Tyre quality has a big impact on your driving experience, the environment and car safety, both of which are high on the priority list for most drivers. If you go for the cheapest option, you could Find yourself with an unenjoyable ride as well as causing yourself more cost later on. But even worse than that, you could be the cause of a road accident.
Driving Experience: Your tyres are the only part of your car that interacts with the road, this means that they affect your suspension, braking, acceleration and steering. So pretty much everything!
Environment: The quality of tyres will affect the amount of fuel you need to use during each journey as well as how noisy your car is.
Safety: This one is critical; your tyres need to be up to scratch to avoid skidding and hindering your braking capability. Worn and bald tyres can turn a near miss into a horrific accident. It’s just not worth compromising on such an important aspect. It’s not only yourself you put at risk, but your passengers, pedestrians and other road users.
Looking after your Tyres
From a legal standpoint you need to make sure that your tyres are right for your vehicle, that they are inflated properly (the manufacturers handbook for your car will detail this) and that they are not too worn to be safe on the road.
Wear and tear is measured by tread depth. These are the ridges on your tyres and they need to adhere to current legislation, if they don’t then you need to have your tyres replaced. If you are unsure, then go to a garage to get them checked out by a professional. Most will offer inspections that are cost effective if not free. You should check your tyres once a month.
Many modern cars have sensors that detect pressure and will have a warning light to show that something is wrong. Never ignore this, pull over when safe to do so and check your tyres. It may be that the air needs topping up, you can do this at any petrol station. Alternatively it could indicate a slow puncture or worse, a flat tyre. Refer to your manufacturers handbook as to how best to deal with these situations. The advice given will be personal to your vehicle.
If you do need to replace a tyre due to wear and tear, it’s always best to replace all at once. If this is cost inhibitive then replacing in pairs is also good. The reason for this is that each pair will share the same axle and therefore need to be of a similar standard.
If you have a spare tyre, you should also check this periodically. Not all vehicles carry a spare, but most will as a requirement of most breakdown services.
If you drive once a week then your requirements will be different than a taxi driver that is always on the road. If you commute every day and drive at higher speeds on the motorways then your needs will also be different.
Good quality tyres should math your lifestyle and terrain. Speak to your local garage to get advise on the best type of tyre for your most common driving conditions. Whatever you do, don’t mix types as this can negatively impact the amount of control you have when driving regardless of conditions.