What do you know about your car tyre..

Emmanuel Ebe Written by Emmanuel Ebe · 2 min read >

Oga, you have to connect the radiator fan directly, or else your engine will be overeating. Oga, use Mobil oil, it is the best in the market. Sir, this is my job, I will pump the tyre up to 50 psi so that it will be strong. If you have ever paid for the service of our roadside mechanics, then you can relate to these

I am neither a mechanical engineer nor am I an auto mechanic. I am one of those Nigerians who have suffered in the hands of car mechanics. I developed an interest in automobiles after a series of disappointments and errors that were almost fatal in some cases.

If you have ever purchased any device, there is a document that is always shipped alongside the item called a manual or user guide. The manuals created by the OEM contain, in some cases, detailed information about the Item. Some could be instructions on how to operate the equipment, others could contain a guide on how to troubleshoot if the equipment malfunctions. Unfortunately, most people do not have time to study the guides or even keep them in a safe place for reference purposes.

I would like to talk a little about car tyres. Oftentimes, the vulcanizer claims to be an expert in car tyers. They advise you on how best to gauge your tyre pressure, contrary to the tyre specification. They recommend to us tyers to buy, just because the threads are still groovy. If you have ever bought fairly used tyres, you most likely may have fallen victim of this

Tyer specifications:

I would like to do a little deep dive into some specifications and how to read a tyre. If you look at your car tyre, you will see an inscription similar to “225/65 R 17 87V”. This has to do with your tyre dimensions. The explanation is as follows.

225: Section Width – This is the width of the tyre in millimeters, measured from the widest point of its outer sidewall to the widest point of its inner sidewall.

65:  – Aspect Ratio – It is the height of the sidewall expressed as a percentage of the tread width. Here, an aspect ratio of 65 indicates that the section height of the tyre is 65% of the section width of the tyre.

R: – Construction – R represents the Radial construction of the tyre. You will also find the letter B written on several tyres that represent the cross-ply construction type. However, radial tyres are the most popular ones. 

17 – Rim Diameter – It is the inside diameter of the tyre. It indicates the diameter of the rim or rim height and is measured in inches.

87 – Load Index – It is the maximum weight limit that a tyre can carry. It is represented by a two-digit or three-digit number. For example, if the load index given on the tyre is 95, then it depicts that the tyre is capable of carrying a maximum load of 690 kg. This conversion from load index to load in kg is determined by a look-up table. 

V – Speed Rating – It is the maximum speed that the car can maintain with the given tyres and is denoted by English Alphabets. For example, if a tyre has got a “V” rating then it can reach a maximum speed of 240 km/h, if it is a “W” rating, it can reach a maximum speed of 270 km/h

Tyre Pressure: This information most times is written on sticker in the car. The tyre pressure for most a passenger care is recommended to be between 32 to 35 psi when cold. Tyre pressure plays a lot of role in the stability and movement of a car. A very low pressure will result to stress on the engine and higher fuel consumption. A very high pressure will result to loss of traction, lost of stability and explosion.

Tyer manufacture date: This is written as a 4-digit number on the tyre. The first 2 digits represent the

week of manufacture while the last 2 digits represent the year

 For example, the four digits 2818 means that the tyre was manufactured on the 28th week of the year 2018.

Tyer expiry date: it is very important to know that tyers do expire. Unfortunately, this is a knowledge that eludes most of us in this part of the world. Car tyres are expected to expire 4 years after the manufacture date. A tyre with the manufacture date 2818 will expire on 2822. That is on the 28th week of 2022.

Many road accidents caused by tyre explosions could have been avoided if we adhere to clear specifications on these tyres and ensure that whoever we are paying to render a service player by the rule. We should always be eager to read instructions and enforce standards specified by OEM. It can save lives and money.


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