We explain the baffling array of information on the sidewall of tyres.
For many drivers, the sidewall of a tyre is a mystery. They may be able to spot the manufacturer’s name and the model, but beyond that, the rest of the information means nothing. Even when they have copied down the size of the rubber to ring round for prices, owners are often in the dark about what the numbers represent.
So here we explain the mass of detail contained on every sidewall, from the cheapest import to the industry’s top names. Our guide will not only help you when it comes to replacing your tyres, but also to check that the ones you’re running are right for your car and in good condition.
This is key if you did not buy the tyres, as their life is not only limited by wear. Age is also a factor; the compounds used deteriorate, and performance tails off as a result.
Any tyre more than five years old should be looked at carefully. How do you know how old yours are? Our walkthrough reveals all.
Up CloseThere's no standard mark for run flat tyres - which can be used for about 50 miles without pressure - so check model name
Also, keep an eye out for the part warn mark; any rubber bought second-hand should be stamped accordingly.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe put 200 tyres to the test to reveal the best rubber on the market for your car
- 2Code Breaker - currently readingWe explain the baffling array of information on the sidewall of tyres.
- 3The Total Tyre GuideThere's never been a buyer's guide as comprehensive as this…
- 4BrakingBringing your car to a halt in the shortest time possible is essential.
- 5AquaplaningHow quickly do the top tyres lose control in severe wet conditions?
- 6Wet handlingFinding a tyre you’re happy with in the damp, rain-lashed UK is vital.
- 7Dry handlingOur tyres are pushed to the limit on track – but which performed best?
- 8Tyre noiseWhich tyres are the loudest?
- 9CostWhich tyres will hit your wallet?
- 10Tailor madeWhat goes into producing the tyres for your car?
- 11Tyre guideWe now have our verdict. Here are the winners and losers
- 12Tyre testingHow do you make sure your tyres go the distance?
- 13FitmentDrivers are faced with a huge choice when fitting new tyres
- 14Tyre guideOur experts clear up the big tyre issues raised by readers...