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Tyre Tips - 4WD

Tyres affect how a car steers, starts, stops, sounds, feels and looks...

Fact: A taller tyre gives more clearance under the differential and chassis; a wider tyre (or change in tread pattern) gives more traction.


• Whenever moving to a larger tyre size, re-gear the front and rear ends to off-set the size.
• It's important to keep in mind that lifting the vehicle also raises its centre of gravity, thus increasing chances for roll-overs.
• Under-inflated tyres cause the engine to work harder. Similar to riding a bicycle with low tyres. Increased rolling resistance makes it harder to pedal.
• Under-inflated tyres wear faster and affect the steering and handling of a vehicle.
• Under-inflation, by as little as 6 p.s.i., can increase petrol usage by 3%.
• Cold temperatures affect the air pressure in tyres. There is a loss of one pound for each ten degrees of temperature drop.
• Most 4-wheelers drop their tyre pressures for the trail. This helps with increased traction.
• When airing down, ground clearance is decreased several inches by reducing the working diameter of the tyre. Therefore the gear ratio will be lowered slightly, as well as making the sidewalls of the tyre more vulnerable to damage.
• Airing down tyres is the easiest and most cost effective method of increasing off-road performance.
• "All-terrain" (AT) tread performs well under a variety of off-highway conditions and to some extent has closed the street/trail performance gap. The closed tread design is usually quiet on the highway, yet noisier than a street tyre, and performs well on rocks, sand, and on the highway.
• Only a small patch of tyre touching the pavement at any given moment (called the "contact area") is responsible for keeping a vehicle under control. That contact area is only about six square inches in size.
• Under normal loads, inflate tyres according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations, NOT the maximum pressure listed on the sidewall.
• For the most accurate reading, tyre pressure must be checked when tyres are cold.