When assessing the condition of your car, the first thing that is usually checked is the engine. But apart from the parts under the bonnet, the vehicle’s tyres are just as important. Nonetheless, they are often overlooked and only replaced when it becomes absolutely necessary. It’s crucial not to wait that long, so as to ensure that the car runs properly and safely every time. But how often should tyres be replaced and how do you choose the right ones for your car?
When Do I Need to Replace Tyres?
Tyres need to be changed before they even reach the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm which is the legal requirement. And be aware that treads don't always wear evenly. It’s not only because that is what’s required by the law, but it’s also to keep you safe whenever you’re on the road. Also, check to see if your tyres have any bulges or lumps or if the internal metal cords are already exposed. In such cases, then immediately replace your tyres.
It’s best to replace all of your tyres at the same time. That’s the ideal way to do it. However, it may not be practical since the rear and front tyres get worn out at different rates. What you can do is rotate the tyres by placing the rear ones in front and the front tyres on the back. Or move worn front tyres to the back and put new ones on the front. See to it that your tyres are of the same sizes before you do this though. And it's recommended to replace tyres in pairs.
Try not to wait for the tyre tread depth to reach the legal minimum limit because the ability of the tyre to grip will be reduced even if the tread depth is still at around 2mm to 3mm. It’s a good idea to begin looking for tyre replacements early on so you can budget for them. You may also want to replace your tyres before the rainy or snowy winter sets in.
Should I Get Winter or Summer Tyres?
As a standard, vehicles in the UK have summer tyres. These are great during dry conditions but they still allow the car to be driven safely even in wet conditions. However, if you’re going to replace your tyres during wintertime, then consider getting winter tyres. Or depending on where you live, you might want to consider having two sets and changing with the seasons!
Winter tyres are made of a special rubber compound that can tolerate low temperatures. When the temperature falls below 7 degrees Celsius, winter tyres will outperform their summer counterparts when it comes to grip.
Tyres for winter also have tread blocks that have sipes or small cuts that help in improving traction when you’re driving in ice or snow. This means you will have better control even if the road is slippery.
When the temperature begins to rise, don’t forget to replace your winter tyres with summer tyres because the former will wear out faster if you use them in warmer conditions.
Can I Use Part-Worn Tyres?
Maybe you’re looking to save some money by purchasing used tyres. It’s actually legal in the UK for garages to sell used tyres. However, the tyres need to be properly marked and still safe to use. They shouldn’t have any defects like bulges or cuts.
If you’re looking for used tyres, they should be showing all original markings for their particular design and type. This includes load indexes and speed ratings. There are certain standards that used tyres need to meet before they can be sold again.
There are some unscrupulous sellers that sell part-worn tyres that no longer meet such standards so you can never be sure if they have had internal damage. It’s not worth taking the risk just to save some money for your replacement tyres. Keep yourself and other road users safe by buying only brand new tyres whenever possible.
What Tyre Brand Should I Choose?
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to tyre brands. The best and safest choice would be to go for a trusted manufacturer that’s been in the industry for many years. Of course, there will be cheaper tyres on the market today but if you’re not certain about the performance of their products, then it’s better to stick to a premium brand.
The particular brand you choose would depend on the type of car you have, as well as how you use your vehicle. For example, if you have a sports car, then it’s going to need high-performance tyres that have high-speed ratings and a softer compound that can maximise grip. If this is the case for you, then Michelin or Pirelli are some of the manufacturers that specialise in high-performance tyres.
What if you have a family car? For this, then you can select mid-range models that are more affordable, have reduced wear rates, and can make your car more fuel-efficient because they can lower rolling resistance. If you’re not so sure about which tyres to buy, you can always check what your car manufacturer recommends. That’s usually the safest choice.
Once you’ve selected the tyres for your car, the next step is to purchase them. But where can you buy your replacement tyres? You may go to your car’s main dealer. They will most likely have the right size and the most suitable tyre brand for your vehicle. If you need a replacement fast, then this is the best choice. However, you may have to prepare to pay a higher price compared to other options.
There are also specialist tyre fitters and online sellers where you can get replacement tyres at a more affordable price. If you’re not in a hurry to get replacements, then it could save you a lot of money if you can spend time researching the best tyre sellers around your city. This way, you can compare different prices and see which ones offer the best deals. They will usually offer you a wheel balance check too - this is a good investment as it will help to ensure even wear on your new tyres so they last longer!👍