Directional tires in a car - how to recognize them and how to put them on?


The contact area of ​​all 4 tires in passenger cars is about 62 cm.2. This is approximately the size of an A4 sheet of paper. This comparison shows how important it is to choose the right tires for safe driving. Road conditions sometimes require directional tires. What type of tires are these and when should you choose this type of kit? Read and find out more!

Tire rolling direction and tire type

On the market you can find several types of tires, which are characterized by a different method of fastening. Among them are the following tires:

  • symmetrical - the tread used in them is identical on each side of the tire and it does not matter in which direction it rolls;
  • asymmetric - can be directional, although this marking is not always present on them. They have two tread patterns on one tire, their installation is facilitated by external and internal marking;
  • directional - usually winter tires, but also summer tires. Directional tires have a characteristic tread pattern and must roll in a fixed direction.

Directional tires - how to install them?

How to install directional tires? The answer is very simple - in the direction of rolling. But how do you know in which direction they should move? Tire manufacturers place information on the profile. Usually, the English inscription "rotation" is used for this, accompanied by a clearly directed arrow. How to check tire direction? When putting wheels on a specific hub, you need to follow which direction the arrow points.

How to put the tires in the right direction?

Once you know which direction the tires should be facing, it's hard to go wrong. Of course, you can still, if you do not pay attention to the markings on the tire profile. This will lead to the reverse assumption of two wheels. Directional tires must be mounted on the rims in the direction they roll. If you make a mistake in the direction of one of them, you will automatically return the tire to the other rim as well.

Is directional tire marking just an arrow?

People who choose this type of tire can tell the direction the tire is rolling from the tread pattern. It is usually shaped like a "U" or "V". What exactly does this protector look like? The grooves arranged on it start from the axis of symmetry of the tire (i.e., from its central part) and diverge upwards in both directions. They are also accompanied by deeper channels that are designed to drain water.

Designation of directional tires and their traction properties

Just because the tires are directional doesn't mean they have to be installed a certain way at the whim of the manufacturer. The rotation of a tire affects the performance of the tire under the conditions for which it was designed. Winter tires tend to rotate to provide proper handling on snow, ice and slush. On the other hand, directional summer tires should provide excellent grip on the pavement during a downpour.

Directional tires - markings and features

It is clear that, despite the past years and technical progress, it has not yet been possible to create ideal tires for all conditions. Directional tires work great in certain weather conditions, and winter is the season they are not afraid of. Therefore, not everyone decides to install summer directional tires. Rather, asymmetric treads or symmetrical treads predominate in urban and heavy duty vehicles. Why? It is worth looking at the pros and cons of using directional tires.

Directional tires and their benefits

It's very easy to see the positives. Advantages:

  • better grip on wet roads;
  • better grip on dry pavement;
  • sporty look.

The main benefit is increased grip on wet roads due to better water evacuation from the tire. This is especially important when cornering and when braking. The directional tires also increase grip on dry pavement. They are characterized by a sporty look, so they are also willingly chosen for sports cars.

Cons of using directional summer tires

The biggest drawback is the problem with the spare tire. If you have one in your car and don't use a repair kit, the wheel will be installed backwards half the time. After all, it is impossible to predict which wheel you will fall into. Driving comfort is another matter. Due to the greater susceptibility to notching, as well as the characteristically placed tread, directional tires are louder. In sports cars, this is not a big deal, but it can take away the pleasure of everyday driving.

Directional tires installed backwards - consequences

If you install the tires with rims on this hub incorrectly, this will especially affect the noise level. When you drive a car with reverse tires, you just hear it. The sound will be proportional to the increase in speed. However, noise is not everything. The most difficult thing for you will be to drive a car when driving on wet surfaces. The tread on contact with wet asphalt in the opposite direction will simply slide, and this does not require an extraordinary downpour.

Are directional tires good for everyday driving?

This type of tire is good for cars with more power. The driver of this type of car needs good traction, especially in corners and on wet surfaces. However, such tires should be chosen mainly for sports driving on wet asphalt. Perhaps the most important issue is aesthetics and their daring character.

What is extremely important if you decide to put tires with directional movement? This is their rotation, of course. Do not allow yourself to use the services of a tire changer who will mount such tires on wheels completely randomly. Also remember to put them on bushings so they all roll in the same fixed direction. These tires will work primarily in winter, although they can be installed in the summer season, especially for sports riding.

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