What you should pay attention to when buying tyres?

off-road tires

What you should pay attention to when buying tyres?

Which car tires are the best? If you want to buy car tyres, you shouldn’t just look at the specifications of the vehicle – your driving profile and personal driving style also play a role. Car tires have to have a high level of grip on dry and wet roads. Winter tires are also expected to have good grip on snow and ice. On the other hand, some features can often be omitted. Buying car tyres is easier if a few important points are observed!

What tire size do I need?
Anyone who buys a suit should know their dress size. And anyone who wants to buy car tires should know the tire dimensions approved for the vehicle. These can be found in the information on the registration certificate or the old vehicle registration document. To find out what size tires are currently fitted, just look at the tire sidewall . The tire designation provides information on the tire size, width and height of the tire . The information behind the R indicates the rim diameter . The numbers before the R separated by a slash indicate the tire size. For example, the tire designation 195/55 R19 reads as follows:

– The tire is 195 millimeters wide.

– The height/width ratio is 55 percent.

– The rim diameter is 19 inches.

Tire manufacturers have special tires in their range for owners of SUVs or off-road vehicles: tires with deep tread grooves ensure high off-road suitability, but also reduce driving comfort. If you want to buy car tires for an SUV, you should first consider how often you drive off paved roads, since all-round suitability for road and off-road always requires a compromise.

Load Index and Speed ? ?Index
Every car tire can only be loaded up to a certain weight. The load capacity index provides information on the maximum load capacity . This is a two-digit number that encodes the maximum weight in kilograms. For example, the load index 78 stands for a load index of 425 kilograms with a tire pressure of 2.5 bar. The load capacity can be increased by increasing the tire pressure, but the maximum inflation pressure must not be exceeded. Conversely, a lower tire pressure reduces the load capacity of a tire.

The speed index indicates the maximum speed at which a tire can be used. The categorization is done with letters. A tire classified as S may roll at a speed of 180 km/h, the letter W allows up to 270 km/h. A high speed index indicates high safety reserves, so the speed index can be two or three levels higher. The information on the load index and speed index can be found on the registration certificate and the sidewall of the tyre.

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Are all-season tires a good alternative?
Many drivers hate the seasonal tire change that occurs twice a year. This is probably one of the reasons why the market share of all-season tires has been growing steadily for several years. When they buy car tyres, many drivers specifically opt for all-weather tires because they live in temperate latitudes and the winters tend to be wet rather than snowy. In such regions, all-season tires can be a sensible choice. The quality of all-weather tires has also increased. Evidence of this is the snowflake symbol on the sidewall of the tyre, which indicates that most all-season tires are highly suitable for driving on wintry roads. The M+S symbol , on the other hand, has less significance .

All-season tires are an interesting option if drivers can leave their car behind on extremely snowy and frosty days. If you want the best grip and the shortest braking distances in both summer and winter, you can’t do without separate summer tires and winter tires . The winter tires, which are designed for snowy roads and low temperatures, show their strengths in autumn and winter. Good summer tires build up a high level of grip on warm days and roll safely through every summer thunderstorm. The effort for tire service and storage associated with the annual tire change must be taken into account when purchasing summer tires and winter tires separately.

What quality do cheap economy tires offer?
Economy tires promise a high level of economy and attract with a small price. The tires have a low rolling resistance, which leads to high mileage. This is only possible with a relatively hard rubber compound that does not cause high abrasion even with maximum traction. Many economy tires or budget tires perform well on dry roads , but weaken in the wet . The driving comfort is often not at the level of car tires in higher price categories.

Some tire manufacturers from the budget segment were nevertheless able to catch up with suppliers of branded tires in terms of quality, as can be seen from various tire tests. Drivers who only have low demands on new tires should also pay attention to a good price-performance ratio. For the daily commute or weekend trip, most people don’t need ultra-high-performance tires from a premium manufacturer. However, the importance of short braking distances and superior performance on wet roads should not be neglected when buying tyres.

