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What Tyres Do I Need To Fit My Car? Sizes + Types + Changes

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If you're wondering "What tyres do I need?", here's what you should know about changing your tyres, modifying the size or quality, and choosing the right set.

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  • What Tyres Do I Need To Fit My Car? Sizes + Types + Changes

Whether your car is new or used, young or old, it will eventually need its tyres changed. When it does, this can bring with it a wealth of questions, such as:

  • Should I swap out the old ones with an identical pair?
  • What tyres do I need? Will any do?
  • Can I get bigger or smaller sizes? Should I stick with the same dimensions?
  • Do all my tyres need to be the same kind?

While taking your car to a shop like Autofusion will allow an expert to assess what kind of tyres you need, and what options you have to choose from, it's beneficial to plan ahead. This will let you shop around for the pricing, types, and upgrades you want, so you can discuss what's best with your mechanic.

Having a plan in mind will often save time at the garage and help you choose the most budget-friendly option. Here are common questions and answers about the tyres you need:

Can I Change My Tyre Size?

The sizing options for your car tyres will depend on the size of the vehicle's actual rims, where the tyres are mounted. If your rims are designed to accommodate smaller tyres, then you cannot easily swap them out with larger ones, and vice versa. That's because the dimensions of a car's wheels are, themselves, designed to account for an overall size of the:

  • Car frame
  • Steering system
  • Car's carrying capacity
  • Suspension

While modifications can be made to adjust the rim size, allowing for bigger tyres, you should avoid doing this unless you intend on making broader changes to the car as well. Disrupting the balance of your vehicle's design could lead to the tyres rubbing against parts they were not intended to touch, thus wearing down different components of the car. Beyond that, improperly sized tyres can negatively impact the:

  • Brakes
  • Car's frame
  • Calipers
  • Powertrain
  • Speedometer
  • Fuel efficiency of the car overall
  • Tire pressure

That's not to say that a size change is impossible for your car's tyres. You will merely need to change the size of your rims and modify the axles and suspension to accommodate the new size. This is often an aesthetic remodel, which can be done with an experienced auto shop.

Can I Mismatch My Tyres?

Perhaps you need to change one tyre on your car, but you can't find an identical replacement. Alternatively, maybe you want to upgrade each wheel of your car separately, which is often helpful with budget concerns.

It is possible to use slightly different tyres on the front or the back of the car, with a mechanic's oversight. However, you should never mismatch tyres on an axle pair.

This is because the tread pattern serves to divert water and debris away from the tyre, so that it can grip the road surface. Having tread patterns that divert in different directions or ways can place uneven stress on the whole axle system. This, in turn, leads to uneven and premature wear along all parts of the system.

Likewise, replacing one tyre on an axel pair independently of the other can be harmful if one is dramatically newer than the other. The uneven wear patterns (such as one being noticeably thicker or thinner than the other) can impact road grip, responsiveness, and performance. In particular, mismatching tyres on an axle pair can reduce handling in wet conditions or on loose terrain, becoming a safety issue.

Worse yet, it can lead to an imbalance in the vehicle, causing suspension issues or the older tyre wearing out faster than before. This can increase the chances of blowouts.

Where Do I Find My Tyre's Size Information?

There are three possible areas where you can find the specifications for your car's tyres. These include:

  • On a sticker in the driver's side door : Look for the sticker that's usually located on the inside of the driver's side door-jamb. This should include your tyres' size, as well as tyre pressures that are recommended for them.
  • In raised lettering on the tyres** themselves**: Depending on the kind of tyres and their brand, you may also find a code printed in raised lettering on the inside wall of the tyres themselves. Wear and tear may obscure it, however.
  • Inside the owner's manual : Some manuals will include all the specs for a car, including the ideal size and kinds of tyres.

Just keep in mind that information found on the sticker or in the owner's manual might be incorrect for second-hand cars. Based on changes the previous owner made, you could be driving a modified car with alternative or slightly off-spec tyres.

No matter the case, getting in contact with an Autofusion expert can help you better understand what kind of tyres you need. Whether this involves a simple replacement, budget-friendly options, or broader modifications, the experts at Autofusion can help.