on a straight, wet surface under controlled conditions. It does not indicate the tyre's cornering ability on a wet surface or its traction on ice or snow. Traction grades include AA, A, B, and C, with AA being the highest grade available. 
Temperature - "A" 
The temperature rating is a measurement of a tyre's resistance to heat generation under normal operating conditions at recommended inflation pressures. Temperature grades range from A to C, with A being highest rated and therefore most resistant to heat generation.
Maximum Load Limit & Air Pressure
Max Load & Pressure Tire Graphic
Maximum Load Limit - "635 kg [1400 lbs]" 
This indicates the tyre's maximum load-carrying capabilities when the tyre is inflated to its maximum inflation pressure, as indicated on the sidewall. Max load is based on standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 
Maximum Air Pressure - "300 kPa [44 psi]" 
This indicates the maximum operating inflation pressure of the tyre. It does not indicate the manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure, nor does it indicate the proper air pressure based on the vehicle the tyre is mounted on. This category is also based on NHTSA standards.
Note - Some tyres are marked 'Extra Load', 'XL', or 'RF' (for reinforced). This simply denotes that the tyre's indicated maximum load and air pressure are higher than a standard load tyre.
Ply Construction
This indicates what materials are used in the tyre's plies, and the quantity of each type included.
Rotation Direction
Rotation Direction Tire Graphic
Some tyres indicate the direction of rotation on the sidewall, while others indicate a specific side of the tyre that is intended to face outward from the vehicle. Another type of tyre combines both indications. It is important that these tyres be mounted according to the indicated instructions.
Directional Tyres
Directional tyres feature arrows on the sidewall that indicate what direction the tyre should rotate when the vehicle is moving forward.
Asymmetrical Tyres
Asymmetrical tyres have the word "outside" labeled on the side of the tyre that should face outward from the vehicle.
Directional & Asymmetrical Tyres
Tyres that are both directional and asymmetrical will indicate what direction the tyre must rotate, as well as what side must face outward from the vehicle.
Replace Old Tyres Even if There is Tread Remaining
-       Vehicle Manufacturers Recommend Replacement at 6 Years
-       Tyre Manufacturers' Warranties Expire at 6 Years
-       Tyre Manufacturers Recommend Replacement at 10 Years
-       Industry Experts Recommend Replacement at 10 Years
Consumer Advisory: Factors to Consider in the Life of Your Tyres
The following elements each play an important part in your tyre's safety. Throughout the life of the tyres it is necessary to see how each of these plays a different role.
Up to 6 Years:
Visual tyre inspections and monthly air pressure checks are recommended.
o     Tyre Quality/Construction: Features and Benefits help to describe capabilities of tyres during this period.
o     Service Conditions/Maintenance: Rotate tyres every 6-8,000 miles, check air pressure monthly and check tyre balance every 12-16,000 miles. Tyre Manufacturers suggest most tires are out of service at 3-4 years based on wear.
o     Tyre Wear/Condition: Less than new tread changes traction and stability capabilities in extreme weather conditions (such as: snow, ice, rain, dirt/mud).
o     Environmental Conditions: Exposure to heat and ultraviolet rays may cause structural changes in the tyre not found in more moderate climates.
o     Tyre DOT Number*: Tyre age is not the major consideration during this portion of the tyre's life.
6 to 10 Years:
Replacement is recommended.
o     Tyre Quality/Construction: Are more valid concerns as some tyres are designed to be nearing the end of their service life based on average consumer travel of 12-15,000 miles annually.
o     Service Conditions/Maintenance: Tyres that have not been serviced or maintained properly are typically at the end of their service life.
o     Wear/Condition: Less tread reduces traction and stability in all weather conditions as well as propensity to punctures.
o     Environmental Conditions: Exposure to heat and ultraviolet rays causes ozone/weather cracking and structural changes.
o     Tyre DOT Number*: Now, one of the important considerations as some vehicle manufacturers recommend replacement and tyre manufacturer warranties expire.
More Than 10 Years:
No service on tyres with a DOT beyond 10 years.
o     Tyre Quality/Construction, Service Conditions/ Maintenance, Tyre Wear/Condition, Environmental Conditions: Regardless of all of these conditions, tyres reach the end of their life.
o     Tyre DOT Number*: Tyre age is the most important consideration during this portion of the tyre life as tyre manufacturers recommend replacement of any tyres regardless of service, including spares.
Department of Transportation Number is stamped on the sidewall of every tyre. The last group of digits indicates the week and year the tyre was built. 


