Top Tips


The tyres you choose today are a critical factor in the quality of your overall driving experience and you could live with that choice for several years.

Whatever type of vehicle you drive, tyres make a big difference in how your vehicle feels, and how it handles.

What category of tyre do you need?

Start with your last set of tyres. Were you happy with them? If not, what was wrong with them?

You need to consider your driving habits, as well as the weather where you live.

The more questions you ask yourself the easier it will be to pick a tyre type.

What size do you need?

The appropriate tyre size for your car can be found in the owner’s manual or on a placard located somewhere in your vehicle, usually on the door section, door post, glove box, or fuel door of your vehicle.

Consider factors such as load-carrying capacity of the tyre, as well as traction and tread wear.

Your local Tiger Wheel & Tyre can help. Learning to (read a tyre’s sidewall) [Link to Tyre designations] can also open up a wealth of information.

Will they look good?

Don’t overlook looking at the tyres; do you like the way they look? Do they go with your car? Aesthetics are an important criteria.



Driving with tyres that haven’t been properly maintained can be dangerous.

An improperly maintained or damaged tyre can explode without warning with tremendous force, resulting in injury or death. Here’s how to lower the risk of that happening.

Check your tyres’ air pressure regularly

You should check each tyre’s pressure (including your spare) once each month and always before a long trip.

Always do it before you’ve driven too far. The tyres need to be cold to give an accurate result.

All tyres lose air over time. This is normal, especially in warmer weather.

Don’t exceed the load-carrying limits

Check the load-carrying limits on your tyres’ sidewalls. These should never be exceeded. Overloading builds up heat which could lead to failure.

Try to avoid road hazards but if you’ve run over glass, rocks or the curb of the road, check the tyre for any external damage.

If you’re not satisfied you can get your tyre demounted and checked for internal damage at a Tiger Wheel & Tyre near you.

Worn tyres

Keep an eye on the wear bars on your tyres. When the tread is worn away enough that the wear bars connect it’s time to replace the tyre.



To the casual observer all tyres look alike. Don’t be fooled. Today’s tyres offer a degree of handling, ride comfort, traction, tread wear and fuel economy that far exceeds tyres manufactured just a few years ago.

Here are the components of a modern tyre:


The tread is the part of the tyre that comes in contact with the road surface.

The tread is made of thick rubber or rubber/composite compound with a pattern of grooves, lugs, voids and sipes. Every tyre comes with a different tread pattern, unique to that tyre.

Rain grooves

These are needed to channel water away to help prevent aquaplaning.


Lugs are the portion of the tread that make contact with the road.


Voids are spaces between lugs that allow the lugs to flex and flush out water.


Sipes are valleys across the whole tyre. They run perpendicular to the grooves and allow water from the grooves to escape to help prevent aquaplaning.

Wear bar

Also known as wear indicators; these raised features at the bottom of tread grooves indicate that a tyre has reached its wear limit.

When the tread lugs are worn away enough that the wear bars connect it’s time to replace the tyre.


The bead connects the rim of the wheel to the tyre. It’s normally strengthened with steel wire.

It’s fitted very tightly so the tyre doesn’t shift.


The sidewall is the part of the tyre between the bead and the tread. It is composed of rubber for the most part and strengthened with fabric or steel cords.


The shoulder is the edge of the tread as it begins to transition into the sidewall.


Plies are cords wrapped in rubber. These prevent the rubber from stretching. The way that plies are laid out in the tyre makes a big difference to its performance.



It’s very important to properly maintain your tyres. Not only will this increase your safety while driving but it will also increase the life of your tyres, saving you money.


Properly balanced tyres and wheels spin with all their weight distributed equally. Unbalanced tyres can result in tyres wearing unevenly and needing to be replaced more frequently.

When your tyres are fitted, balancing should be part of the fitting procedure.


Proper alignment ensures that all wheels on a vehicle are pointed in the optimum direction to the road and each other.

Tyres on a misaligned vehicle degrade handling and don’t wear equally, reducing their tread life.


The purpose of regularly rotating tyres is to achieve more uniform wear on each tyre.

If no period is specified in your owner’s manual, then the tyres should be rotated every 12 000 km.


Cleaning tyres removes foreign substances from the tyre surface that can degrade the tyres. We recommend soap and water.

Punctures and repairs

If any tyre sustains a puncture, have the tyre inspected internally for possible damage.

Tread-area punctures in all passenger and light-truck tyres can be repaired provided:

  • The puncture hole is not more than 0.635mm in diameter
  • Not more than one radial cable per casing ply is damaged
  • The tyre has not been damaged further by the puncturing object or by running underinflated

Plug-only repairs done on-the-wheel are considered unsafe and therefore, not recommended. Such repairs are not reliable and may cause further damage to the tyre.

Inspect your tyres regularly

Check your tyres at least once a month for uneven wear and foreign objects wedged in the tread.

A tyre that continually needs to be pumped up should be taken off the vehicle and checked thoroughly.




How do I tell what designation my tyres are?

Look at the sides of your tyres. You’ll find a code of letters and numbers.

e.g. 205/55R16 88V
Each letter and number conveys important information, like whether a particular tyre will be compatible with your vehicle.

What do the letters and numbers mean?

Some tyre designations are prefixed with a letter

P Passenger tyre
LT Light truck tyre
T Temporary tyre

Width of the tyre

The first number is a three-digit number which refers to the overall width of the tyre in millimetres.

e.g. 205/55R16 88V

Aspect ratio

The second number refers to the aspect ratio, which is the relationship between the tyre’s height and its width. In this example, the sidewall’s height is about 55% of the tyre’s width.

The letter following the aspect ratio is usually an ‘R’ which stands for radial.

e.g. 205/55R16 88V

Wheel diameter

The next number indicates the diameter of the wheel rim (in inches) on which the tyre will fit.

e.g. 205/55R16 88V

Load index

The load index is an assigned number that corresponds with the load-carrying capacity of the tyre.

e.g. 205/55R16 88V

Speed rating

The speed rating is a letter which indicates the range of speeds at which a tyre is certified to carry a load. Each tyre is assigned a rating from A (lowest) to Z (highest).

e.g. 205/55R16 88V
Markings do not always appear exactly as they do in this example, as tyres can be certified under a variety of designations.