Buying new car tyres can be difficult, especially since it can be a significant financial investment. Knowing how to choose tyres for your car can also be stressful since there are so many options available. You want the right type of tyre that’s affordable and dependable.
Unless you’re a car enthusiast with substantial knowledge and experience, navigating the tyre market can present many challenges. Check out our guide below for different tips and considerations to make when choosing a new set of tyres for your vehicle.
Start By Determining If You Need New Tyres in the First Place
Buying new car tyres can be a significant financial investment, so it’s crucial to know when to change them. Most drivers replace their car tyres every three to five years, but this timeframe really depends on your tyres’ quality and how often you drive your vehicle.
Instead, it’s better to check your vehicle once it reaches 40,000km. It can be easy to lose track of miles, especially when you drive your vehicle every day. Ideally, when servicing your car at least once a year, a trusted mechanic can help you determine if you need new tyres.
For different climates and environments, car owners should replace their tyres more often under certain circumstances, such as:
• No matter the environment, you shouldn’t be driving a vehicle featuring a tread depth below 2mm.
• If you’re dealing with frequent snow conditions, you may consider replacing your tyres if they fall below 5mm in tread depth.
• Wet or moist conditions mean you should replace your tyres if they fall below 3mm in the tread.
Decide How Many Tyres You Should Replace
It’s not necessary to replace all your tyres all at once. Not all tyres wear out, so you may be able to save some money by only replacing the ones that need it. However, it is best to replace your tyres in pairs, especially at the rear if your vehicle is rear-wheel drive.
You may even want to undergo a tyre rotation to prevent misalignment issues. While you can save money replacing your tyres in pairs, it’s almost always going to be better to replace all of them if their tread depths are similar.
Check Your Tyre Size
It’s essential to know your car’s tyre size to buy the right tyre for your vehicle. The tyre size, speed rating, and load rating that your vehicle manufacturer recommends are typically what you want your tyre to have.
Choosing the same tyre size that your vehicle originally had is usually the better choice. It never hurts to read your owner’s manual either. If your owner’s manual isn’t readily available, check your tyre placard, which is generally located in one of these four spots:
• Your car’s fuel cap
• Your glove box
• On the driver’s door
• Under your vehicle’s bonnet
Your tyre sidewall can also show your tyre’s size in a series of letters and numbers.
Can You Choose a Different Tyre Size?
You can select a different tyre size, like a greater speed or load grade. However, it’s best to consult with your local mechanic or tyre specialists to determine a suitable tyre upgrade for your vehicle that falls within regulations.
Tyres come with a load and speed rating. The load rating identifies the maximum weight a tyre can deal with while at its highest speed. Its speed rating identifies the speed and the full load a tyre can handle before any technical issues start happening.
Check Your Tyre’s EU Label and UTQG Ratings
When choosing a tyre, it’s essential to consider the quality. European tyres feature an EU label, while US tyres support UTQG ratings.
The EU Label measures various elements of a tyre, including:
• Noise level: This rating ranges from grades A to C and identifies the noise level a tyre generates while driving, measured in decibels.
• Fuel economy: A tyre’s rolling resistance influences the amount of fuel used while driving. A higher rolling resistance grade results in more fuel consumption.
• Wet braking: This rating ranges from A to E and signifies the total distance a tyre covers after braking on any wet surface. The faster a tyre brakes, the safer the ride.
Your tyre may have a Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) or a stalactite identifier. The first identifier demonstrates that a tyre can handle medium snow environments, while the second identifier illustrates that it can handle more severe winter climates.
Uniform Tyre Quality Grade (UTQG) Ratings
UTQG ratings measure three major elements of a tyre, including:
• Temperature resistance: With a grade level of A to C, this rating tests how a tyre dissipates heat at different speed levels.
• Treadwear: This rating measures a tyre’s lifespan, with values ranging from 100 to 1000.
• Traction: The highest traction level is AA, while the lowest traction level is C. This rating determines a tyre’s effectiveness in braking in wet environments.
Consider Your Own Driving Habits
Your driving habits can also impact your tyre selection. Car enthusiasts may decide to experiment with different models, sizes, and brands to upgrade their vehicle’s handling.
However, even if you don’t consider taking care of your vehicle as a hobby and primarily use it for everyday activities, you should still carefully review your driving habits.
The first factor to consider is whether you drive primarily in wet or dry locations. Some drivers may drive in both.
Also, consider the terrain type you drive in most often. For example, do you drive in the country or on city streets? Lastly, how much time you spend driving your car, truck, or SUV can also play a role.
You should always consider these factors when buying a tyre. These elements can prompt a driver to buy a new tyre with a different aspect ratio, for example.
Should I Buy OEMs, or Can I Experiment with a Different Brand?
Every vehicle features OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) specifically chosen for your particular vehicle. Ideally, it’s best to stick with OEMs, but you can choose a different brand in situations such as:
• No longer being able to buy the OEM tyres.
• Wanting tyres with better performance, traction, higher speed, or handling.
• Downgrading or upgrading your tyres resulting in better fuel economy.
Does Overall Quality Matter That Much?
It’s best to prioritise buying the best quality tyres while staying within your budget. While there are some brands to avoid, many cost-effective tyres from brands like Goodride and Kenda demonstrate excellent quality without breaking the bank.
For premium brands, options like Michelin and Bridgestone are great choices. One thing you don’t want to do, however, is buy the cheapest passenger car tyres you can from an unknown brand.
While an unknown brand isn’t necessarily dangerous, you should do your research. A cheap set of tyres can make braking, accelerating, and steering harder.
Working one-on-one with our Sutherland Automotive team is the perfect opportunity to choose your new tyre. Our experienced team can help you choose the right tyres for your vehicle.
Call Our Sutherland Automotive Team Today
Whether your car is your daily ride or you only use it a handful of times a year, you will eventually need to replace your tyres to maintain your vehicle safety.
Now that you know how to choose tyres for your car, turn to the experts at Sutherland Automotive to help you find the best fit.