Selecting the right tyre for your needs and budget is something you can accomplish by using the search modes and helpful information available on our web site.
Take a few minutes to read these helpful guidelines and take a look at the links, which will help you understand key information.
Determine When You Need Tyres
·      Tyres are considered to be worn out at 2/32 inch minimum tread depth.
·      In wet conditions 4/32 inch or less tread means a significant loss of wet traction due to shallower grooves and sipes.
·      Irregular wear necessitates early tyre replacement.
Determine How Many Tyres You Need
If you need one tyre (due to damage, a defect, irregular wear, etc.) it is recommended that you replace it with a tyre that has a similar brand, line, speed rating and load capacity to your three remaining tyres. 
If you need two tyres due to poor or irregular wear, replace the tyre with ones of similar or better quality.  
Replacing all four tyres is the best case scenario, as you are open to a wide range of options.
Determine the Tyre Size
Most people replace their old tyres with the same size that was on the vehicle. If this is your choice, there are various locations you can check to determine tyre size. You can check the sidewall of the tyre itself. You can also find this information in the owner's manual for your vehicle. Finally, you can check your vehicle's tyre chart. The chart is often located inside the glove box door, fuel door, doorpost, or door edge of your vehicle. If you know the tyre size you need, use our Search by Size option to see what we have available.
Changing tyre size can often improve the ride and performance of a vehicle through the following methods:
-      By selecting a tyre of the next lower profile, you can significantly improve the ride quality and handling of your vehicle. On small cars, a good example is to replace the original equipment 155/80R13 size with 175/70R13. The tread is almost an inch wider and the tyre has a proportionately lower sidewall (however the tyre's height remains the same). Both of these features improve handling and stability.
-       Plus Sizing has become very popular. In this application, the plus size tyre is the same height as the original but its sidewalls are shorter. This change delivers improvement in tyre response and handling.
-       Upsizing, or selecting a larger tyre, is a common option, especially for SUV and truck owners. Taller, wider tyres improve performance as well as ride quality. On trucks, larger tyres can improve traction, load carrying capacity and appearance. Because cars and trucks are equipped with computerized systems (ABS for example) that use feedback from tyre rotation, use these guidelines to select a larger tyre:
o      Make sure the tyre has load carrying capacity equal to or greater than what the vehicle placard suggests
o      Verify that the rim width range is appropriate for the tyre to be installed.
o      Confirm that the tyre-to-vehicle clearance, lock-to-lock steering and suspension clearance.
Buy the Best Quality You Can Afford
The old adage, "you get what you pay for", may have been invented for tyre buying. A good exercise would be to calculate the total price for your tyre purchase and divide that by the miles of service to get the cost per mile. You'll quickly see that the better tyres are the better value. When you have mileage guarantees to compare, this calculation is very easy, but there is another way. When you are comparing tyres within a particular brand, use the Uniform Tyre Quality Grading (“UTQG”) ratings (treadwear grade) to calculate value. Divide the tread wear rating by the price. The highest number should be your pick if you want the best value according to treadwear grade. This system won't help you compare between brands, however, because there is no standardization for wear scoring. Traction and temperature ratings are standardized, however, and are useful for making comparisons between brands.
Note : We are still in the process of compiling the UTQS for all tyres
Consider Performance and Speed Ratings
Most people are aware of speed ratings. Simply put, you need to buy a tyre with the appropriate speed rating for your vehicle. In Europe, the law mandates that the original equipment tyre must be replaced with a tyre possessing the same or higher speed rating.
However, you can buy a lower (and less expensive) speed rated tyre of the same size. If you do this, be aware that you are limiting your vehicle's performance in terms of handling and speed capacity. Generally speaking, a tyre's handling response corresponds with its speed rating. Look at it this way: you'll lose that crisp handling the manufacturer designed into the vehicle and you will not be able to safely achieve the speeds the vehicle was designed for if you use a lower speed rated tyre than the original design. Conversely, you can improve your vehicle's handling with a higher speed rated tyre. 
Section Width
The linear distance between the outside of the sidewalls of an inflated tyre without any load on it (this does not include any sidewall decorations). In this image, the tyre is having a width of 225mm.
Aspect Ratio
This is also known as the Section Height. This is figured as a percentage of the section width. A tyre size of 225/45R17 would have a section width of 225mm and a section height of 45% of 225mm.
The inner diameter of the tyre. In this image, the tyre is having a diameter of 17 inches.


