Written by : Tim Marsh
Tyres are the most vital safety feature of any vehicle. They also impact your car’s fuel economy, ride quality and overall performance. So when the time rolls around to replace them, how comfortable are you choosing new ones? Here are our top ten tips to help you buy your next set of tyres.
Know when to replace your tyres
If you’re getting your car serviced regularly, your mechanic should let you know when you’re coming close to tire replacement time. Many tyres also have coloured lines or tread wear bars that show you when your tire is worn out. Some also emit an annoying noise, which will give you the heads up you need a new set of tyres. If in doubt, drop past your friendly local mechanic or tire seller and check with them.
Once you’ve identified that your tyres need replacing, you can hunt down the size code, which is found on the tire, or in the owner’s manual. This code is very important and will make sure you buy the right size tire for your car.
Do your research
Rather than just relying on the advice of a dealership or mechanic, make sure you do your own research on which tyres are best for your car. Head online and find out what other owners recommend and suggest. Forums are particularly valuable sources of information, and many are dedicated to a particular make or model of car, particularly if you own a luxury car or an SUV.
Think about your driving style
It’s also a good idea to take into consideration the type of ride you want (soft or firm), the type of driving you do (off-road, on-road, or a combination) and how much weight your car will need to support. This will impact your tire choice.
Consider fuel economy
The sort of tyres you have can impact the fuel economy of your car, as can driving with them under or over inflated. Your supplier should be able to advise which tyres will give you better fuel economy.
Get the right balance
Choosing the right tire is a balancing act of selecting the option that is right for you. A good safety rating is essential, and beyond that you might want something that is less expensive, or high performance. You also want to take noise and fuel efficiency into account. Again, work with your supplier to find the right balance for you.
Always choose quality
It might be tempting to save some money by choosing tyres that aren’t as well made but are cheaper than the ‘perfect’ set for your car. If you’re tempted to do this, take into consideration that tyres are your number one safety feature. They’re the only part of your car that connects directly to the road. Choose wisely and select quality over economy.
And, if in doubt, go with the manufacturer’s recommendation. This recommendation is there for a reason, and nobody knows your car better than the manufacturer.
Choose the right supplier for you
If you have a good relationship with your dealership, you might choose to go with them even though they will likely be more expensive. Other options include tire retailers, online stores and local shops. Make sure you get quotes from a few suppliers and choose the one that fits your budget and your needs.
Ensure you get good after-sales service
And last but not least, make sure that your supplier offers you excellent after-service treatment. Many suppliers offer a complimentary wheel balancing after three months, so check what deals are available.
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