Purchasing new car tyres may be a chore for many, but having good tyres on your vehicle is extremely important if you want to stay safe on the road. With so many brands and types of tyres available, it can be tough choosing these car parts. Therefore, it pays to know some important things about car tyres.
OEM or New Tyres
Original equipment manufacturer tyres are original tyres designed specifically for a particular car. Manufacturers often design their cars to be compatible with a certain tyre which gives a good balance of grip, cost, road noise, and water dissipation. However, OEM tyres are often more expensive than similarly-sized tyres of other brands. It is often fine to use tyres from other manufacturers as long as the size is right, but you can check your owner's handbook to find the suitable first- and second-choice tyres for your car.
Choosing the Right Size
Getting tyres in the right size is crucial to ensure optimum handling and safety. To know the size of a tyre, look at the sidewall where there is a string of numbers. An example is 205/55R16 where 205 is the width of the tyre in millimetres, 55 being the percentage of the length of the sidewall compared to the width, and 16 being the diameter of the wheel in inches. Generally, it is best to stick with the original tyre size, but you can vary the diameter within three percent of the original size.
A Tyre to Suit Your Driving Conditions
A set of car tyres should work well in the environment you drive in. For city driving and the occasional long distance drive, most all-round tyres should suffice. However, if you often drive fast or on twisty roads, get tyres that handle well. Also, consider the road condition and climate you drive in. Do you regularly face snow and mud? Other considerations are the softness of the tyres, wear, load limit, and noise suppression capabilities.
Get Wheel Balancing and Alignment Done
Wheel balancing is done every time you install a new set of tyres or wheels on your motor vehicle. This serves to equalise the weight to reduce vibrations at high speeds. Wheel alignment on the other hand, is not necessary every time you change tyres, but you may want to get it done if you feel your car steering oddly. Besides improving handling, a good alignment improves fuel economy and the longevity of your tyres.
Are Retreads Good?
Retreads are used or worn tyres that have their treads replaced. While they are cheaper than new tyres, retreads generally have lower performance than new tyres. These tyres are widely used on commercial vehicles such as buses that have to stay within a low speed limit, meaning that retreads are more suited to low speed driving. With cheap new tyres on the market, you may not need to look at retread tyres.