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What role does the profile design play?
The tread of a tire has a pattern of longitudinal grooves, diagonal grooves and sipes. The profile picture is based on a computer-calculated design. In addition to high grip on dry roads, the developers aim for good wet grip when it comes to summer tires . When it rains, the main grooves absorb standing water on the road and drain it off via the transverse grooves.

Good traction on snow and ice is important for winter tires . Their profile is therefore generally deeper and richer in structure, so that the tires can also find a good grip on frozen roads and in slush. Micro-fine slats with sharp edges ensure grip even in sub-zero temperatures. Especially with winter tyres, the tire profile makes a decisive contribution to the rolling noise. With a sophisticated sequence of tire blocks, smooth running is maintained at any speed. A distinction can be made between tires with a symmetrical and asymmetrical tread pattern. Tires with asymmetrical treads have a different design on the outside and inside, which is said to improve cornering stability.

The EU tire label helps with classification
Even experts often find it difficult to keep their bearings in the huge range of tires. The EU tire label is intended to give drivers a guideline. The aspects of fuel efficiency, wet grip and tire noise are evaluated with the label . The fuel consumption and wet grip are categorized with letters. An A stands for very good , while a G indicates above-average performance.

With the tire noise, the EU tire label indicates the noise in dB . A loudspeaker symbol indicates visually how quietly or loudly a tire rolls. Since only three parameters are evaluated with the label, a comprehensive evaluation of a tire is not possible with this alone. The signet does not provide information on braking distances and mileage. Nevertheless, the tire label gives the driver good information about the behavior of a tire with regard to relevant criteria.

Changing tires is something for a specialist company
If you don’t buy your tires with steel or aluminum rims, you should have them mounted by a fitting partner . It is not advisable to fit the tires yourself, as a driver rarely has the experience and the necessary special tools. Unprofessional prying of the tires onto the rims quickly leaves scratches in the alloy rims. More serious is unnoticed damage to the tire bead, which can have fatal consequences on the road. Damage to the carcass is not always visible from the outside.

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If a tire bursts at high speed, the driver often loses control of his vehicle. In addition: A tire change carried out by an experienced fitting partner includes balancing on a special machine. Even a small imbalance can create annoying vibrations and lead to uneven wear.

Complete wheels , on the other hand, can be changed by the driver himself with a little manual skill. When tightening the wheel fasteners, the tightening torque specified by the manufacturer must be observed. Investing in a solid quality torque wrench and trolley jack is particularly worthwhile for users of summer and winter tires.

Are used tires and retreaded tires a safety risk?
The alternative to buying new tires is to buy used tires or retreaded tires. The cost benefit is tempting, but there are downsides too. When buying used tires, the driver does not know whether the tires have been used and stored properly. The problem: damage to tires cannot always be seen with the naked eye. The age of the tires can be found in the DOT number stamped on the tire sidewall . The first pair of numbers refers to the calendar week, the second to the year of production. A tire with the DOT number 1915 was therefore manufactured in the 19th calendar week of 2015.

Car tires become less elastic and brittle over the years. Material fatigue leads to hardening of the tire rubber. The contact area becomes smaller because the tread can only insufficiently hug the road. It is not advisable to buy used tires that are five years old or older, even if they still have deep tread.

With retreaded tires, the buyer benefits from more security. With a retreaded tire, the carcass of an old tire is given a new tread once. Although only flawless and tested carcasses are used, the driving performance of high-quality branded tires cannot be achieved with retreaded tires . The fresh tire rubber, the two-year manufacturer ‘s guarantee and the AIR quality standard, to which the leading manufacturers have committed themselves, speak in favor of retreaded tyres.

Another alternative for bargain hunters are demo tires . These tires have already been used for demonstration vehicles or exhibition vehicles and have traveled a maximum of 50 kilometers. Due to the low mileage, damage is unlikely and the tire profile still has the full depth.

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