If you’ve ever taken your vehicle maintenance into your hands, you’ll likely need to know how to choose the right tyres for your vehicle.
This can be intimidating to some people, but don’t let that stop you! The first thing to keep in mind when you are looking for the right tyres for your vehicle is to find the right tyre size.
This involves a few key steps. Keep this in mind as you go about making your tyre purchase, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect set of wheels for your vehicle.
How to Find the Right Tyre Size
1. If you have access to your vehicle manual, check this for tyre information.
Every vehicle has a manual that includes important information about vehicle manufacturing, maintenance, and troubleshooting. This manual also includes information on the exact size of tyre required for your vehicle, in addition to information on tyre pressure, rotation, and balancing.
Inspect your manual for all information on your vehicle’s tyres. The tyre size and type will be listed in a format that looks like this sample description: 215/60R15.
This is a tricky step if you do not have access to your vehicle manual for some reason, or purchased your car privately without receiving a manual. You may also be able to find your vehicle manual online at the manufacturer’s website or via tyre registration searches.
2. Understand the format of the tyre size description.
It can be difficult to understand what a tyre size description actually means when you locate it in your manual or online via a tyre registration search. It’s important to understand all of the components of this description in order to make your tyre purchase.
Let’s take the sample description listed in the first step as an example: 215/60R15.
In this description, 215 is the tyre’s width. This is in millimetres. The next number, 60, stands for the tyre’s profile. The tyre’s profile is its aspect ratio, which means the ratio of the tyre’s sidewall depth to the tyre’s width. A lower profile tyre is often found at vehicles that operate at high performance, although these can make your car ride experience rougher.
The R in this tyre description indicates a radial construction. This style of construction gives the tyre added strength. Almost all vehicles rely on tyres constructed radially.
The 15 signifies the diameter of the wheel. This is the diameter of the wheel frame the wheel will be able to fit.
Most tyre shops will be able to provide or source the right size tyres for your vehicle. Only on rare occasions do customers have to custom order or special request a certain tyre size.
3. Make sure you are familiar with tyre law.
Most people don’t realise that the size, pressure, tread, and condition of their tyres have to comply with U.K. law. No matter where you end up purchasing your set of wheels, it’s important to make note of how they comply with U.K. tyre law.
U.K. drivers are required to adhere to the following stipulations when it comes to vehicle tyres:
- The depth of your tyre’s tread must be a minimum of 1.6 millimetres. If your tyres are worn beyond this number, you may face a large fine. This is because lower tyre tread means slower stopping ability and compromised driver safety.
- The tyre must adhere to the manufacturer’s listed standards of pressure.
- Tyres on the same axle have to be of the same construction. i.e, you will want to have two radial construction tyres on the same axle.
- The tyre has to be in a condition that is safe for performance and ‘roadworthy.’ This means that the tyre itself cannot be damaged, punctured, or otherwise hindered from maximum performance.
- Tyres on the same axle have to be the same profile, height, and construction.
You are not required to have a spare tyre for your vehicle. Tyre owners should have their tyres inspected at least once a year to make sure they comply with tyre law.
4. Identify your vehicle’s ideal tyre pressure.
Every vehicle tyre must be kept at a certain pressure as recommended by the manufacturer. You can find this information in your vehicle user’s manual, sometimes on the inside of the driver’s door, or on a fuel filler.
When you have your tyres fitted to your vehicle, request that they are filled to ideal pressure beforehand. If you ever need to adjust tyre pressure, you can do so on your own or at any tyre service shop.
Keep in mind that tyre pressure often fluctuates depending on the weather or season. Be comfortable with getting assistance in adjusting your tyre pressure or in doing so on your own.
5. Take extra steps if purchasing a set of tyres privately.
If you are considering purchasing a set of tyres for your vehicle from a second seller or friend, there are some things to keep in mind before doing so.
Make sure you have the tyre description and size at hand when you investigate a set of tires. Also, have a solid understanding of U.K. tyre law and its stipulations. When you investigate the tyres, inspect the age of the tyre, any repairs that have been made, punctures or other damage, the tread depth, and the tyre’s inside.
Finding the Right Tyre Size
Finding the right tyres for your vehicle begins with identifying the correct size of your tyres. Finding the right tyre size involves a simple inspection of your vehicle’s manual or tyre registration. Once you’ve understood the tyre code, you’ll be able to shop for your tyre set, know when tyres are in good condition, and understand the basics of U.K. tyre law.
At Silverlake, we are committed to meeting all of your tyre needs, no matter your vehicle. You can confidently buy used and new tyres from us and have them fitted when you visit us, all in one go.
Call us with any initial questions, or stop by a location near you at your convenience to get started on your set of ideal wheels.