Plus Sizing Wheels GraphicPlus sizing is one of the easiest way to achieve enhanced performance and improve the appearance. In this example, a 17x7 wheel with a 205/65R15  is considered the Original Equipment size.
Converting to a plus one size would mean increasing the wheel diameter by one inch (16x7.5) and selecting an appropriate tyre to fit a 225/55R16. Likewise, moving to a plus two fitment would result in a 17x8 wheel and a 245/45R17 tyre. It is important to note that although the wheel diameter is increasing, the overall diameter of the tyre remains relatively consistent to ensure that your speedometer is accurate.
Two things happen to the tyre to increase performance when moving into plus sizes. First, the tyre becomes wider due to an increase in section width. This provides a larger footprint and more contact with the driving surface. Second, the aspect ratio is lower, resulting in a shorter sidewall. The combination of these changes offers better lateral stability and increased steering response.
We love to use this website [tire-size-conversion.com/tire-size-calculator/] to find out more information on tyre upsizing


The load indicator refers to the load-carrying capacity of a tyre, or how much weight a tyre can support. For example, if a tyre has a load indicator of 89, it can support 1,279 pounds (from below chart) at maximum air pressure.  

Load Indicator (Symbol and maximum load in Lbs & Kg)
The US Government has established the UTQG, the Uniform Tyre Quality Grading, to assist consumers in their purchase of tires. Basically it's another tool to be used besides the opinions you gather from trusted friends, mechanics and whatever other sources you may have at your disposal. The key to using this system is to understand that it is a relative comparison system. The UTQG is not a safety rating and not a guarantee that a tyre will last for a prescribed number of miles. Under UTQG, manufacturers use three criteria to grade tires: treadwear, traction and temperature. The information is right where you need it when buying the tire:
o   On the paper label affixed to the tread
o   On the tyre molded into the sidewall
Treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear of a tyre when tested carefully under controlled conditions. For example the useful tread on a tyre graded 400 should last twice as long as a tyre graded 200. However, another tyre manufacturer may grade a comparable design 300, so a grade of 150 would last just half as long under their grading scheme. The lesson learned is to not use one manufacturer's grade versus the other, but instead to compare tyre grades within a given brand. Actual treadwear performance can vary tremendously according to the tire's real-world use. Variations in driving habits, service practices (most importantly air pressure maintenance), road conditions and climate affect tyre life.
Traction grades represent the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on asphalt and concrete test surfaces. As of 1997, the traction grades from highest to lowest are "AA","A","B" and "C". A tyre graded "AA" may have relatively better traction performance than a tyre graded lower, based on straight-ahead braking tests. The grades do not take into consideration the cornering or turning performance of a tire.
Temperature grades represent a tire's resistance to heat and its ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled laboratory test conditions. The grades from highest to lowest are "A","B" and "C". The grade "C" corresponds to the minimum performance required by federal safety standard. Therefore, the "A" tyre is the coolest running, and even though the "C" tyre runs hotter it does not mean it is unsafe. The temperature grade is established for a tyre that is properly inflated and not overloaded. 

When cleaning your tyres, use a soft brush and be careful around the edges of your wheels. You can use special cleaners, but typically the mild detergent you are washing your car with works well when you use a brush. After washing your tyres, dry them and apply a tyre dressing. This will enhance the beauty of your entire car and will help prevent the exposed sidewall rubber from cracking or checking. Following these simple steps will enhance the beauty of your car and will help your tyres look great for years to come. 

A wide range of tyre choices is available for every vehicle. Understanding the types of tyres will help you make the right choice. Tyre types can be grouped by their application: Cars and Minivans, 4x4 and SUV.

