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Know your Tyre Treads

Know your Tyre Treads

You’ve heard of the term ‘worn out treads’ during your trip to the auto repair shop at some point. Checking up on your tyres is a must, especially during rainy weather. Tyre treads are often taken for granted, car owners may have a general idea as to what treads do but it is also important to know how different treads work as the treads that are best suited for your car can provide on with maximum safety and best driving experience.

What are Tyre Treads?

The tread of a tyre refers to the part which makes contact with the road. It refers to the patterns of grooves and depth cuts on a tyre’s surface that provides various benefits like grip and necessary friction while driving. Buying the car tyres brand is necessary for smooth performance.

Making of a Tread Pattern

The combination of ribs, blocks, lugs, and grooves is what makes up a tread pattern.

  • The elevated part of the tread pattern, composed of tread blocks, is known as the ribs.
  • Grooves are deep lines that go around the tyre circumferentially and laterally.
  • The elevated rubber segments that make contact with the road surface are known as tread blocks.
  • Small, narrow slots are formed onto the tread blocks and are known as sipes.

Types of Tread Patterns

Tyre patterns are mainly divided into three categories and each one of them is best suited to provide a particular purpose. They offer traction and control, and also reduce road noise and tyre wear. When selecting the tyres, it’s vital to handpick the tread pattern that is best suited to your automobile’s needs.

Symmetrical Tread Pattern

Symmetrical tyres feature the same pattern of grooves and lugs all over the tyre. Because it is generally quiet and long-lasting, this type of tyre is the most popular and seen on most non-high-performance passenger automobiles. Symmetrical tyres may be rotated in a variety of ways, hence extending the life of the tyres and improving their functionality.


  • Common and easy to handle
  • Inexpensive
  • long-lasting
  • numerous rotation possibilities


  • Non-high performance
  • Inadequate traction on wet roads

Unidirectional Tread Pattern

The directional tread is designed to roll in just one way and usually has arrows to indicate that direction. Because each tyre is built and oriented to function best on its particular side, directional tyres should be rotated front to back from that side. To minimise hydroplaning, this tread style allows water to be expelled from the tyre. Water will be drawn through the treads and hydroplaning will be avoided at high speeds all thanks to the V-shape tread design it features.


  • Remarkably well for driving on wet road conditions
  • Idealistic all-season tyres for non-performance vehicles
  • Supports improved fuel economy.


  • Have rotational restrictions resulting in a shorter life
  • cost more than symmetrical tyres

Asymmetrical Tread Pattern

This tread pattern, which is most frequently found on sports cars, is a hybrid, meaning that it mixes a variety of tread patterns for optimal traction on wet and dry surfaces. It combines the requirements for dry grip traction with a water-wicking pattern for traction on wet roads. The tyre’s outer side has wide treads for turning and consistency, while the inner side has a narrower tread pattern for optimum water distribution and superior grip on wet roads. The sidewalls of the tyres are marked to ensure that they are properly positioned on the automobile primarily for enhanced handling capabilities.


  • Excellent turning and wet-road performance
  • less road clamour as compared to symmetrical tyres


  • Reduced road life
  • Expensive
  • Typically available for tyres that are 17-inch or larger

Can you mix different Tyre Treads?

One should avoid combining various types, sizes, or brands of tyres on a single car when selecting a new tyres brand. To retain maximum performance qualities, get a tyre that is the same brand and model as the ones you already have on your wheels. The tread pattern of a tyre determines how well the automobile grips on the road, diffuse water, and performance in general. Different tread patterns on tyres are unlikely to cause problems with the driveline. Ideally, though, two or all four tyres should be replaced at the same time. It’s also crucial that the tyres are the same size, speed, and load rating.

There are a few exceptions for authorised mixed-tyre fits, but tyre mixing is not recommended by manufacturers in general. If mixing is necessary owing to limited access or financial restrictions, tyres fitted and tread patterns can be mixed, but only if drivers mount a set of tyres with the same tread patterns and brands on the same axle; meaning a set of identical tyres on the rear axle or perhaps a pair of identical tyres on the front axle should be mounted.