FAQ Questions And Answers From A Top Tyre Garage

Elite Garages have been in business for more than 50 years and is one of the leading fast-fit retailers in the UK. Through its membership of Group Tyre, Elite represents more than 15% of the total car tyres sold in the country. With stock of over 1 million car tyres across the group, we pride ourselves on having excellent availability for all your needs.

Considering car tyres play such an important part in road safety, fuel economy and driving comfort, it’s no surprise people have questions. Whether you are looking for cheap tyres in Brighton, cheap tyres in Portsmouth or budget tyres in Salisbury, we have you covered. As a leading tyre fitting centre in the UK, here are some of the top tyre questions customers often ask us.

What is my tyre size?

Knowing the size is important when visiting a tyre garage for a replacement as you should only fit the same size tyres. You can find your tyre size in the vehicle manufacturer’s manual or on the sidewall of your current tyres.

You can also enter your vehicle information on our online tyre reservation page which shows suggested sizes. However, it’s still important to confirm it against the tyres currently fitted to your car. If you have any doubts, visit your nearest Elite tyre garage for a free vehicle check.

Why is tread depth important?

Considering tyres are the only parts connecting your car to the road, having sufficient tyre tread is vital. The more tread you have, the better your car tyres will grip the road surface. Whilst the minimum legal requirement is 1.6 mm, many experts recommend replacing your tyres at 3 mm. For motorcycles, the minimum tread depth is 1.0mm throughout the central 75% of the tyre.

What tyre pressure should my tyres be?

Incorrect tyre pressure can result in uneven tread wear which can affect handling, grip and a tyre blowout in some instances. Having the correct tyre pressure ensures the right amount of tyre tread connects to the road for better handling and fuel efficiency.

Tyre pressure is measured in Bar, as well as pounds per square inch (PSI). You can find the correct information in your vehicle manufacturer’s handbook and some cars may have it inside the rim of the driver’s door and on the petrol cap.

How often should I change my tyres? (A Tyre Garage Favourite)

This is probably one of the toughest questions to answer as a tyre garage. The answer depends largely on how often you drive your car, van or motorcycle. Then there are other considerations such as driving conditions, driving habits and tyre quality. The best advice is to inspect your tyres at least once a month for signs of wear and tear, including bulges, cracks, punctures and tread.

Seasonal changes are also a major factor to consider when you buy tyres. Whilst you don’t have to fit winter tyres by law, they do make a big difference, especially in wet, snowy and icy conditions. We supply budget tyres, mid-range tyres, premium tyres, run-flats and winter tyres. As a family-owned and run tyre garage, we are here to provide friendly advice about when to switch and which car tyres to choose.

What is wheel alignment?

Remember, wheel alignment and wheel balancing are not two terms for the same service. Wheel balancing focuses on the distribution of weight around the wheel while wheel alignment assesses the direction and angle of the wheels to ensure they’re perpendicular to the road and parallel to each other.

When performing a wheel alignment, our expert technicians inspect the camber, toe and caster. If you don’t know what that means, here is a brief explanation:

  • Camber refers to the tilt of the tyre (inward or outward)
  • Toe refers to the direction of the tyres (in relation to one another)
  • Caster is the angle of the steering pivot as seen from the side of the vehicle

Recommended: ‘Wheel Alignment, Tyre Balancing and Tracking: Know The Difference’

Should I get a puncture repair or new tyres?

According to the British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association, tyre repairs are only allowed if the damage is on the central ¾ of the tyre. If a puncture is too close to the sidewall of the tyre, a repair may not ensure a lasting or safe repair.

As a preferred tyre garage, we have expert technicians, equipment and years of experience. If you have any doubt about your tyre, give us a call or visit your nearest Elite tyre fitment centre. We offer puncture repairs from just £24.00 and a wide range of quality tyres.

Recommended: ‘Can A Tyre Be Repaired Twice: Tyre Safety & Puncture Repair’

What’s the difference between tyre brands?

Elite Garages offer budget or economy tyres, mid-range and premium tyres from various brands. The economy car tyres you can fit at Elite Garages include Sailwin/Antares whilst the mid-range tyres include Rapid Tyres (just below premium tyres), Avon, Yokohama, Hankook, Toyo, Kumho and Goodride. Our premium tyre brands are Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear, Continental.

For more information on the different brands and which car tyres are best for you, have a look at this tyre buying guide.

How often should I check my tyres? (Another Tyre Garage Favourite)

As previously mentioned, you should check your tyres at least once a month and before embarking on a long journey. However, considering how vital good quality car tyres are, you can check them as often as you need to.

How do I check my tyres?

Quite possibly one of the easiest ways to check your tyre tread is using a tread depth gauge. This device will measure the inside and outside of your tread which you can buy at most auto care centres.

Another simpler way of checking tyre tread is by looking at the tread wear indicators. Tyre manufacturers add these into the grooves and make it easier to identify worn tyres. If the tread is level with the indicators, it’s time to buy tyres.

The third method is using the 20p coin test. Insert a 20p coin into the main tread grooves and if you can’t see the outer band, your tyre tread is fine. However, if the outer band of the coin is visible, you might need new tyres.

If you have any concerns about your tyres, book a free tyre check at your nearest Elite tyre fitment centre.

What does tyre labelling mean?

As of 1st November 2012, all new car tyre labels had to display three key measures to rate the tyre’s fuel efficiency, wet braking performance and exterior noise emissions. These labels help explain how tyres perform in these three areas and help them make an informed decision about safer and more environmentally-friendly driving. For more information about tyre labelling, read this article on new EU tyre labels.

Why Choose Elite As Your Local Tyre Garage

Elite Garages operate from various locations covering the whole of the south and south-east England. That means we can help whether you are looking for tyre fitters in Maidstone, tyre fitters in Southampton or tyre fitters in Horsham.

Three generations are working together at Elite Garages allowing us to deliver the best possible service you’d expect from a family-owned MOT, service and tyre garage. We ensure that our customers get the best possible deal on car and van servicing, MOTs, air conditioning, exhausts, batteries, brakes, clutches, diagnostics, suspension, wheel alignment and balancing.

As a well-known tyre garage, we pride ourselves on giving customers a personal touch which is why we have so many return customers. No matter what the issue might be with your car tyres, we can help as it’s always best to seek the advice of tyre experts like Elite Garages.