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Read the tread patterns of your tyres

A tyre’s tread pattern can say a lot about its intended use and knowing how to read these patterns is crucial when picking out the right kind of tyres for your vehicle. Although there are many variations of the modern day tyre tread design, here are three of the most common ones every motorist should be familiar with

The Symmetric tyre tread pattern
Quiet and durable - ‘The average citizen’

This is perhaps the most common type of pattern that can be spotted on many car tyres even today. As the name suggests, these tyres are designed with continuous ribs or independent tread blocks that run across the entire tread face. Its symmetric design allows for these tyres to be fitted on without having to worry about the rotational direction. It also aids in faster water drainage resulting in better traction and a longer tyre life span.

The Asymmetric tyre tread pattern
Speed and stability –‘The street racer’

Tyres with these tread designs blend thicker and larger outer tread blocks with thinner and smaller inner tread blocks and almost resemble the patterns of two different tyres merged together. The logic behind this spatial design is to enhance speed and better cornering traction while making sharp turns.

The Unidirectional tyre tread pattern
Better traction even at higher speeds – ‘The speed demon’

These tread patterns resemble a ‘V-shaped’ design for tyres that perform best when fitted in a specific direction which is usually indicated with the help of an arrow engraved on the tyre’s sidewall. This particular design enhances the tyre’s hydroplaning resistance when the vehicle is running at high speeds.

The Zigzag tyre tread pattern
Durability personified - ‘The packer and mover’

This is a classic tread design with grooves that zigzag their way around the tyre to provide great low rolling and heat resistance allowing for longer journeys. This particular pattern is an easy find on the tyres of commercial vehicles such as vans.

Regardless of the type of tread pattern, factors like usage frequency and type of terrain can have a toll on the overall performance of your tyres and lead to less effective braking and poor traction. Hence, knowing when to replace your tyres is just as important as knowing which tyres to pick.