Touring tyres
Touring tyres are among the most cost-effective tyre types available. Passenger tyres commonly include the following features and options:
o   Higher profiles (80, 75, 70, or 65 series) for smoother ride and longer wear
o   Lower speed ratings (Q, S, and T) with a harder, longer wearing compound
o   All-season tread designs for year round wet, dry and snow traction
o   Tread patterns that emphasize high ride comfort and low noise
o   White or black sidewall finish
o   Tread wear guarantees ranging from 30,000 to 85,000 miles or more
Premium Touring tyres
Premium Touring tyres feature enhanced performance blended with excellent ride quality. Touring tyres commonly include the following features and options:
o   Slightly lower profile (from 70 to 55 series) and wider tread than an equivalent passenger tyre for improved handling and stability "at speed"
o   The widest range of speed ratings (S, T, U, H and V), of any tyre
o   Numerous wear, handling, and ride quality tradeoffs
o   Tread patterns that emphasize performance blended with ride comfort and low noise
o   Optional tread wear guarantees, which diminish as speed ratings increase
High Performance tyres
High Performance tyres are specialty tyres that customers choose to enhance the look and low speed traction of their vehicles. High Performance tyres commonly include the following features and options:
o   A very wide range of profiles and tread widths to select a special look
o   Lower speed ratings (S and T) that help keep these tyres very affordable
o   All-season tread designs with year round wet, dry and snow traction
o   Tread patterns that emphasize low speed traction and handling
o   Raised white lettering or black lettering (on either sidewall) to provide styling choices
o   Tread wear guarantees ranging from 40,000 to 50,000 miles
Max Performance tyres
Max Performance tyre design extends high speed handling and stability. Max Performance tyres commonly include the following features and options:
o   Lower profiles (as low as 40 series) and larger diameter wheel sizes (up to 17 inches) which stiffen sidewalls for improved cornering response, lower rolling resistance and increased tread stability
o   H (130 mph) and V (149 mph) speed ratings, which offer control "at speed" for high performance cars
o   All-season designs (Although dry designs deliver superior cornering response and high-speed stability in wet and dry conditions.)
o   Tread designs with an emphasis on maximum contact patch
o   Softer tread compounds for better traction
o   Lower UTQG ratings and shorter treadlife
o   Sophisticated belt and cap ply packages that help maintain a maximum contact patch and optimum tyre shape at high speeds
o   Numerous bead and sidewall enhancements that stiffen the casing for better cornering response and high speed stability
Ultra High Performance tyres
Ultra High Performance tyres take material and tyre design technology to the limit. These are the tyres for today's most sophisticated sports cars and sedans. Ultra high performance tyres commonly include the following features and options:
o   The lowest profiles attainable by design and material technology, as low as 25 series, that deliver the greatest control and response at speed (Tyre diameters up to 22 inches and cross-section widths up to 345 mm are available.)
o   W (168 mph), Y (186 mph) or Z (over 149 mph) speed ratings, for the ultimate in high-speed control
o   Asymmetric and directional tread designs that maximize dry contact patch and wet control (All-season designs compromise extreme performance for year round usability.)
o   "Sticky" tread compounds that trade off treadlife for performance (The UTQG tread wear ratings for ultra-high performance tyres are the lowest of any tyre designed for everyday street use.)
o   Design innovations and exotic lightweight materials to enhance handling and high-speed control
o   Designs that deliver a smoother, quieter ride (A vehicle with an ultra-high performance suspension is required to receive the full benefit.)
All Terrain tyres
All Terrain tyres are a step up in off-road traction from the AP designs. This is arguably the most popular truck tyre category. Most users are willing to accept the highway ride tradeoff in order to get the additional traction. All Terrain tyres commonly include the following features and options:
o   Tread design with larger blocks and greater void (area where there is no tread) for better clean out of mud and snow
o   A wide selection of sizes for pick-ups and SUVs of all types and load-carrying capacities
o   Ply ratings that range from four-ply to eight-ply for many sizes, with extreme ten-ply or twelve-ply ratings available in special sizes
o   Mud and Snow rating
o   Designs that wear longer and ride more quietly over the road
Mud Terrain tyres
Mud Terrain designs represents the extreme in traction tyres that are still acceptable for highway use. The emphasis is on off-road traction for those whose hobby or business requires the ultimate grip in mud, sand, rocks, or any possible off-road condition. Mud Terrain tyres commonly include the following features and options:
o   Tread designs that feature the largest possible block sizes and high void ratios for grip and durability under harsh off-road conditions
o   Sizes that range up to the very tallest and widest available for increased flotation and axle clearance
o   Ply ratings that range up to eight-ply (Extra sidewall and tread reinforcement plies are often added to protect against puncture.)
o   Tread compounds with silica added to stiffen the blocks for improved durability and wear
o   Refinements in noise reduction and highway control to make the tyres more highway friendly
The Benefits of Correct Air Pressure
With the right amount of air pressure, your tires wear longer, save fuel, enhance handling and prevent accidents. Failure to maintain the correct air pressure can result in poor fuel consumption, reduce tyre life, affect vehicle handling and cause vehicle overloading. If you consider these factors, then the need to routinely check your tire pressure is even clearer.
