Every car model has a specific recommended size of tire, which is set for optimum efficiency. I know that every car is fitted with the right sized tires when it rolls out of the showroom so of course I am always surprised when somebody comes into the workshop with wrong sized tires on their car. My first thought is, “Why would they do that?” Some vehicle owners prefer to exchange their original tires for a bigger size because bigger tires can make the car look bigger and more imposing whereas others go in for smaller size tires because these have a few other desirable qualities.
How Tire Size Affects Your Vehicle’s Performance
The fact is, using the wrong sized tires can seriously undermine the performance of your vehicle in several ways.
It adversely affects your fuel consumption. That’s right – tires that are too large or too small can turn your car into a gas guzzler and you will find yourself visiting the gas station more often than usual.
You get incorrect speedometer readings. The speedometer is calibrated to calculate speed with the recommended tire size. When you change the size of the tires, it throws the settings off and the gauge will show you the wrong speed. This means you are going faster or slower than you think you are, which is in fact a recipe for disaster as it will impair your judgment when it comes to overtaking, braking distance and of course getting that speeding ticket. No cop is going to buy the story about how your wrong sized tires are to blame.
How To Determine Tire Sizes & Ratings
Determining the right tire size and rating you need for your vehicle is easy – you simply refer to the manufacturer’s manual but how do you know that the tires you’ve got comply with those specifications? Every tire has a code and today I’m going to teach you how to read that code.
Let’s say the code on one of the tires is “P250/50 R10”
What this means is:
The ‘P’ stands for passenger vehicle, which is what you would need for your family car. A light truck would use a tire that starts with ‘LT’.
250 is the width of the tire in millimeters
50 is the aspect ratio, which is the percentage of the height and width of the tire.
The letter after the aspect ratio represents the type of construction. In this case, R means this is a radial tire.
The last number 15 refers to the Rim diameter. When replacing an old tire, it is important that the new tire should have the exact same diameter as the tire that is being replaced.
Are you sure your car is outfitted with the right sized tires? Bring your vehicle over to Orleans Autopro today and let our trained professionals take a look.