Understanding the Different Types of Tyres

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Tyres come in different types and sizes. This is because cars come in different sizes, are driven in different areas and under different conditions. Understanding the different types of tyres in the market makes it easier for you to choose the right ones for your car. Here is a simplified breakdown.

Read: How To Read Your Tyre Size And Specifications

To understand tyre types, lets first classify them into four broad categories:

  • Tyre types according to size
  • Tyre types according to season
  • Tyre types according to terrain
  • Special tyre types

We can then now look at the types of tyres in each category.

Tyre types according to size

  • High profile tyres: These tyres have high sidewalls and narrower sections. They are a great choice for everyday use as they are comfortable, durable and more fuel efficient.
  • Low profile tyres: These tyres have low sidewalls and are wide compared to high profile tyres. They are great for handling hence popular with sport cars. However, they are uncomfortable, wear out quickly and noisy.

Tyre types according to season

  • Summer tyres: These tyres are for warm weather. They have shallower grooves for stability. They are made from softer rubber so they cannot be damaged in hot driving conditions.
  • Winter tyres: These tyres are engineered for icy and snowy conditions. They have deeper treads and grooves for better traction on icy surfaces.
  • All-season tyres: These tyres sit in the middle of summer and winter tyres. Their grooves are deeper than summer tyres but shallower than winter tyres. They are meant for driving in moderate weather conditions.

Tyre types according to terrain

  • Highway-terrain tyres: These tyres are perfect for paved roads. They are comfortable, fuel efficient and with minimal road noise. They are perfect for long road trips.
  • Mud-terrain tyres: These tyres have aggressive tread with soft rubber for 4X4s to trudge in the mud. If you drive them on the road, they are uncomfortable and loud with bad fuel economy.
  • All-terrain tyres: These tyres sit between highway-terrain and mud-terrain tyres. They are louder, more uncomfortable and offer worse fuel economy than highway-terrain tyres on the road but not as much as mud-terrain tyres. They are perfect if you drive mostly on the road with light offroading and all-year round use.

Special tyre types

  • Touring tyres: These tyres are made for long, quiet and smooth on-road driving. They can be driven on both dry and wet surfaces.
  • Performance tyres: As the name suggests, these tyres are for racing and sports cars. They offer extreme handling, cornering and braking capabilities. They can further be divided into extreme, max and ultra-high performance tyres.
  • Run-flat tyres: These tyres are capable of being driven when punctured for several kilometres more until you reach a service station or a safe area.

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