Choosing the right tyres for your car will involve considering the amount of driving you do, the road conditions you are likely to encounter and of course your budget. As with most purchases, the quality of the product will depend on how much you can afford, but also with all purchases a little research can also go a long way to help you get the best value tyres for your money.
What factors are affected by tyre quality
The quality of your tyres will affect the performance of your car in several ways:-
Braking distances. A worn or poor quality tyre can affect your vehicles ability to stop safely and quickly under a variety of different road conditions. Worn tyres in particular are more likely to cause your car to skid because the lack of tread will significantly reduce the available grip and so your ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) if you have one, will have to work a lot harder. Even ABS will not be able to compensate for the fundamental lack of grip afforded by a badly worn set of tyres.
Handling. Tyres are designed to provide grip on the road in all directions. If any one of your tyres is worn, incorrectly inflated or made from low grade materials it will have an impact on how well it grips the road when put under stress.
Wet weather performance. The amount of tyre tread and the design of the tread pattern dictates how well the tyre will displace surface water in wet weather. The tyres ability to displace water is crucial because the more water the tyre can remove from the road surface, the better the grip.
Fuel economy. How your tyres affect fuel economy is largely down to using keeping your tyres at the correct pressure for your vehicle. If your tyres are incorrectly inflated or have a tendency to lose pressure due to aging or poor quality valves, then they will present a larger rolling resistance to the road surface. This in turn means that your engine requires more energy and consequently more fuel to overcome this resistance.
New tyres, second hand tyres or re-moulds?
Generally new tyres are always the best option. Even a budget new tyre will give longer life and will perform better for longer than either second hand or a remolded tyre. A more expensive tyre is likely to have had more money invested in the design, manufacturing process and materials used; this is likely to be reflected in its overall performance.
Second hand tyres can be a cost effective option as long as they still have a decent amount of tread on them. However there will always be an element of uncertainty as to how they have been treated by their previous owner, so be wary.
Re-moulds should be avoided. Their structural integrity is likely to be compromised by the fact that a new layer of rubber compound has been bonded to an older tyre. The rubber compound is also likely to be a lower grade, softer material and will probably wear out more quickly.
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