Glossary of tyre terms

Some 4×4 show the manufacturer’s name and the tread pattern in white on the sidewall. These are either in solid white or outlined in white. On the product codes tyres that have these features are described as RWL (raised white letters) for solid white; and OWL (outline white letters) for the outline type.

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Suspension-related term

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Steering-related term

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Products designed for the replacement market. Aftermarket tyres must be of the same specification but do not need to be the same brand that was fitted to the vehicle by the manufacturer. An exception to this rule is in the case of changing sizes, especially on 4x4s.

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The net result of steering and linkage adjustments on the plane of a wheel spin, affecting tyre performance and wear. Tracking adjustments should only be done by a qualified mechanic. Unnecessary alignment work, or “tracking”, is one of the most common forms of overcharging by tyre depots.

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Tyres designed to be used all year, in any weather. May have Winter tyre design, or winter tyre compound compromise.

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Suspension-related term

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Braking-related term

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Suspension-related term

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On a wet road, water building up in front of a moving tyre can lift the tyre away from the road, causing loss of control.

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