What Are The Best Car Tyres To Buy?
Many motorists don’t realise the importance of buying the right car tyres. They are often neglected instead of being treated as a core component to vehicle maintenance and overall driver safety.
Considering that car tyres are the only parts that connect your car to the road, not looking after them will affect acceleration, braking and directional force. It is, for that reason, essential to make sure your car tyres are in excellent condition and that you buy smartly.
Changing Car Tyres
There are a few tell-tale signs that you need to replace your car tyres. Starting with the tread, the legal depth is 1.6mm (across three-quarters of the tyre tread) and if you notice any lumps or bulges, the tyre structure could be compromised. More importantly, if you see internal metal cords of your tyres, you need to replace them immediately.
The general rule consensus is to replace all of your car tyres simultaneously but this not always possible or practical. There are a number of factors to consider including unforeseen damage to one of your tyres and, of course, the fact that front and rear tyres wear differently. While 1.6mm is the legal limit, a tyre’s ability to grip deteriorates long before this so it’s important to look for new tyres when the depth reaches 2-3mm. Although new tyres have a tread depth of approximately 8mm, some performance tyres have less.
Interesting Article: ‘6 Things To Know About Your Tyre Tread’
Guide To Buying Car Tyres
With so many different tyre brands on the market, it’s often a daunting task finding the right ones for your car and your individual driving needs. There are several points to consider when buying tyres but our simple guide will show how easy it can be.
Did you know that you can now buy your tyres online from Elite Garages?
Choosing The Right Tyre Size
Before you do anything else, you need to know the size of your tyres. It may surprise you but many people don’t know their tyre size but Elite Garages is here to help. You can find the tyre size on the outside edge of the tyre in raised lettering. It is often difficult to identify as the writing is small but you will see it somewhere on the tyre’s sidewall.
Let’s take a look at an example of a tyre with the numbers, 215/60 R15 92H.
- 215 indicates the section width in millimetres. The width of a tyre needs to match the wheel it’s being fitted to
- 60 is the aspect ratio or the percentage of the tyre’s sidewall height compared to the tyre’s 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
- H indicates the maximum speed at which a tyre can carry a load in accordance with its load rating
Know What Your Tyre Labels Mean
At Elite Garages, we like to educate our customers about their tyres and help them make the right choice. Here’s a quick look at a few tyre labels you need to know:
- Fuel efficiency is displayed on a sliding scale from A (best) to G (worst). The difference in fuel consumption between a car fitted with A and G class tyres is approximately 0.5 litres per 60 miles or 100 km
- Where applicable, wet grip performance is measured under controlled conditions and rated from A (best) to G (worst). This includes passenger car tyres (C1 tyres), light commercial vehicles (vans – C2 tyres) and heavy vehicles (trucks, buses – C3 tyres)
- The exterior noise level is measured in decibels (dB) and indicated through 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
For additional information about tyre labelling, visit the European Commission website or contact any of our Elite Garages. Our staff are friendly, professional and trained to offer expert assistance in any way they can.
Different Types Of Tyres
Now that you have a better idea of tyre labelling and what to look out for, which type of tyre is right for you?
Summer Or Winter Tyres
Vehicles in the UK are fitted with summer tyres as standard and offer the best grip in warm, dry conditions. At the same time, they’re also designed to operate safely in wet weather. Considering their all round performance, most drivers will choose summer tyres by default.
While many drivers will choose summer tyres all year round, others prefer fitting specialised winter tyres. These tyres are made from a different compound that stays suppler at lower temperatures, below 7 degrees to be exact. In terms of grip, winter tyres generally outperform summer tyres.
Although there are several high-quality all-season tyres, we recommend that drivers use the appropriate tyre for each season. Where possible, fit summer tyres to your vehicle with during spring and summer while using winter tyres in autumn and winter. This provides maximum road safety, fuel economy and overall performance.
While the tread pattern of all-season tyres is specially designed to perform in all conditions, they don’t match the performance level of summer and winter tyres in their respective extreme conditions. Here are some of the main characteristics:
- Better rolling resistance in winter
- Greater versatility as they are designed for good performance in all weather conditions
- All-season tyres have better traction at temperatures above 7°C
- Reduced tyre noise and more comfortable driving experience
- Brakes also work well on icy roads
- If looked after, the tread will last longer than summer or winter tyres
Run Flat Tyres
Run-flat tyres temporarily maintain their shape and strength even if they completely lose tyre pressure. They allow you to drive for 50 miles at 50 mph so you can get home safely or to your nearest garage. These pneumatic vehicle tyres give you the peace of mind knowing that you won’t be left stranded. While they’re certainly worth the investment considering their convenience and safety, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Run flat tyres are not indestructible and you must still take good care of them. If you get a puncture and continue driving without having it checked or replaced, your wheels may become damaged. A major drawback is that run-flat tyres should be replaced instead of repaired when getting a puncture. The reason is that it is too difficult to accurately determine whether or not the tyre wall has been damaged (and to what extent).
Quality Tyres From Elite Garages
While it may seem expensive to buy different sets of tyres, you can’t put a price on the safety of you, your family and fellow road users. If you have any concerns over the condition of your tyres, please book a free tyre safety check for added peace of mind.
Elite Garages provide all of our customers with high performance, reliable tyres at an affordable price. Our wide selection of car tyres includes performance tyres, commercial tyres, general use and touring tyres among others. We offer expert car maintenance from full servicing of all makes and models, tyre maintenance, wheel alignment, batteries and more.