Did you know there are over 250 car tyre brands from 40 countries in Ireland right now? Every tyre brand wants to be on your car and for you to become its customer by luring you in with tricks and techniques. But next time you need a new set of tyres be sure to do some research, so you don’t fall for branding tricks. We’ve put together some tips for making sure you get the best mileage out of your next set.
It may seem trivial but remember tyres are your only contact with the road when you get in the car. Both when you first buy the car and when you replace the tyres, they’re an important factor to think about. This article shares 5 tips for getting the most out of the tyres you buy.
5 Tips While Buying Car Tyre
Buying tyres for your car can a challenge if you don’t have any prior experience. It’s a long-term investment as a tyre will last for the next 5 years or 50,000 Kms on average.
So you should know what to look for while choosing the right tyre for your car. Here are some valuable tips to help you make the right decision while buying car tyres.
- Don’t Mix Tyres on an Axle
Mixing tyre patterns on an axle is illegal in Ireland. Your axle is the main rod under your car that connects your wheels together. Your engine will turn one or both axles which in turn will turn the wheels. This makes your tyre pairs connected to each other through the axle.
Tyres can have lots of different tyre treads, or patterns. Some are good for driving in the winter, some are better in the dry summer. Each type of tyre tread will have a different amount of grip depending on the surface it’s driving on. This is where the connection between the tyres through the axle matters.
In an emergency braking situation this different grip might make your car twist and turn sharply as one tyre sticks to the road more than the other tyre through the same axle. You can have different brands, or ages of tyres but remember they must be the same tread pattern to prevent a dangerous braking situation.
- Buy from a Reliable Retailer
You already know about the competition in the Irish car tyre market. Because of this finding a reliable retailer can be difficult.
So here are a few things to check with each retailer if you are new in the market:
- Is the retailer offering a tyre warranty?
- Is the price market competitive?
- Are top tyre brands available at the retailer?
- How long has a retailer been doing business with the car tyre manufacturers or brands?
- How are the online reviews about that retailer? What about word of mouth from colleagues or friends?
Ask around before going to a tyre fitter. Also check which tyre is already on your car. Some cars are sold new with top-of-the-line branded tyres. These aren’t always necessary so ask the tyre shop for their opinion. If they only suggest expensive top of the line tyres for your 20-year-old corolla they might be trying to over sell you.
- Know Your Tyre Sizes
The tyre size is an essential factor which many drivers overlook today. If you look at the side of a tyre, you will find an alphanumeric code like 205/55R16 91W. To read and understand the tyre size, have a look at the following:
- 205 is the tyre’s width in millimetres.
- 55 is the aspect ratio in %. It’s the height of the sidewall divided by the tyre’s width.
- R means radial ply construction or the manufacturing of the tyre. For passenger or road cars, it’s usually R.
- 16 is the rim diameter in inches (the tyre size your retailer might ask about).
- Finally, 91 is the load index which means how much weight a tyre can carry in the vehicle. Read this for more explanation.
- W is the speed rating. The higher the alphabet, the higher speed it rates for the tyres. Usually, the speed rating is suitable for motorways and residential streets. However, you should consider upgrading the tyre speed rating if you plan to drive a sports car on a racing track.
- Choose the Tyre for the Climates
Ireland has a temperate maritime climate as it is in the neighbourhood of the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the mild climate summer tyres are the most common in ireland.
The climate of Ireland brings mild winters and warm summers, we don’t get scorching days, but we also don’t completely freeze like the Nordic countries. However, the oceanic winds blow throughout the year, making humidity a factor to consider. The temperature drops below 7°C in winter but we don’t get the severe winters like Norway or Canada. Because of this we rarely need dedicated winter tyres.
Fortunately, Ireland has no law to equip your car with winter tyres. If you do want to get dedicated winter tyres, it’s good to know the best practice is not to use them in the summer. Winter tyres will wear quicker in dry conditions and provide a lot less grip. They really are meant for the harsh winters we just don’t get often.
We’d advise all season or summer tyres. Most tyre shops will stock a range of either type. If you decide to get winter tyres, you might have to pre-order them.
- Consider Performance
Last but not least, check the overall performance of a car tyre. Remember that a tyre’s performance doesn’t only depend on speed but also the brakes, smooth turns, and the noise of the tyre. As a result, some tyres are quieter, more efficient, and more durable than others.
The best tyre on the market for speed, braking, noise and durability is also probably the most expensive tyre. To get all of these factors to combine took a lot of research and high-quality material to achieve, so the price reflects this. More expensive newer cars might need the highest quality tyres. You might decide to move down the price range for your car. Find a good balance between the durability, safety and price of a tyre.
Always look for a good-performing tyre from a reputable brand, and a reliable retailer is better. Also, there’s no need to equip your car with a sports tyre version if you will be driving on Irish roads.
Quality car tyres make your journeys smoother and safer. So always keep an eye on them.
If your car’s tyres need maintenance, take them to a tyre shop. If they can’t be repaired, go for new tyres as soon as possible.