Given 4 symmetric tyres, assume the central tread is set like this,

front axle  v   ^
rear  axle  v   ^

Is this a valid layout ?

  • Is there an arrow on the side wall of the tyre? If not, don't worry, else all the arrows should point forward. Apr 17, 2015 at 8:41
  • @JuannStrauss thanks for the comment, there is a triangle, on the right side of the axle like this |_\ and on the left like this /_| no arrows otherwise
    – elm
    Apr 17, 2015 at 8:47

1 Answer 1


If your tyres are symmetric, you don't have a "outside" or "inside" marking on the wall of the tyre. You will also notice there is no driving direction indicated on the wall of the tyre. (info): On non-symmetric tyres it is important to maintain the driving direction and outside/inside markings that are indicated for the wear of the tyres as well as your safety in slippery conditions.

If you look closely on the tread your symmetric tyres, you will notice the most outside tread will be the same. This means that if you place your tyre right up and rotate it for 180degrees, you will see the exact same pattern.

In fact the name "symmetric" says it all and indicates that the inside/outside, nor the rotational direction matter as the tyre is desinged in such a way that it wears the same in each direction. The grip on the road will be the same for whatever placement of the tyres.

(info): the tread on the symmetric tyres (manufacturing year 2013) I've got on my vehicle right now is like this:

LF: \|\\|\         RF: \|\\|\
LR: \|\\|\         RR: \|\\|\

I can change the tyres either way around and the flow direction of water on the road will always be to the right of the vehicle (thus off the road).

  • Thanks a heap, noticed the tyres have an outside marking and no driving direction, yet the pattern looks different in each side of the axle. Even so, the car tends to swifts leftwards given some speed... May this be not tyre tread related ?
    – elm
    Apr 17, 2015 at 7:12
  • If there is an outside marking on the wall of the tyre, you should respect that. Are you sure your tyres are symmetric? If you hesitate, check for an arrow indication on the wall. It is usually marked with "rotation" or "drive" (or just an arrow). If your tyres really are symmetric and your car swifts leftwards it could be tyre-wear related. Check for even wear on the outside of the tread. It could also be the result of unbalanced tyres (usually indicated by vibrating at a certain speed). It could also be mechanically related to your car, though.
    – Qwedvit
    Apr 17, 2015 at 7:22
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    It should be noted, I have most often heard the converse of the term symmetric to be asymmetric, not "non-symmetric" when talking about tire tread ... maybe this is just semantics, but thought I'd point it out. It should also be pointed out that you can, on first installation of a symmetrical tire, place them in either rotational direction. HOWEVER, once a radial tire has been used in a direction, it should be kept in the same rotational direction, or adverse wear will occur on the tire. Apr 17, 2015 at 11:03
  • 1
    +1 for pointing that out. I think asymmetric stands to non-symmetric as my tyres stand to your tires . Symantics heh? :)
    – Qwedvit
    Apr 17, 2015 at 11:12
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    @elm - Can I assume you drive on the left side of the road? If so, the crown of the road can (in your situation) push the vehicle towards the left as you drive. Here in the US (with right side driving), we tend to get pushed towards the right. The weigh of the vehicle and the slant of the road has much to do with this. Apr 17, 2015 at 11:16

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