Tyre choice comes down to research and knowing what you need
Selecting the right tyres for your needs and budget is something that can be daunting. Follow these seven tips for basic guidelines that will set you on track.
Tip 1: Determine When You Need Tyres
Driving with worn tyres is dangerous to the safety of you, your family and others. The following are guides to minimum tread depth required in different environments.
Tyres are considered to be un-roadworthy at 1.6mm minimum tread depth
In wet conditions 3.0mm or less tread means a significant loss of wet traction due to shallower grooves and channels
In snow conditions, traction noticeably diminishes at 4.75mm tread-depth; shallower lug and groove depths limit a tyre's ability to "bite" into snow and clean out snow compressed into the tread
Irregular wear necessitates early tyre replacement
Tip 2: Determine How Many Tyres You Need
Get into good habits of tracking your tyre wear so you can judge whether to replace them all at once or in pairs. It is always best to replace in pairs so you don’t face problems of uneven wear and alignment problems – and to ensure your vehicle remains roadworthy. If you are putting two new tyres on, it’s best to put them on the rear so that you drive to the condition of your tyres.
If you’d like assistance with safety checks, Tyrepower offers this as part of our services.
Tip 3: Determine the Tyre Size
Most people replace their old tyres with the same size that was on the vehicle when first released. This is a valid tyres choice replacement method. Your owner's manual or tyre placard in the vehicle (see door or glove box locations) or the tyre itself will have details of the size. If you know the tyre size you need, use our Tyre Search to see what's available.
Did you know that you can improve ride and performance by changing tyre size? Get in touch and we can tell you if there is a size available and what changes to performance you can expect. We’ll ensure your tyre size keeps within Federal and State regulations.
Changes you may notice include:
By selecting a tyre of the next lowest profile, you can significantly improve the handling of your vehicle. On small cars, a good example is to replace the original equipment 155/80R-13 size with 175/70R-13. The tread is almost an inch wider and the tyre has a proportionately lower sidewall (however the tyre's height remains the same). Use our Tyre Search to see these options.
By plus sizing. In this application, the plus size tyre is the same height as the original but its sidewalls are shorter. This change delivers improvement in tyre response and handling. Again, use our Tyre Search search to see these options.
Up sizing, selecting a larger tyre is a common option, especially for 4WD and truck owners; taller, wider tyres improve performance as well as ride quality. On trucks, larger tyres can improve traction, load carrying capacity and appearance.
Tip 4: Analyse Your Driving Habits
They can help you select the best tyres for your situation based on the conditions that your city, town, state or region delivers. For example a person living in Cairns will make different tyres choice than a driver in Melbourne.
Aspects you should consider include:
Do you drive on dry roads most of the year, mixed wet and dry, or mostly wet
What seasonal extremes do you face (most tyres choices today are all-season types)
If you drive a RV or Four Wheel, chances are you'll be considering an all purpose-built tyre design to match your driving needs
These designs have trade offs including traction highway ride quality and, fairly recently, performance. In terms of traction, designs range from HT (highway tread) to AP (all-purpose) to AT (all-terrain) to MT (mud terrain) in order of aggressive tread design. Highway ride quality diminishes, as the tread design becomes more aggressive.
Tip 5: Buy the Best Quality You Can Afford
The old adage, "you get what you pay for", could have been invented for tyres choice. There are a few ways to calculate the longevity and value of your tyres.
Calculate the total price for your tyre purchase and divide that by the kilometres of service. This will give you the cost per kilometre. You'll quickly see that the better tyres are the better value.
When comparing tyres within on brand, use the UTQG ratings (treadwear) to calculate value. Divide the treadwear rating by the price - the highest number should be your pick if you want the best value by wear. This system won't help you compare between brands, however, because there is no standardisation for treadwear ratings.
To compare between brands, traction and temperature ratings are best because they are standardised.
Tip 6: Consider Performance and Speed Ratings
You should always buy a tyre with the appropriate speed rating for your vehicle. If you don’t, be aware that you are limiting your vehicle's performance in terms of handling and speed capacity. Generally speaking, a tyre's handling response is commensurate with its speed rating.
If you use a lower speed rated tyre than the original design you’ll compromise handling, speed and safety.
Conversely, you can improve your vehicle's handling with a higher speed rated tyre.
Tip 7: Consider Tyre Type
Each year more and more car and light truck/4WD/SUV designs are introduced. As a result, tyre manufacturers are responding with specialised designs. You can choose anywhere from longwearing, easy-riding tyres to neck-snapping, style-conscious ultra-high performance tyres. A lot of this comes down to personal preference - it's your call.
If you’d like to see the range of tyre choice that is available, come in and have a look. We can show you tyres that will fit a variety of vehicle styles and driving habits. Most importantly, our advice will ensure your car is roadworthy and most importantly keeps you and your loved ones safe.
Our stores are owned and staffed by locals, so they’re in a great position to give advice. Because they are local to your area so will be familiar with the conditions and environment in which you are driving.