The Tyre load index determines the overall load capacity of the tyre in kilogrammes. It’s one of the principles that you need to look at when buying new car tyres. Let’s take a look at tyre load capacity and safety risks inherent in incorrectly classified tyres below.
What Is The Tyre Load Index?
The tyre load index determines the average load that the tyre can bear when travelling at the maximum speed. This is defined by the tyre speed index. Load index is categorised by a two or three-digit number (between 0 and 279) that corresponds to the maximum weight a tyre can bear. The tyre load index can be found/located on the sidewall of the tyre.
The manufacturer is responsible for setting the maximum load capacity for the tyre, taking into account the most loaded axle of the vehicle. Load capacity is vital to the safety of car and road users and must be viewed in accordance with the speed index of the tyre.
Tyre Load Index VS Total Vehicle Weight
By finding out the max weight each tyre can bear, we can easily determine the overall total weight of our vehicle. If the tyre load index is 91 T, this means that the load on the tyre shall not exceed 615 kg.
When you subtract the amount of kilogrammes that a tyre will bear by the amount of tyres in your vehicle, you would have a value slightly greater than the average maximum weight of the vehicle.
When you are planning to buy new tyres, which are of a size different from the size recommended by the manufacturer, you can select the tyres with the load index specified in your car manual.
Always mount tyres with a lower load index than suggested by the manufacturer.
Say your tyre size is 205/55 R16 91 T and you intend to instal narrower tyres (for example, in winter), the replacement tyres will be 16 “tyres (195/60 89 H). However, because the load index of the chosen tyres is lower than that for your car, you can not fit them.
A suitable option is a 15-inch tyre (195/65 R15) with a load index of 91T. You need 15-inch wheels in this situation.
When you buy tyres for your car, you want them to be safe, economical and comfortable. Each of these features can be done if you know the criteria that are the secret to picking a tyre.
You can also refer to your car manual, which includes a detailed overview of the tyres recommended by the manufacturer. Such details should also be given on the fuel filler flap, on the pillar behind the driver or inside the driver’s door.
What Could Happen If You Install Tyres That Have An Improper Load Index?
The use of tyres with a load index lower than that defined by the manufacturer can be extremely hazardous. Here’s some reasons why you should always follow the instructions in the manual.
- Faster tyre wear: tyres with a wrong load index can wear faster, raising your car maintenance costs.
- Risks while driving: too much load on a tyre will lead to a tyre blowout, which is likely to cause an accident.
- Loss of control of driving and reduced comfort.
- In the event of an accident or collision, the insurer can refuse to pay the insurance if the car has been fitted with tyres not recommended by the manufacturer.
- When using tyres with criteria that do not comply with the manufacturer ‘s requirements, the tyre warranty is invalid.
- Modern protection systems integrated into vehicles, such as traction control and ABS, are closely tied to the kind of tyres that are recommended by the manufacturer. The fitting of tyres, which do not follow these specifications, poses many issues and risks to health.
Can You Use Higher Indexes Than Those That Are Approved?
It is possible to install tyres with a higher load index and speed index than those offered by the manufacturer, but is it worth it?
Benefits of Using Tyres With A Higher Load Index:
- Enhanced stability of the vehicle while driving against the wind
- Driving is more accurate, and the car responds better to the steering wheel movements.
- Reliable control on a sporty drive
- Enhanced cornering
What Are The Disadvantages Of Using Tyres With A Higher Load Index?
- High prices
- Car suspension rigidity-reduced comfort when encountering road surface irregularities
- Higher rolling resistance resulting in increased fuel consumption
- Can change the driving characteristics of the vehicle.
Note that using tyres with a lower index is dangerous and, as such, is against the regulations. Make sure you still give priority to road safety. Review the details below and pick the right tyres for your vehicle.
Tyre Load Index (marked on the tyre)Load capacity in kilograms
Do You Need To Get A Specific Space Saver For Your Specific Vehicle?
If one of the main tyres is either defective or punctured, a space saver wheel can be installed. During emergency situations, as soon as you have an issue with one of your tyres, you can fit a space saver and complete your journey or get yourself to rage to get a replacement tyre or wheel fitted to your vehicle.
Space savers can be either full size or smaller than standard tyres, and because space savers are generally left in a car’s boot, some manufacturers prefer to offer a smaller space saver so as not to take up your boot space. Whether it is full-size or not, a space saver wheel offers less depth of tread and grip than a regular tyre nevertheless it’s pretty handy to have when one of your cars own tyre gives up!
Space savers are intended mainly for use in emergency situations and are intended to be driven at lower speeds. They are there to be installed in case of an emergency, and they’re perfect for getting you to your end destination or car garage.
What Speed Can You Drive With A Space Saver On?
It’s best to keep your speed below 50 MPH when driving with a space saver however if there is nothing printed on your spare then keep your speed around the 30 MPH mark. If you’re towing a trailer or a caravan, and you need to put your space saver on then keep your speed around 30 MPH and head to a garage where possible to get a new one sorted.
Wasting money on puncture repair kits, inflation kits and costly call-outs and invest now in a road hero space saver tyre. If you are still unsure about having a space saver or need advice on compatibility then contact us by going to our contact us page. Alternatively click here to find a retailer selling Road Hero space savers in your town! You won’t realise how invaluable they are and how much you need one until you try to figure things out on the side of the road!
We hope you found this post useful, if you would like more info on spare wheels, space savers and accessories please take a look around our site.