Can Car Tyres Be Put on the Wrong Way?

By Adam White

It’s easy to assume all tyres are the same. After all, they’re black, round, made of rubber and they fit on your car. But while many tyres are multi-directional, not all of them are.

car wheel fitting

Focus on tread patterns

What differentiates various types of tyre is the tread pattern. Manufacturers have developed different types of tread for different specific purposes, whether that’s better cornering or handling in the wet. There are three different tread categories that each need handling differently.
Asymmetric tyres for multi-functionality Asymmetric tyres mix two different tread patterns to give the driver greater control. The outer large blocks of tread provide a greater contact area with the road and are ideal for superior traction when cornering.
The inside tread blocks are smaller and designed to improve wet weather handling. They achieve this by using an increased number of grooves that disperse water and prevent aquaplaning.
These tyres are designed for superior wet and dry handling and must be fitted in a specific way. Look for the word ‘outside’ stamped on the tyre itself, or check that the large tread blocks are mounted on the outside of the tyre.

Directional tyres for performance

While multi-directional tyres are designed to spin in either direction, it can limit their performance. With a directional tyre, you benefit from excellent directional stability and wet weather performance.
Characterised by an arrowhead tread pattern, these tyres not only look good but they perform brilliantly, especially in challenging conditions like snow.
Asymmetrical tyres can be fitted to either side of a vehicle, but directional tyres can only be mounted in one direction. This will be indicated by an arrow on the tyre sidewall which shows the correct orientation for mounting on the axle. This will match the direction of the tread pattern.
If you have directional tyres and they’re mounted the wrong way round, it’s not dangerous. You just won’t experience the performance benefit, so have your Protyre garage put them right as soon as possible.

Multi-directional tyres for convenience

Unlike asymmetrical tyres, multi-directional tyres are symmetrical. That means the tread is the same on the inside and the outside of the tyre.
These types of tyre can be fitted anywhere on your car. That makes them more convenient and less expensive than asymmetric or directional tyres, but they can’t match the superior wet and dry performance.

Can I mix tyre tread patterns?

Not on the same axle. If you mix tyre tread patterns, you won’t get the performance benefit that you would from having two directional or asymmetric tyres mounted as a pair.
You may not wish to replace your tyres with the same marque, but if your car has asymmetric or directional tyres as standard, then replicate the tyre tread pattern when buying new tyres.

We Can Help You Choose The Right Tyre

Tyres are essential for keeping your car safe and performing at its best, but with so many options out there, it can be tough to know where to start. That's where our informative articles come in – we're here to help you navigate the world of tyres and make the best choice for your specific needs.

Whether you're considering upgrading to Premium car tyres for enhanced driving dynamics, run flat car tyres for added peace of mind, or trying to decide between summer car tyres and winter car tyres, Protyre can help. Our articles have got you covered with a wide range of tyre-related topics to help you make informed decisions.

The brand you choose matters too. We offer recommendations for trusted names such as BF Goodrich tyres, Bridgestone tyres, Continental tyres, Dunlop tyres, Falken tyres, General tyres, Goodyear tyres, GT Radial tyres , Hankook tyres, Michelin tyres, Pirelli tyres, Runway tyres, Sumitomo tyres, and Toyo tyres. But our articles don't just focus on choosing the right tyres – we also offer practical advice for maintaining them. From simple tips like checking your tread depth and keeping your tyres inflated to the proper pressure, to more advanced topics like extending tyre life through regular rotation and balancing - we've got you covered!
Dive in and discover everything you need to know to keep your car running smoothly and safely with Protyre.

Don’t forget your MOT

If you’re booked in for an MOT, it’s worth having your car and your car tyres checked out first. Why? Because incorrectly fitted asymmetric or directional tyres are an MOT fail.

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Not sure when your MOT is due? Use our MOT Checker to find out.

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Where's my nearest Protyre garage?

Whether you need a tyre check or a new set of tyres, get them fitted at Protyre. We’re the local garage you can trust, with over 100 garages nationwide, who’ll make sure your tyres are mounted correctly for safe performance and great handling.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By Adam White
Adam looks to create engaging and informative content across the website that provides consumers with expert advice on MOTs, servicing, vehicle maintenance and tyre care. As a motorsport enthusiast, Adam enjoys documenting the Protyre Motorsport team’s involvement in major motorsport events across the UK.
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