Tyres are an essential constituent part of your car, and their proper care and maintenance can ensure your car runs safely and optimally for the longest time. However, car tyres wear over time, and there comes a time where replacement is necessary.
There are legal guidelines that stipulate when a car tyre should be replaced. If a tyre’s tread depth falls below 1.6mm, your tyres are no longer road legal. Regular checks can help you monitor this in your own time, but many find out their tyres need replacing at their annual MOT. When it comes to replacing your car’s tyres, what should you be thinking about?
Which Tyres Need Replacing?
Firstly, which car tyres of yours may need replacing? Ideally, your car tyres should all be replaced at the same time – but your tyres do not necessarily wear at the same rate, and if you are budget conscious you may be able to replace your tyres partially.
Your front tyres will typically wear the most, as a result of a majority of road vehicles being front-wheel drive. With the engine at the front, and the drivetrain directing force to the front wheels alone, these tyres receive the most wear through transferring that energy to the road. The inverse is true for rear-wheel drive vehicles, and performance vehicles that see track time as well as casual use.
Tyres and Temperature
The time of year is an important consideration when choosing the right tyres. Tyres have a complex composition, with different ratios of natural rubbers, synthetic polymers and other materials. Different ratios result in different properties, which may be better suited to certain weather conditions.
This is especially prescient as the UK experiences dramatic weather patterns inconsistent with previous years; successive heatwaves have seen road temperatures rise to all-time highs, presenting a real risk to road users with tyres unsuited to the temperature. All-season tyres are available, but in remarkable weather conditions such as these, their use may not be as economical as once before.
Tyres come in standardised sizes, differentiated by codes. A tyre code has five distinct sections, that describe: tyre width; tyre profile; rim size; load rating; and speed rating. Buying new tyres is as simple as matching the code to those of your existing tyres.
Thanks to the standardisation of tyre sizes, you do not necessarily have to be prescriptive about the brand of tyre you choose to buy. Different brands come with different pedigrees, and have their own unique selling points – but these selling points can often come with higher price points.
Which brings us to the budget. A full set of top-range Michelin tyres will inevitably cost much more than a set of budget Goodyear tyres, but may also offer more longevity – costing less money in the long term. In many cases, though, a brand is just a name; if you’re already shopping around in lower price ranges, there is only so much that brand name will offer.