When it comes to car maintenance, there really is so much to think about. It’s no surprise that some things are missed and tyres certainly are one of them. Truth is, besides a working engine, they are one of the most important car parts and need careful attention.

Looking after your tyres the right way will not only save you time and money in the long run, it will also keep you and your family safe. Join us as we answer some of the most common questions and concerns around finding the right tyre for you.

What is my tyre size?

Perhaps not something that will affect your daily life but knowing your tyre size is important when buying new tyres. It’s not uncommon that many people don’t know their tyre size but that’s where Elite Garages come in. Let’s take a look at an example of a tyre with the numbers, 215/60R15.

  • 215 indicates the section width in millimetres. The width needs to match the wheel it’s being fitted to
  • 60 is the aspect ratio or the percentage of the sidewall height compared to the width
  • R is the construction code that indicates that this particular tyre is manufactured with a radial ply construction
  • 15 is the rim diameter measured in inches from one side of the wheel flange to the other

We always recommend that you check your tyre size yourself for that extra peace of mind and to ensure safety. You should be able to find the recommended size for your vehicle in your owner’s manual or on the label inside the driver’s door. The other option, as mentioned earlier, is looking at the numbers on the sidewall. Aren’t you glad we showed you how to read the numbers?

Selecting your tyres at Elite Garages has never been easier. Simply enter your car registration on our website and we will find the best priced tyres to match your vehicle. From there, you can choose the right one for you before continuing your search.

Why are they important?

Tyres essentially control your steering, braking, acceleration, handling and absorbing bumps with the help of your shocks. Good quality tyres can improve fuel consumption and reduce road noise. While comfort is also important, the safety of you, your family and other road users take precedence.

There are many different types, but not all of them provide the same levels of performance. You need to find the right ones that match your driving requirements. Some provide better traction in wet weather or snow, while others offer a smoother ride at high speeds. If you mostly drive around the countryside, consider all-weather or winter tyres for ultra grip in all kinds of conditions.

While buying budget tyres is not uncommon, just be sure you choose a reputable centre. Sub-par tyres could cost you more in the long term and fail to offer the safety you and your children deserve. Elite Garages operate in the South East and all of our branches offer good quality value tyres fit for every budget. In addition, we give every customer the Elite Price Promise; “If you find a genuine printed cheaper price for the same product which is in stock we will meet or beat this price at time of purchase”.

How do I know when my tyres need replacing?

Tyres should be replaced for a number of reasons, including damage or abuse and tread worn down to the minimum depth. Under UK law, your treads must be at least 1.6 mm deep around the circumference and the central three quarters. Use a tread depth gauge to measure both the inside and the outside of your treads. If you don’t have one, they aren’t that expensive but alternatively, visit any of our Elite centres and we’ll check it for you.

Another way to easily check your tread is the visible tread wear indicators. They are moulded into tread grooves to indicate whether a tyre is worn beyond its safety limit. If you can see them, your tyres need replacing. However, if you don’t know where to find them, a mark on the sidewall will show you.

If you notice something like a nail stuck in your tread, penetrating the rubber, leave it in until you can get to a garage. Pulling it out could let air escape and you’ll likely end up with a flat tyre on the M1 doing your daily school run.

You can also do the 20p coin test. Simply insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre and if the outer band of the 20p coin is hidden, your tread is above the legal limit. If you can see the outer band, it is very likely that your tyres need replacing as soon as possible.

Remember to check your tyres in a few different locations around the entire circumference to get an accurate result. We recommend that you check all your tyres at least once a month, including the spare. If you suspect tyre damage, visit any of our Elite branches nationwide and we’ll take care of it while you wait.

What does the new labelling mean?

The new labelling is based on European regulations focusing on reducing fuel consumption. Their aim is to educate drivers and help them make informed decisions when buying tyres. The rolling resistance of your tyres account for about 15% of your overall fuel consumption. It makes sense to choose the right tyre and these labels will certainly help.

  • Fuel efficiency is displayed on a sliding scale from A (best) to G (worst)
  • Wet grip performance is measured under controlled conditions and rated from A (best) to G (worst)
  • Exterior noise level, measured in decibels (dB) and a pictogram with up to three ‘sound waves’. A single ‘sound wave’ shows that the tyre is relatively quiet while three ‘sound waves’ show a relatively noisy tyre

The correct pressure could save you money

How often should you check tyre pressure? Experts recommend at least once a month but it also depends on how much you drive and if you’re transporting heavy loads. Your vehicle owner’s manual will also indicate what the correct pressure should be and when to reduce or increase it.

Under- or over-inflated tyres are dangerous and could easily lead to tyre failure. Incorrect tyre pressure leads to uneven contact with the road so tyres will wear excessively on the inside and outside edges of the tread.

Over inflated tyres are just as dangerous. They have less contact with the road which can lead to a loss of traction and poorer braking distances. In this case, the centre of the tyre makes all the contact with the road meaning your tyres will wear heavily and unevenly across the central part of the tyre.

Heed the warnings, read the labels and inflate your tyres correctly and you can save money on fuel, repairs and maintenance. Use a professional, friendly, family-owned service centre like Elite Garages and put your mind at ease.

We know how daunting it can be juggling work, kids and taking care of your car. Leave all your worries at the door with Elite Garages as we provide services while you wait and at times most convenient for you. We always keep our customers informed and will never do any work without your express consent.

Here are some of our customers, just like you, sharing their experiences with Elite Garages. When you are ready, get in touch with us for more information on tyres, puncture repairs, MOT, services, wheel alignment and balancing.

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