What Tyres Fit My Car?

From purchasing new tyres for your car to finding yourself with an unfortunate puncture. There could be a few moments when you’ll need to head to the garage to get your new tyres fitted to the wheels.

Although fitting tyres at home is technically possible, it’s easier to have a professional take care of them. It’s recommended that you go to a garage where the technicians will be experts at fitting tyres. Otherwise an incorrectly fitted tyre could potentially lead to damage and driving difficulties.

Here we take a look at the tyre fitting process at the garage, so you can better understand the key steps behind how to change a tyre.

Tyre Selection Guide

Look at the inside of the driver side door jamb – this is the same as you find tyre pressure on. It is common among people to know their tyre’s size by looking at the tyre markings. However, if you’ve a second hand car, then there’s no guarantee that the previous owner has fitted the correct tyres or not. Another way is to check your car’s manual. So make sure you don’t lose it!

Tire size numbers

This measures the width of the tire in millimeters from one sidewall to the other. It determines the amount of tire surface in contact with the road. A wider tire means more contact and, therefore, better grip – especially useful in sporty cars or on wet roads. Keep in mind, though, that wider tires can lead to more road noise and higher fuel consumption due to increased resistance.

Aspect Ratio

This number shows the height of the tire sidewall as a percentage of the tire width. In our example, the sidewall height would be 45% of 225 mm. A lower aspect ratio (like 45) means the tire’s sidewalls are relatively short, leading to better cornering and handling, a characteristic appreciated in sports cars. A higher aspect ratio (like 70 or 80) means the tire’s sidewalls are relatively tall, offering more cushioning and comfort, typical in SUVs and trucks.

Type of Tire

So far, we’ve talked about the numbers, but there’s more you need to know about the type of vehicle. The tyre types may vary based on the radius and car including sedans, minivans, SUVs, and light-duty pickup trucks. Light truck tires are designed for vehicles capable of carrying heavy cargo or towing large trailers.

Knowing the type of tire you need is crucial because it directly impacts the load index and speed your tires can handle safely.

Steps of Tyre Fitment to Your Car

Step 1: Removing the tyres

Once at the garage, the technician can get started with fitting the tyres. To begin, they’ll raise the car using a hydraulic lift, so all four of the wheels are off the ground.

Step 2: Taking off the wheel nuts

Unscrew the wheel nuts or lug nuts which are just below the hub cap. These are normally round or hexagonal, and can be loosened by applying pressure and pushing counter clockwise.

Step 3: Swapping out the tyres

After releasing inflation pressure by unscrewing and removing the valve insert, the old tyres can be taken off the wheel rim. The technician will likely use a professional tool called a tyre spreader for this to do it without causing damage.

Step 4: Fitting new tyres

Now that the old tyres are off, the technician will check the state of the rim and inspect whether rust and/or wear and tear are damaging it. Once the controls are made, a new tyre, with width fitting the size of the wheel rim, will be installed. The car can be fitted with tubeless or tube type tyres. The construction of both is very similar, 

Step 5: Final checks

The technician will check poor wheel alignment or out-of-balance wheels. If so, the technician can alter the axle geometry of the car so it’s in the correct position. Proper wheel balance ensures the correct weight is distributed evenly.

Step 6: Lowering down

Before fitting the new tyres and wheel rims on the car, the mechanic will make sure the new tyres are correctly mounted. If you have directional tyres, they need to be placed in the right direction to ensure they are delivering their full performance. When correctly mounted, the arrow marked on the sidewall of the tyre should be positioned in the direction of rotation.

Tyre Maintenance Tips

Highlight the importance of regular tyre checks and proper inflation for safety and performance.

When you use incorrect tire sizes, you risk more than just inaccurate speed readings. Let’s look at a few potential issues:

Fuel Efficiency: Incorrect tire sizes can lead to increased fuel consumption. Larger, wider tires create more rolling resistance, which means your vehicle has to work harder to move, thus using more fuel.

Wear and Tear: The wrong tire size can lead to uneven or accelerated tire wear. This means you’ll need to replace your tires more often, which can be a significant expense.

Vehicle Damage: Incorrect tire sizes can also cause damage to your vehicle. Tires that are too large can rub against the wheel well or suspension components, leading to costly repairs.

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