The role of a tyre

By David Sholicar

At all times and in all weather conditions they are the only element in contact with the road - yet they are one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of vehicle maintenance.

Close up of a car wheel

Tyres are a critical safety component of your vehicle

All tyres are carefully constructed from up to 200 separate raw materials and around 10 component parts. They are combined to deliver a product that is hardwearing, yet capable of providing a comfortable ride and responsive handling for your vehicle.

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Different types of tyre

There are different seasonal tyres; Summer, Winter and All Season. The key differences being the rubber compounds that make up the tyre.

These 3 types of tyre are categorised by performance and are split into three price brackets: Budget, Mid-range and Premium. The main differences between the categories is defined by the level of mileage return, road handling, fuel efficiency, external noise, wet grip, development cost and the amount of silica produced within the rubber.

Runflat tyres

A runflat tyre is built with stronger side walls to ensure the safety of a vehicle if the tyre has a rapid loss of inflation pressure. In the event of a puncture runflat tyres are designed to continue running without pressure for up to 50 miles on a max speed of 50mph. Runflats can only be fitted to a vehicle specifically manufactured for them, as they require a unique suspension and handling set up.

When a runflat tyre has been damaged or had a loss in pressure, it must be replaced with a new runflat of the same specification and not repaired

Illustration of tyre types

Seal Inside tyres

Seal Inside tyres have been designed to allow drivers to continue driving without losing pressure, even after being punctured by an external object.
Inside the tyre, a sealing layer material tightly blocks every possible air leakage in case a puncture occurs, with or without an external object still present. The Seal Inside reacts immediately with the puncture. In most cases, so fast the driver doesn’t realise that the tyre has been punctured.

Want to know more?
Click on one of the options below to find out more…

Pirelli Seal Inside™ Continental ContiSeal™Goodyear Sealtech™

Tyre pressure

Air pressure in the tyre is the most important factor in its performance. Tyre pressure affects tyres wear, speed capability, road handling, load capacity, fuel efficiency and most importantly the safety of the vehicle.
Your vehicle will use more fuel and emit more CO2 emissions if tyres are under-inflated.

For more information on Tyre Pressure, view the articles below:

Tyre punctures

Punctures occur within a vehicle’s tyre when it has been penetrated by a sharp object. If a puncture is not in the sidewall of a tyre and there is no secondary damage the tyre can usually be repaired at the discretion of your local centre.

A tyre with a puncture outside the central tread or within the sidewall must be replaced and not repaired. If your tyre is not a runflat and the external object is still visible do not remove the object as this will be removed at the time of repair, this will prevent any further damage to the tyre.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

This is a very useful safety feature. There are two types that are fitted on vehicles today. Direct systems use radio sensors and indirect systems use the vehicle’s existing ABS system. Both types work with the vehicles electronic control unit (ECU) to alert the driver on the dashboard warning lights. Both systems constantly monitor the pressures for any loss or variance issues. If the warning light in a vehicle is illuminated, it should not be ignored as a loss in pressure could endanger a driver’s safety.

Tyres should be properly inflated according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Tyre pressures should be checked before a long journey, when they are cold and at least once a month. Never “bleed” or reduce air pressure when tyres are hot from driving, as it is normal for pressure to increase above recommended cold pressures.

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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