Directional-tread tyres are often advertised as superior because the tread is meant to aid with the channelling (away) of water when driving in wet conditions, and is also supposed to give better road handling. My query, however, is not on the benefits of direction versus normal tyres; my question is the following: what happens when directional treads are put on the wrong way? The consultant who sold me my directional-tread tyres said to me that they can be rotated back to front only on the same side in order to keep the direction of the tread correct. I have so many times before walked past a car in a parking lot where the directional-tread tyres were on backwards, or the wrong way around. Is there any real danger in this?
DANIE KRUGER – Port Elizabeth
The directional-tread patterns on tyres are designed to disperse standing water in the most efficient way in the intended rotational direction as indicated. Fitting a directional tyre the wrong way round would negate this advantage to the point where aquaplaning is a real possibility in adverse weather conditions. In Europe, a car with directional-pattern tyres fitted incorrectly will fail a roadworthy test, which is proof of the fact.