Whether you have a luxurious car having top features or any other cheapest form of an automobile for the mode of transport, if you have neglected the tires of your vehicle, you are really not only ruining your automobile but also putting your life in danger.
No matter how much you’ve upgraded your car, tires will remain amongst the most important part of a vehicle, for they keep your vehicle in contact with the road while driving.
A correct choice of tires for your vehicle can do a lot; you can feel the difference in comfort, economy, safety, and better handling. But, it has been observed that people spend a lot on other parts of the vehicle, but when it comes to tires, they invest little, which is a very bad decision considering personal safety.
If tire explodes, then it can lead to a fatal accident, for it’s difficult to control the car then. Therefore, in order to avoid such mishaps, it is better to invest wisely in your tires.
Here is a guide to help you regarding the tires
Determining the Right size of tire:
- It is essential that you know the correct size of your tire. The size of the car is mentioned on a sticker which is affixed on the side of the driver’s seat.
- You would be putting extra strain on the car’s suspension and even affecting the economy of the car when there would be 10mm or more deviation in the width of the tire.
- This wider tire might also be incorrect and unsafe to use since it won’t be easily and safely mounted on the rim.
- The further worse thing people do is opting for unsafe, heavy, and cheap alloy rim for a wider tire. Hence, it is recommended to avoid buying a wider tire unless you want to invest in buying good wider tires.
If we take an example of the reading of the size of the tire, we can see “P215/65 R15, which means that tire is 215 mm wide, and the profile or the height from where tire ends is 65% of 215, i.e., in this case, 139.75. And R in the reading signifies the radial diameter of the rim on which the tire is to mount.
Now, if we take an example, the new Honda City, which comes with stock 175/70 R15 tires, if we switch the tires with another brand with good specifications, it would be good; however, more deviation in it would end up sacrificing the other factors as mentioned above.
Sometimes, in order for a car to safely maneuver through the speed breakers and potholes, a slight deviation from the original profile is needed. This would affect the reading of speedometer a bit, but do not worry for in most cases, these readings are not calibrated accurately.
Size availability is a problem, but it, not a problem if the tire is locally manufactured. And if you are looking for a certain size and your shopkeeper tells you that it’s not present, then take it as that they don’t have stock; look for your tires somewhere else before getting an alternative.
Choosing the Right Brand for the tire:
Choosing the right size of the tire is one of the aspects among many other factors that are needed for tire selection. Among these factors, rolling resistance, rubber compound, and pattern of tread are the important factors. But, don’t worry, you don’t have to know about all the factors, knowing about a good brand would be sufficient for you.
In our market, the brands which are easily available include General Tyres, Dunlop, Yokohama, Continental, Michelin, Hankook, Sumitomo, Kumho, etc.
However, in these brands, again, you have to check the series and read the reviews online before buying. You would get to know the details of each brand while checking it online.
Apart from this, the country from which these brands also manufactured matters since the brands made in Europe would be more expensive than the brands of Malaysia, and the same way Japanese brands would be expensive like Yokohama would be expensive too. But it is worthy of mentioning here that the product from these original brands is more durable and superior.
For this to understand, let’s take an example of Honda City, the options available in 185/70 R15 are many, and you can opt depending on your priority and budget.
The set from japan Dunlops SP300 would cost around Rs.7500-8500 per tire while CC5 from Malaysian made cost around Rs. 10,000-11,000 per tire, and the same CC5 from Europe cost around Rs. 12,000-13,000. So you see, you have many options depending upon your requirement.
For normal driving, the Dunlop’s are the best choice, while if you travel a lot on Motorway than its better to spend some money on buying Continental ones.
And if we talk about the Japanese tire, again they are expensive as compare to the Indonesian and Dunlop Series such as LM 702, LM 703 and Eco.
Checking the Right details for tires:
One of the most important thing that you have to check before buying a tire is to check the date of manufacturing of tire, which is mentioned on the sidewall.
Tires are made from rubber, that’s why it degrades with time. Not only this, but the cracks also appear, it dries out and even fails to hold air in it, and it explodes.
Even if you don’t encounter these extreme situations still, it is not recommended to drive on such tires, taking in view the disadvantages and safety concerns.
The manufacturing date of the tire is written as four-digit code, e.g., 1203, the first two-digit, i.e., 12, in this case, is the week number and 03 is the year (in this case 2003) of manufacturing.
However, in the local market, the dealers also sell expire tires by re-stamping the tires, which only cost around Rs.150-200. This is not ethically good and even comes under fraud. But, you can save yourself from this fraud by checking this engraving, for every brand has its own particular type of engraving, and when you compare it and check it, you can save yourself from the fraud.
You can even check the date code by rubbing it since the fake code easily wears off.
That’s why it is recommended that you buy tires from a professional dealer to avoid fraud, and even if they give you expired stuff, they will give reasoning behind it.
Right time to change the tires:
The time when a tire should be replaced, is also among the top concerns, so if you wonder that when you have to replace the tires of your vehicle.
- First, check tread wear; it is a small hump between the gaps, as shown in the figure.
- You can check the date of manufacturing of tire too.
- Even if the tire still has few days to expire, it’s better to change it before it hits the expiry date due to the wear and tear of the tread.
- It should be noted that there is no hard and fast rule for changing the tire since every tire has a different thread.
- Normally passenger car tires if they are used properly and well maintained are good for about 50000 km and are rotated every ten thousand kilometers ensuring uniform wear for all four of them.
The not so Right choices for tires:
Apart from the safety concerns, here are some don’ts regarding the choices in tires.
- Firstly, there is no such passenger car available here that needs unidirectional/ directional tires since it is not possible to provide a good performance handling with these tire. Still, these tires are being used and that they are being mounted in the opposite direction, which is not good practice.
- The cars don’t give a comfortable ride with these tires. That’s why it is better to stick to the normal tires. But, however, if you still want to opt for these unidirectional tires, then first read the instructions for them and especially check the direction on which the tire is to be mounted, the direction is mentioned on the sidewall of the tire. Correct mounting of unidirectional tires would then give a good performance.
- Now, secondly, many of the imported tires are winter tire, as their name indicates, they are best for the winter season and give a good grip on the road on winters, however, if we consider our country where summer lasts longer than winters then it’s not a good idea since they are not only noisy but also result in horrendous fuel economy, so either take them off in summers or avoid using them in summer and keep them for winters.
- Now, no matter how careful you are while buying your tires, the condition of roads are among the most important factor. A tire may work best on paved roads while it can give a bumpy ride on the unpaved road. The tire can even get a puncture if it faces lots of cuts on an unpaved road.
- Hence it is necessary to keep in mind the road on which you travel a lot and get the tires accordingly. You can further take the example of Yokohama tires; the soft tires from this brand might not be best for a passenger car unless you are okay with getting replacements.
- Using extra-wide tires in underpowered vehicles is unwise. You might think it looks cool; however, it’s not the case. Not only you pay more for these tires, but even the maintenance cost, bad fuel average, and lack of comfort are the major drawbacks. Therefore, it is better to stick to a proper sized tire for cars and don’t go for wider tires for mere looks while sacrificing the other advantage of normal tires.
- Again, it should be mentioned that low profile tires are not suitable for underpowered passenger cars. It would only give looks, and the ride would be super uncomfortable.
That’s all from our side. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.