Reinforced tyres, otherwise known as XL tyres, are stronger and more hardwearing than standard tyres and are particularly important if you have a large vehicle that often carries heavy loads.
The internal structure is stronger and the design of these tyres can help make it easier for you to handle your vehicle, particularly if itís a large family car, such as a 4x4.
What is a reinforced tyre?
All vehicles are different shapes, sizes and weights, so itís likely that a small car will need different tyres to a large one. For example, the tyres on a small city car such as a Fiat 500 wonít be under as much pressure or weight as a van that carries building supplies. The tyres on the van would need to be able to support not just the weight of the van, but the weight of the supplies inside it, too. This is why reinforced tyres are so important.
All tyres contain beading, which is put in place to ensure that the tyre stays on the wheel rim without coming apart. But the bead has other uses too. Made of strong, heat-resistant fibres, the bead enhances stability. Reinforced tyres contain additional beading to make the tyre stronger and more hard-wearing, particularly when put under additional strain.
You will be able to tell if your current tyres are reinforced from the markings on the tyre wall. The writing on the tyre will usually state either XL or Reinf. In some cases, it may also appear as RF, RFD or EL. If your tyres state RF, this usually refers to run flat tyres so be careful not to mix the two up. To find out more about the benefits of reinforced tyres, and what makes them different to run flats, read on.
What are the benefits of reinforced tyres?
There are plenty of advantages to having reinforced tyres. These include:
- Longer lifespan - Reinforced tyres can travel longer distances than standard ones as long as the recommended tyre pressure is maintained. These tyres normally require higher air pressure, so be sure to check the recommended measurement.
- More hard-wearing - When compared to standard tyres, reinforced tyres are less likely to be damaged by potholes or by hitting the curb at an awkward angle. This is due to a stronger internal structure.
- Greater stability and traction - Reinforced tyres tend to be more rigid which greatly benefits their stability and traction. This could provide the vehicle with improved handling and is advantageous when driving under wet or icy conditions. This is especially important for large vehicles, when reinforced tyres should be a requirement and not just an additional extra.
- Beneficial for off-roading reinforced tyres are particularly useful for off-road driving or for those adventure lovers who regularly drive in mountainous areas with a full car load.
Are reinforced tyres the same as run flats?
Run flat tyres are internally reinforced to cope with a blowout should one occur. They work by allowing your tyre to maintain a certain shape, even with a hole in it. This means you can continue to drive safely until you find a place to stop or a garage. However, they arenít built to cope with certain loads like a reinforced tyre is.
In contrast, reinforced tyres could prevent this blowout from happening in the first place. These tyres are built to specifically cope with higher weight loads, which means the chance of a blowout is significantly decreased.
Do I need reinforced tyres?
When choosing new tyres for your vehicle, there are three things you should consider: tyre size, speed rating and load.
The size will be dependent on your vehicle.
The speed rating is based on a number of tests that determines the maximum recommended speed you should drive at. The speed rating is usually matched to the top speed of your vehicle. T, H and V are the most popular speed ratings. T is 118 mph, H is 130 mph and V is 149 mph. T can usually be found on smaller city cars, whereas H and V are more likely to be found on family cars.
Finally, the load rating tells you the weight each tyre can take. You should check your vehicleís handbook to find out the maximum load your car can handle. Never overload your vehicle as the tyres may not be able to take the weight, which can result in a blowout.
To find out what tyres you need, you can use our free tyre checker. This will tell you, based on your carís make and model, what size, speed rating and load tyres you need. Simply enter your vehicleís registration.
You might need reinforced tyres if you have a large family car, a van, or you frequently carry heavy loads.
Not sure which tyres are reinforced? Look for this icon when searching for tyres.
Book a free tyre check
When youíre sure of the tyres you need, get in touch with your local Kwik Fit centre to book a replacement Ė or, if youíre still unsure, book a free tyre check and the experts will gladly advise.