The right tyre at all times!
The first thing to do before buying the right tyre for your car is to check and write down the information on the existing tyres. From here you can get information as to the size and characteristics of the tyre and also making sure that they are suitable and duly approved by checking the vehicle registration document.
In addition to checking the "technical" characteristics of the tyre, you should also consider other qualities of a tyre, for example "seasonal" tyres and decide whether to choose Summer, Winter or All-Season tyres or even "special" tyres such as the Runflat tyres (which never deflate completely when punctured); Reinforced tyres (with a structure capable of withstanding greater stress) or tyres with Rim protection (a "jut" in the type that keeps the wheel rim from scratching, for example when parking near the sidewalk).
We have made a detailed guide that you can use to choose the right tyre for your car, as well as to have a better understanding of the features and numbers provided on the tyre and therefore choose the right tyre based on the conditions and current needs.
Do not hesitate to call our customer services for any queries you may have. They are at your disposal to advise you on the most suitable tyre based on your needs.
We start with an overall view of the codes of the tyre to have a better idea of the meaning and importance of this data and then we go into depth on each item.
Knowing the "sizes" is the first thing to check to buy the right tyre. This information refers to the width, the height (or technical series) and diameter of the rim and are expressed with the typical acronym 215/55 R17 (see the image "tyre legend").
The simplest thing to do is to write down the measurements provided on the tyres already mounted on your car. Tyres with difference measurements can be mounted as long as the manufacturer of the vehicle has considered this possibility by type-approving other sizes and including them on the vehicle registration document.
Ultimately, tyres with non-conforming sizes with respect to the manufacturer's instructions cannot be mounted. Moreover, we must take into account that it is obvious that tyres with a different rim size as to the one already being used can be mounted, for example from R15 to R17 (as long as this is provided in the vehicle registration document) and the rims would have to be replaced with rims of the same diameter. Moreover, all tyres mounted on a car (expect for the spare tyre) must have the same size and those on the same axle must be the same.
Registry Office ... Type-Approval & DOT
Each tyre must bear the type-approval code before circulating. The code consisting of the symbol" " indicates the country of manufacture and is followed by a series of numbers, as per the picture.
The DOT code indicates the date of production of the tyre expressed in week and year. For example, 2515 means a tyre built in the 25th week of the year 2015.
The load index
"The load index" is a number that shows the maximum load for which the tyre was approved.
Each vehicle has a minimum number of admitted indexes listed in the vehicle registration document next to the measurements. Tyres can be mounted with different but not lower loading indexes.
The table below shows the relationship between the number and the maximum load for the most common indexes.
(you will also find it in the images on the detailed description of each product)
The Speed Code
The "Speed Code" is a letter than indicates the maximum speed for which the tyre was approved.
Tyres with a different code than those listed in the vehicle registration document may also be mounted, but there are some restrictions:
Summer tyres can only be higher whereas winter tyres (M+S) can be lower (never below Q).
In the latter case, a label must be placed inside the passenger compartment where the driver can have a clear view and must clearly indicate the maximum speed limit admitted by the mounted tyres. Moreover, these tyres must be replaced within the term indicated by the seasonal regulation which requires for winter tyres with lower speed code with respect to that indicated in the vehicle registration document to be replaced after the 15 of April (by no later 15 of May) with tyres with speed code conforming to the vehicle registration document (replacement of winter tyres with speed code conforming or higher than the vehicle registration document is not mandatory. Even if it is highly recommended in order to prevent a less suitable tyre from wearing too quickly with high temperature).
Below a summary table provided to understand the ratio between the letter and the maximum speed.
(you will also find it in the images on the detailed description of each product)
The Winter Tyre M+S (Mud+Snow)
The initials "M+S" indicate that the tyre is a "winter" type, suited for mud and snow conditions and meets the requirements of the seasonal regulations regarding the mandatory use of winter tyres or equipment, meaning that it can circulate during the winter (from 15 November until 15 April) without mandatory chains on board.
Normally this initial is displayed together with the symbol (optional).
The purpose of the features of this type of tyre, winter or "thermal" is to offer excellent performance on cold, wet or snowed roads by significantly lowering stopping distances while improving gripping in curves even under severe weather conditions. Given these features, regardless of the standard in force for which a replacement is not "essential" at the end of the season, we recommend keeping these tyres only during the winter season where performance is at its peak and replace them in the summer with hot road conditions, hence preventing fast wear and tear that can jeopardise safety.
As we have already mentioned in the previous paragraph, a lower speed code can be mounted for this type of tyre with respect to those indicated in the vehicle registration document (never under Q) but in this case there should be a label placed so that it can be clearly visible by the driver in the passenger compartment where it can clearly indicate the maximum speed allowed and at the end of the winter season (after 15 April and by 15 May) these tyres must be replaced with tyres with a speed code that conforms to the vehicle registration document.
The Four Season Tyres
The "Four Season" tyres are suitable for use the entire year while abiding by the seasonal standards and maintaining excellent performance in hot road conditions, as well as cold road conditions during the winter season.
It must be noted that a lower speed code than the minimum permitted in the vehicle registration document is not admitted and that the mandatory use of chains on board, like for winter tyres is not required in winter months.
"Summer" tyres are classical for standard use on cars. They can be mounted all year, but during the winter season (from 15 November to 15 April) winter equipment on board is mandatory (chains or other type-approved anti-skid systems).
The features of this type of tyre are obviously more suitable for hot climates; therefore, they are less performing during the winter months compared to winter tyres or four-season tyres. In fact, cold or wet roads extend stopping distances while gripping in turns worsens, hence the use of anti-skid systems are essential in case of snow, as well as mandatory.
Mean the features of certain types of tyres. The most useful and requested types are the following:
"Runflat" " is a special reinforced tyre that never deflates completely even if punctured hence allowing the driver to continue driving at a reduced speed until reaching a safety area where the tyre can be replaced or where the driver can call for road assistance. The picture provided by Pirelli shows the difference in the behaviour of these tyres in case of a flat tyre compared to standard tyres.
"Reinforced" o "ExtraLoad" are tyres with a structure that can withstand heavy loads and stress, making it the ideal tyre for special conditions and uses.
The "rim protection" feature is a special part of the tyre that protects the rim from scratches that can occur, for example, during parking manoeuvres near sidewalks.
These "special" features can also coexist in a tyre which can be a Runflat and have rim protection rather than being reinforced, etc..
The EU Label
ELT: what, how and why
The initial ELT means "End of Life Tyre" and indicates the mandatory contribution set out by Legislative Decree 82 of 11 April 2011 for the disposal of used tyres.
This contribution must be paid by the buyer and is collected by the dealer and paid to the respective consortium.
The ELT can also be paid when the tyres are mounted and therefore the assigned technician may request it. If they are purchased with Gommeh24.it, the paid amount is specified in the invoice and you only need to show it to prove the payment of the mandatory contribution.
For more information please refer to the PDF file of Legislative Decree on ELT.