Check Air Pressure Routinely
Because tires do so much without appearing to need attention, it's easy to forget about them. However, tires do lose pressure each day, through the process of permeation. In cool weather, a tyre will typically lose one or two pounds of air per month. In warm weather, it's common for tires to lose air at an even higher rate. Tires are also often subjected to flexing and impacts that can diminish air pressure as well. So it's important to realize that refilling your tires is as important as refilling your gas tank. In fact, associating the need to refill your tires with the need for refilling your fuel supply can also be a useful reminder. Check the air pressure in your tires every other time you stop to fill up at the gas station. That interval will allow you to check your tyre pressure consistently enough to maintain recommended air pressure. Another good time to check air pressure is when the tires are rotated. Many vehicles have different tyre pressures on the front and rear axle, so remember to have this adjustment made. Also remember to have the pressure in your spare tyre checked. The space-saver type spare requires a much higher air pressure level than other tires, and is virtually useless (due to overloading) at lower air pressure levels.
Where To Find Air Pressure Information
The correct air pressure may be found in the vehicle owner's manual or on the tyre chart (attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove box door or fuel door). The placard tells you the maximum vehicle load, the cold tyre pressures and the tyre size recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Other Factors Change Air Pressure
In addition to routine air checks, other circumstances necessitate a visit to the air pump. Seasonal changes or altitude changes create a rise or drop in air pressure (for every 10 degrees change in temperature, tyre air pressure changes 1 psi). Perhaps the most overlooked factor is vehicle loading for trucks and SUVs. Since these vehicles can be configured and loaded in many ways, actual tyre loads should be used to determine the proper inflation pressure. This is best determined by weighing the vehicle. Keep in mind that vehicle loading can change from trip to trip.
Sometimes a small nail, screw or other object will puncture a tyre and then act as an inefficient plug. Air pressure drops slowly over a matter of hours or days, undetected by the driver. Your best defense in this circumstance is to be alert to the symptoms of this. Be aware of any pulling or vibration that seems unnatural. Listen for any ticking sounds, which will be especially audible at slow, parking lot speeds. If you detect this, get off the road and inspect the tires on the side of your vehicle where the pull, vibration or unusual sound is occurring. A bulging sidewall and/or excessively hot tyre indicates a slow leak. Put on your spare tyre and have your tyre dealer repair the punctured unit. Ask the repair technician if any sidewall damage has occurred (a powdery residue inside the tyre indicates this condition). If sidewall damage has occurred, you will need to have the tyre replaced.
How To Check Air Pressure
Properly checking tyre pressure requires an accurate air gauge. Many people believe that they can check air pressure just by looking at the tyre and judging the sidewall appearance. Also, many people use air meters at service stations, which can be grossly inaccurate due to exposure or abuse. Invest in a quality air gauge. For trucks and SUVs, use a dual-head inflation gauge that is calibrated up to 120 psi at 2 psi increments.
When checking your vehicle's tyre pressure, make sure the tires are "cold". Cold air pressure means that the vehicle has not yet been driven one mile. Remember that driving on a tyre increases its temperature and air pressure. If you must drive more than one mile for air, check and record the air pressure in all your tires before you leave. Once at the tyre dealer, measure each tire's inflation again and then note the difference. Inflate the tires with low pressure to a level that is equal to the recommended cold pressure plus the difference at the higher temperature.
Air Pressure IllustrationIn this example, add 3 psi in the right rear tyre to match the other rear tire's warm reading. When the tyre returns to cold pressure, it should end up at the recommended pressure.
Finally, after completing the pressure check, make sure that the valves and extensions are equipped with valve caps to keep out dirt and moisture. Remember to replace the valve assembly when you replace the tire. It's your best assurance against a sudden or consistent loss of air pressure.
Environmental Impact
How can routine air pressure maintenance impact our environment? Consider that fewer tires per year would end up in the landfills and scrap heaps that trouble our ecology. How many tires are we talking about? We estimate that most drivers lose from 10% to as much as 50% of tyre tread life due to under inflation. That's a significant statistic. Now consider the extra fuel we burn to push cars along on soft, underinflated tires. Tires do require extra energy to roll if they are underinflated. While the statistics vary widely and can be somewhat inconclusive, the implications are staggering. Maintaining tyre pressure may seem like a low priority in our busy daily routines, but it adds up to big environmental consequences. We must all take action to do the right thing. 
