What Are OE Tyres And How Does The Process Work?

OE tyres (Original Equipment tyres) are those fitted to your car as a standard before it leaves the factory. Tyre companies work in close collaboration with car manufacturers and industry experts to research and develop OE tyres. In other words, car companies choose a specifically tuned and adapted OE tyre for each of their vehicles to provide the desired performance characteristics.

How Does The OE Tyres Process Work?

Manufacturers do rigorous testing on OE tyres to ensure they meet the most demanding safety and performance standards. Considering the huge accolade of having OE status, it’s no surprise that premium tyre manufacturers, like Continental, Bridgestone, Michelin and Pirelli continue to compete strongly. It’s this competitiveness that forces tyre manufacturers to constantly improve their tyres through new innovations and technologies.

Automotive engineers and tyre designers work together early in the design process to create a tyre specifically engineered for a certain vehicle. This ensures that the tyre delivers the required performance criteria as set out by car manufacturers for the most enhanced driving experience. Whilst there are many great OE tyre brands that invest heavily in research and development, we look at Bridgestone, Continental and Goodyear to explain how the OE tyre process works followed by the different OE markings.

OE Tyre Brands

Continental is the top provider of OE tyres in Europe where one in every three cars is fitted with Continental Original Equipment. Bridgestone’s global investment in R&D is among the highest in the industry where Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) chose Bridgestone for over 120 new original equipment fitments. This includes more than 40 different models from 15 manufacturers.

Goodyear is another leading brand in OE with more than 600 approvals from over 30 vehicle manufacturers. Below is a graphical representation of their Original Equipment process which is similar to other leading premium tyre brands.

OE tyres at Elite Garages

What Do The OE Markings Mean?

You can classify OE tyres as the automotive equivalent of a custom-made shoe or suit. As not all cars are the same, OE tyres are purpose-built to leverage the unique characteristics of a vehicle to ensure optimised performance levels. You will find OE markings on BMW tyres, Audi tyres, Alfa Romeo tyres, Tesla tyres and Mercedes tyres among others.

To show that tyres are engineered to original equipment standards, manufacturers emboss OE markings onto the sidewall. This shows which car manufacturer it has been designed for as indicated in the table below.

OE Tyre Markings

Original Equipment Manufacturer Sidewall Marking Explanation
Alfa Romeo AR Alfa Romeo
Aston Martin AM Aston Martin
Audi AO | AOE | RO1 Audi Original | Audi Original Extended (ROF) | Audi Quattro
Bentley B Bentley
BMW * “Star” marking
BMW & Mercedes * MO(E) "Star" marking & Mercedes Original (Extended)
Ferrari K1, K2, K3 /
Jaguar J Jaguar
Lamborghini L Lamborghini
Land Rover LR Land Rover
Jaguar & Land Rover JLR Jaguar Land Rover
Lotus LS Lotus Exige S
Maserati MGT Maserati Genuine Tires
Maserati & Jaguar MGT J Maserati Genuine Tires & Jaguar
McLaren MC Mclaren
Mercedes MOE | MO | MO1 Mercedes Original Extended (ROF) | Mercedes Original | Mercedes Original (for AMG models)
Nissan NR1 Nissan GT-R Nismo
Porsche N0, N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6
Tesla T0, T1, T2,… Tesla Original
Volvo VOL Volvo

Benefits Of OE Tyres

OE tyres come in many different sizes, makes and models, with various sets of driving objectives. This translates into vehicle manufacturers having full confidence that all of their new cars have the correct tyres for various road conditions and that each model can accelerate, brake and corner at the highest possible level.

Fitting the right type of tyre can make all the difference as every car is different and that’s where Original Equipment can help. For example, whilst SUVs require more versatile tyres with optimal wet and dry performance, luxury cars are better suited to tyres that are smoother and quieter on the road.

OE tyres are usually developed with ride comfort as primary criteria followed by fuel efficiency, on-road handling, tread wear and road noise. You can expect better overall performance from OE tyres as a result of the advanced design and fitment process.

Should I Buy Original Equipment Tyres?

When it comes to replacing worn tyres, experts recommend staying with OE tyres. This will provide assurance that the physical dimensions, internal construction, tread design and key performance attributes are the same as the tyres being replaced. When deviating from fitting OE tyres, you could compromise on some characteristics of the car, including comfort, economy and handling.

That said, these characteristics may not be at the top of everyone’s list as it depends on the type of car and where they intend to drive. For the most part, tyres fitted as OE aren’t generally designed for off-road use. This means you may need to find an aftermarket tyre for handling rough terrain if you own a 4WD and often go off-road.

For the everyday driver though, OE tyres check all the necessary boxes especially for daily commutes, school runs and road trip adventures on highways.

How Long Should Car Tyres Last?

This question is popular along with “Are OE tyres better?” As discussed in the previous section, OE tyres are generally better as they meet specific criteria for certain vehicles. It’s highly unlikely that economy tyres will satisfy all the criteria or any at all. The only way to guarantee you don’t compromise any aspect of your car is to replace your tyres with the same type it came with originally.

Premium tyres and OE tyres typically last longer as the rubber is of better quality but even they will wear prematurely in certain situations. This includes driving too fast, braking excessively, wheel spins, hitting kerbs/potholes and driving in extreme conditions.

If your car tyres are worn or damaged, it can affect braking, acceleration, traction, handling, steering and comfort. We recommend checking your tyres at least once a month for any sign of wear or physical damage.

Where To Buy Car Tyres

Car owners are faced with so many choices when looking for new tyres that the process can be overwhelming. Tyres vary greatly in price and if you don’t understand the industry jargon to describe them, it’s often difficult to understand exactly what you are getting for your money.

If you bought your new car from a dealership, the best tyres to buy are “OE” (Original Equipment). At Elite Garages, our team of experts are here to help you find the best tyres for your car. We stock over 1 million tyres across the group and offer same-day or next-day fitment if we have to order it from our warehouse.

The range of Elite tyres includes economy, mid-range, performance tyres, run-flats and 4×4 tyres. If you’re looking for car tyres that best suit your car, visit our website where you can also reserve yours online.

Conclusion

When you buy a new car, chances are it already comes fitted with Continental, Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone or Goodyear tyres. These OE tyres go through rigorous testing and development to meet specific criteria which means they are typically better than normal tyres if you take good care of them.

We strongly urge you to always follow the manufacturer’s tyre replacement recommendations for original equipment. To determine the tyre’s manufacturing date, look for the DOT code on the sidewall of your tyres.

Get in touch with our team today for tyre advice or to answer any questions you may have. This includes “where to change car tyres”, “what tyres does my car need”, and “where to find the best car tyres near me”. To find the closest Elite tyre fitment centre, visit our website and remember to order your car tyres online.

Bridgestone tyre special