Tyres are not only an important performance component for your vehicle, but also a significant safety feature. They are the sole points of contact between the vehicle and the road. Regardless of the other components of a vehicle, all of them rely on the tyres in order to perform. An engine cannot accelerate quickly without good traction, handling and turns are not as precise unless the right tyres are equipped, and brakes are only as good as the tyres they have to stop. Tyres are an often overlooked component of a vehicle despite their importance.
Tyres require proper maintenance to perform. Proper inflation, rotation, and monitoring of tread wear are necessary to ensure the best performance from the tyre. Maintaining tyres also increases their lifespan and makes them more reliable. Tyre reliability is especially important because safety can be compromised with tyres that under perform, or flat tyres. Potential tyre buyers should research price, performance, durability, and compatibility with their vehicle to avoid any issues with their purchase.
How to Choose the Right Tyre
Consumers often have difficulty when they have to determine the appropriate tyre sizing. Every tyre has a code, located on the sidewall, that indicates a variety of things. Shoppers can determine the correct size tyre that their vehicle needs based on the code on their current tyres. The first symbol in the code is typically a letter. The letter indicates the type of tyre. P stands for pickup, LT stands for light truck, etc. More detail about the type of tyre a shopper needs can be found if the owner researches the letter on their present tyre code.
Following the letters, is a set of numbers used as indicators. This set of numbers represents the width of the tyre in millimetres. Typically following the width is a backslash. The backslash is followed by another number which relates to the aspect ratio of the sidewall. Next is a letter which indicates the type of construction. For example, R stands for radial construction. Finally, there is the rim diameter, tyre's load rating, speed rating, and the conditions the tyre is suitable for.
Types of Tyres
Besides the size, tyres are usually selected based on their performance in certain conditions. Shoppers who live in a colder, snowier climate may prefer winter tyres. On the other hand, touring tyres make more sense for shoppers who reside in a mild climate. There are also specialised tyres that are only used for specific purposes and have to be towed to the location where they are to be used because they are not suitable for normal road conditions.
All Season Tyres
All season tyres are known as the best all-around tyre on the market. They attempt to balance all of the relevant features of a tyre, and are a hybrid of many other types. They have above average performance, and traction under wet conditions, as well as superior durability, and reduced road noise. All season tyres are the most common choice for new vehicles.
All Terrain Tyres
All terrain tyres are used on light trucks and SUVs. The tyres are generally built with an emphasis on durability, but may sacrifice road noise and high-end performance. To improve durability, the sidewalls are made to be more rigid and thicker, to prevent against possible punctures. The tread pattern is also much larger and blockier, in order to provide exceptional traction in off road settings and to avoid mud sticking to the tread.
Winter Use Tyres
Winter use tyres are built for harsh, cold, and snowy climates. The most distinguishing feature of winter use tyres is that they are made of a soft rubber which warms as the car is driven. This allows winter use tyres to achieve greater traction on snow and ice. These are manufactured for all types of vehicles and have additional biting edges. Some winter tyres even go as far as to have spikes, or other extreme additions to improve traction.
Performance tyres are designed to achieve high end performance. They are usually used in conjunction with high performance sports cars. They are usually wide in structure in order to maximise road contact to improve acceleration and handling by providing a wider base for the vehicle. They are also made of a softer rubber for improved traction and cornering. Performance tyres also provide a lower profile to assist with high speed and more aggressive driving styles.
Off Road Tyres
Off road tyres are a highly specialised tyre for non-roadway use. Many people off road as a recreational activity in extremely challenging terrain. Off road tyres share many of the same characteristics as all terrain tyres, except for the fact that they are even more exaggerated. They are larger, have a wider tread, and are even more durable. The downside of off road tyres is that their durability and performance is lacking when used on normal road conditions.
After size and typical driving conditions encountered, the main factor in deciding which tyres to buy is the shopper's style of driving. Some shoppers living in a mild climate may prefer the flexibility of all season tyres even though performance tyres would be suitable as well. Also, driver preference becomes relevant. Some tyres provide a soft ride while others provide a firmer experience. Load carrying capacity is also a consideration for many potential purchasers. High occupancy vehicles, or vehicles used to haul heavy materials, needs a higher carrying capacity than would a single occupancy vehicle.
Consumers may see between a 15 and 20 per cent difference in their fuel economy, depending on what tyres are selected and how well they maintain them. Some jurisdictions have also passed legislation that require certain fuel economy levels to be achieved by tyres. Therefore, buyers should consult their local laws to avoid any issues in the future. Most all season tyres provide the best fuel economy of the available tyre types. Owners should also be sure to properly inflate their tyres, as underinflation can dramatically affect fuel economy.
Tyre durability is based on many things. The owners driving habits, elevation, climate, road conditions, and the type of tyre, all affect tyre durability. Harder road conditions tend to wear tyres down more quickly. Winding roads, potholes, and stop-and-start driving also increase the rate of wear on tyres. High performance tyres also generally wear quickly due to the style of use they are generally exposed to, which includes: high speed turns, rapid acceleration, and other aggressive driving tactics. The tread of the tyre should be measured periodically to ensure the tyre has not worn past the point of being reasonably safe.
Other Maintenance Considerations
Besides simply monitoring the tread and proper inflation, owners can take additional steps to extend the life of their tyres. Rotating the tyres so they wear evenly is always a good idea. Certain spots on the tyre may wear down quite rapidly based on which tyre position it is in. However, this can be mitigated by occasionally rotating the tyres so the high wear areas are shifted. Also, over inflation can cause rapid wear. One note, when measuring a tyres inflation, it must be done when the vehicle has not been driven. Warm tyres do not give an accurate reading.
How to Buy Reliable Tyres on eBay
eBay has a wide selection tyres at all prices, and in all different forms. A basic keyword search can get shoppers started by providing the widest range of results. However, since tyres are specific to the vehicles size and their intended use, additional terms should be included in the keyword search. This can include size and type of tyre that the shopper desires. Alternatively, shoppers can use the categories supplied by eBay to navigate to the results they seek.
Once the results are displayed, shoppers can narrow down the search even further. Size, type, and condition are all relevant factors that the results can be sorted by. Additionally, filters can be applied to organise results by price, buying format, and time left at auction. eBay offers many used and new tyres in all different styles. Buyers seeking a used tyre should be sure to check the condition of the tyre as unevenly worn tyres, even if they are in good condition, can potentially cause vehicular problems.
Tyres are an often overlooked component of any vehicle, despite their significance to the overall performance. High end vehicles can not perform to their maximum potential unless compatible tyres are purchased. Both used and new tyres are available, and buyers should be sure to check appropriate sizing prior to purchase. Once sizing has been determined, the type of tyre needed should be decided. This depends on conditions the tyres frequently encounter.
Finally, the shopper should consider their driving style as another factor. Driving style can guide a purchasing decision, as certain tyres are better suited to different driving styles. Shoppers should also be familiar with the maintenance required to ensure long lasting tyres. Many of these tasks can be performed by the owner, but occasionally require professional assistance. Regardless of what type, size, and price tyre a shopper is seeking, eBay is sure to provide a wide range of options to match the buyer with their ideal product.