Alignment is one of the key maintenance factors in getting the most wear and performance from your tires. In addition, wheel alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a smooth and comfortable ride that's free of pulling or vibration. Today's modern suspensions require a precise four-wheel alignment that can only be achieved through a modern alignment system. This applies to both front and rear wheel drive vehicles.
Alignment Basics
Aligning a car or truck involves the adjustment of the vehicle's suspension, not the tires and wheels. The direction and the angles that the tires point in after the alignment is complete, however, are critically important. There are four factors involved in setting the alignment to specification: caster, camber, toe and ride height. The following brief discussion of each aspect will help you understand the process and spot potential problems.
CasterPositife and Negative Caster Graphic
Caster is the angle of the steering axis (the part of the suspension that supports the wheel and tyre assembly). Viewed from the side of the vehicle, an imaginary line drawn between the centers of the upper and lower ball joints forms an angle with true vertical; this is defined as caster. The illustration to the right shows whether this angle is referred to as positive or negative. Caster is important to steering feel and high-speed stability.
Positive and Negative Camber Graphic
Viewed from the front of the vehicle, camber describes the inward or outward tilt of the tire. The illustration to the right shows whether this tilt is referred to as positive or negative. The camber adjustment maximizes the tire-to-road contact and takes into account the changes of force when a vehicle is turning. Camber is the one adjustment that can be set according to driving habits. Generally, if you drive more aggressively when cornering, more negative camber can be set. If you drive on highways and do very little hard cornering, more positive camber can be set.
ToeToe in and toe out example
Viewed from above the vehicle, toe describes whether the fronts of the tires are closer (toe-in) or farther (toe-out) apart than the rears of the tires. The illustration below shows this relationship. Toe settings vary between front and rear wheel drive vehicles. In a front wheel drive vehicle, the front wheels try to pull toward each other when the vehicle is in motion, which requires a compensating toe-out setting. A rear wheel drive vehicle works just the opposite, necessitating a toe-in setting. Stated differently, toe is set to let the tires roll in parallel (at zero toe) when the vehicle is in motion. 
Ride Height IllustrationRide Height
Ride height is simply the distance between the vehicle's frame and the road. This is the reference point for all alignment measurements. Vehicle customizing will often include raising or lowering the vehicle. Don't forget to have your vehicle aligned afterward. Also, this rule applies if you put a taller or shorter tyre on your vehicle.
Misalignment and Tyre Wear
By now you may have concluded that poor tyre wear and misalignment are closely related. That is true, of course. But what can be done to minimize this condition? It turns out that many of these misalignment conditions can be easily "read" by your tyre dealer; and they can recommend the appropriate solution, which will be "get an alignment." For your assistance, the following troubleshooting guide will help you see what your tyre expert sees. Armed with this knowledge you can check your tires periodically. Remember that a knowledgeable glance at your tires on occasion can pay big dividends.
Misalignment Condition
Tire Wear Symptom
Incorrect Camber Setting
Premature smooth wear on either inside or outside shoulder
Incorrect Toe Setting
Feathered wear across tread, raised tread block edges
Incorrect Caster Setting
Excessive shoulder wear, tread blocks show "heel-toe" wear pattern
Unequal Caster setting (either right or left side is out of specification)
Sharp pulling necessitates steering compensation and feathered wear
Unequal Toe setting (either right or left side is out of specification)
Sharp pulling necessitates steering compensation and feathered wear
Combination of two or more settings are out of specification
Irregular tread wear with feathering and smooth spots
This is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of all the possibilities. However, if you learn to spot these symptoms early, you can get a lot more wear from your tires. Remember that tires take the brunt of many problems. Simply replacing the old ones is not a solution. Shortly after replacing your old tires, your new tires will begin to reflect the same problems if you have not made the appropriate alignment changes.
Worn Parts
Very often a worn suspension part is the cause of an alignment problem. On older vehicles, worn springs can lower a vehicle's ride height, altering its geometry and creating misalignment (all alignment settings refer to ride height). Weak springs can also contribute to uneven or "cupped" tyre wear. Another common problem is worn ball joints. The symptoms here are erratic handling, slow steering response, and irregular tyre wear. Finally, worn tie rods can allow the tyre to wander left to right, effectively changing toe as the vehicle rolls down the road. Irregular feathering will develop on the tyre tread when this is the problem. Again, this is not an exhaustive listing, but if you stay alert to these common problems, it may help you schedule an early visit to your mechanic and save on tyre wear. 
