Your car’s tyres, unfortunately, have a limited lifespan due to their frequent interaction with the road. All four will eventually need to be replaced, but buying a like-for-like replacement may not be the greatest option. Car tyres come in a variety of sizes, designs, and features, so knowing more about them can help you improve the handling and performance of your car, or at least save you money.
Get to Know Numbers on Your Tyres
When it comes to buying car tyres, the first thing to look for are the numbers stamped on the side of each tyre. These figures provide important information regarding the tyres, but their meaning isn’t always evident. For example, on the tires, you might see something like this: 235/60 R 18 V XL. The tyre’s diameter in millimeters is represented by the first number, in this case, 235.
The height of the tyre, expressed as a percentage of its width, is the second figure (in this case, 60). The tyre is deemed ‘low profile’ if the second value is 50 or less. Low-profile tyres provide a stiffer ride with greater handling, but you may pay a higher price for them.
The following number has an R in front of it, indicating that it pertains to the rim diameter. The rim of the given tyre number is 18 inches in diameter in this example.
The tyre’s maximum load and maximum speed are indicated by the last two sets of letters. The tyre can carry extra weight (XL) and travel at speeds of up to 240 km/h (V rating).
How to Choose Correct Tyres
It’s crucial to look at the tyre’s ratings and size before making your final decision. It will not fit if the tyre is either small or too large for your wheel. It is possible that your insurance coverage may be invalidated if the ratings do not match or are insufficient for your car (i.e., your vehicle is too heavy for the load rating).
When it comes to tyres, you get what you pay for. Premium tyres are more likely to last longer and perform better in adverse weather conditions. The price difference between budget and premium tyres can be substantial, so think about whether it’s worth the extra money to obtain a tyre that lasts twice as long.
Checking Tyre Pressure
It’s a good idea to check your tyre pressures and tread depths at least once a month. If you apply too little pressure, you’ll waste a lot of gas, while using too much will damage the car’s handling. You might notice a creeping puncture before it becomes a concern. The first thing you should learn is how much pressure your tyres should be set to. This will be detailed in your car’s owner’s manual, and you’ll normally be given two values – one for normal driving and the other for high load scenarios like towing or transporting the most passengers feasible.