Maintaining the tyre balance on your vehicle is critical to receiving satisfactory service from your tire. In addition to providing a smooth ride, balancing is a key component in tyre wear. The focus of this article is to help you understand the balancing process and to know why it is important to keep your tires balanced throughout their tread life.
For those of you who think that tyre balancing isn't that important, consider some industry trends that may help you rethink the issue. Perhaps the most compelling argument for precision balancing comes from an obvious fact: vehicles are being made lighter and lighter. The heavier cars of yesterday actually helped smooth out the ride by dampening many vibrations before the driver could feel them. The softer suspensions also had the same effect. Another factor is tyre technology. Generally, more responsive tires with lower profiles (which send more road feedback to the driver) are being used in today's style- and performance-oriented market. As a result, the slightest imbalance (as little as half an ounce) can be felt in most modern vehicles. This is significantly less than the average of ten years ago. For those of you who have plus-sized your tires and wheels, balancing is even more critical.
The Balancing Act
Perhaps the best way to begin is to discuss the lack of balance. When a tyre is mounted onto the wheel, two slightly imperfect units are joined to form an assembly weighing forty pounds (this is the average for cars). The chance of this assembly having absolutely precise weight distribution about its radial and lateral centers is virtually impossible. Remember that all it takes is half an ounce of uneven weight distribution for a vibration to be felt. The illustration below shows how an imbalance creates vibration.

Static Imbalance<- Static Imbalance:
Occurs when there is a heavy or light spot in the tyre that prevents the tyre from rolling evenly and causing the tyre and wheel to undergo an up-and-down motion.
<- Dynamic Imbalance: 
Occurs when there is unequal weight on one or both sides of the tire/wheel assembly's lateral centerline, thus creating a side-to-side wobble or wheel shimmy.
The static imbalance creates a hop or vertical vibration. The dynamic imbalance creates a side-to-side or wobbling vibration. Most assemblies have both types of imbalance, and require dynamic balancing (commonly referred to as spin balancing) to create even weight distribution. The balancing system directs a technician to place counter weights on the rim's outer surface to offset the imbalance. When the balancing system tests for virtually perfect weight distribution, the assembly is in balance and will not vibrate. Your tires will ride smoothly and wear evenly with regard to balance.
Keeping Your Tires Balanced
For the sake of example, assume you have driven your tires 5,000 km since their purchase and it's time to rotate. Over the miles, turning left and right, hitting bumps and holes you could not see or avoid, and driving down uneven road surfaces have led to uneven tread wear on your tires. Perhaps a pothole has knocked-out your vehicle's alignment (this creates uneven tyre wear). Well, besides rotating the tires and getting an alignment to set things right, you should also rebalance the tires. Even if you can't feel vibrations, they are present. The uneven tread wear has created an imbalance that generates excessive heat and wear on your tires. Considering the hundreds of dollars you spent on your tires, a rebalance is a wise expenditure.
Other Sources of Vibration
Very often the wheel/tire assemblies on a vehicle may be in balance but you can still feel a vibration. Here are some of the other causes of vibration:
·      Bent wheel
·      Tyre out of round (radial or lateral runout)
·      Wheel-to-axle mounting error
·      Inconsistent tyre sidewall stiffness (force variation)
·      Brake component wear or failure
·      Drive train or engine component wear or failure
·      Suspension wear or failure
·      Wheel bearing wear or failure
·      Wheel alignment is out

Rotating your tyres periodically is an essential part of tyre maintenance. The main purpose of regularly rotating tires is to achieve more uniform wear for all tires on the vehicle. If no rotation period or pattern is to be found in your owner's documentation, rotate your tires at least every 10,000 km and follow one of the patterns suggested below.

Tire Rotation Illustration

However, rotate your tires earlier if irregular or uneven wear develops, and check with a qualified tyre dealer or alignment shop to determine the cause of the wear problem. Remember that a hard impact such as hitting a pothole can cause misalignment, which then causes uneven tyre wear.
Don't include your temporary spare in any tyre rotation; it's for emergency use only. But do take the opportunity at this time to check the air in the spare (remember this unit typically requires a much higher air pressure than the other tires and may fail to serve its purpose if it isn't up to pressure). If you do have a full size spare and wish to include it in the rotation, use one of the patterns shown and insert the spare in the right rear position. Place the tyre that would have gone on the right rear in the trunk as the new spare.
Remember that certain tires cannot be rotated in the patterns described. These include tires with asymmetric or uni-directional tread designs. Also, some vehicles are equipped with different size tires on the front and rear axles. Check the owner's manual for the proper rotation in these cases.
Finally, check the inflation pressures and have them adjusted for the tire's new positions. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires may result in poor handling, uneven treadwear or poor fuel consumption. Also check that the lugnuts have been properly installed and torqued. 
Keeping that tyre rolling
Considering how important tyres are for a smooth and safe drive, it is surprising just how quick and it is easy to care for your tyres. By following tyre care tips, and conducting simple regular checks, you will not just save time and money, but more importantly, stay safe on the road.
Do Daily Visual Check
Check that all tyres have about the same inflation pressure.
Check the sidewalls for cracks or unusual bulges.
Check for and remove any foreign objects (e.g. stones or nails) that could puncture you tyre.
Do Monthly Tyre Pressure Check
Use a proper tyre gauge to measure tyre pressure.
Check pressure and inflate only when the tyres are cold
It takes as long as 4 hours for a tyre to cool down so it's best to check tyre pressure first thing in the morning.
The tyre pressure chart can usually be found on the driver's door frame.
Don't forget to also inflate your spare tyre.
Check for Irregular Wear
This is when one section of the tyre is more worn than the rest and occurs when:
·      tyres are not uniformly inflated.
·      tyres are not balanced.
·      wheels are out of alignment.

Rotate Tyres Every 5,000km
Visit a reputable tyre shop or garage for tyre rotation.
Check your owner's handbook for rotating sequence.
Have your tyres balanced at the same time.
Check the Tread Depth Indicator
All tyres come with a tread depth indicator
When the indicator is flushed with the rest of the tread (usually about 1.6mm), it is time to change the tyre.
Check the Wheel Alignment
Misaligned wheels cause tyres to wear more quickly and irregularly. It prevents the vehicle from running or braking in a straight line. The suspension and steering components will also be subjected to extra stress.
It is a good idea to have your wheels aligned by a computerised alignment machine. A reputable workshop should have the wheel alignment specifications of your vehicle model.
Tyre Safety means Your Safety
Tyres do not just carry cars, they carry lives.
The speed symbol is made up of a single letter or an A with one number. It indicates the maximum speed at which the tyre can carry a load corresponding to its Load Index. Below is a list of speed ratings along with the corresponding speeds they represent. Remember, the speeds are test speeds, not recommended speeds. 


To the casual observer all tyres look the same. But if you look carefully, you'll find modern tyre construction offers a degree of handling, ride comfort, traction, treadwear and fuel economy that far exceeds tyres built just a few years ago.

Today, there are tyre designs that contain up to 200 raw materials as well as a complex architecture of steel belts, textile plies and computer designed tread patterns. Tyre manufacturers strive to deliver the most competitive designs in terms of performance and wear.
Diagram of a tire  
In 1946, the tyre industry was revolutionized by the introduction of the radial tyre. A cross section of the radial design is shown here. Today, virtually all tyres sold are radials due to their benefits of superior handling, ride quality and wear.
The benefits of radial construction are attributed to the design of the tyre's casing - the part of the tyre underneath the tread that forms the foundation of the tyre. The casing is made up of a series of cords (most typically polyester) which are combined to form layers or plies. In a radial tyre, these plies are positioned so the cords run alongside each other in a series of circular bands across the tread of the tyre. Radial construction allows the tyre to better flex and absorb the irregularities of the road surface. The radial design also produces much less friction resulting in much longer tread life.
The top layer of the radial casing usually consists of steel belts made up of woven strands of steel cord. Steel belts provide a stable foundation for better tread wear and traction, and also protect the casing against impacts and punctures. Other components may include bead chaffers and cap plies - usually built into performance tyres to enhance cornering and stability at high speeds.
The outermost part of the tyre, the tread, usually attracts the most attention. The material used is referred to as tread compound, which varies from one tyre design to the next. A winter tyre, for example, has a compound that provides maximum traction in cold weather. Competition tyres, at the other extreme, use a compound designed for very high temperature ranges. The great majority of tyres are built with an all season compound that delivers traction in the broad middle range of every day driving conditions. In addition, this compound must deliver good wear; this dual goal of traction and wear remains one of the most challenging design parameters for tyre manufacturers.
While tread designs vary tremendously, the elements of the tread are consistent in their use. The tread block provides traction at its leading and trailing edge. Within the block, sipes are often molded or cut to provide additional traction. Grooves are built into tread designs for channeling away water. Shoulder designs provide protection as well as additional traction during hard cornering.