Tyres are one of the most important components of a car. This is because car tyres are exposed to the road surface most of the time. Car tyres are like the heart of a car. Without tyres, a car cannot move.
To ensure a smooth driving experience, tyre selection plays a crucial role. A smooth driving experience includes factors such as comfort, steering control, and good tyre grip. However, many people, regardless of gender, are still unaware of how to choose the best car tyres.
How to Choose and Tips for Buying Car Tyres
Whether you are purchasing new or used tyres, selecting the right tyres is important not only for smooth driving but also for car and personal safety. When servicing your car, don’t forget to check the car tyres.
Check the Tyre Code
There are situations where buyers can be deceived by tyre sellers. Some tyre sellers may display old tyres but sell them at the price of new tyres just to clear their stock. Therefore, it is important to know the codes on tyres to avoid buying tyres that are too old or even expired. Here are the tyre codes that need to be checked:
For example, the car tyre code is 205/65/R15 94H
205 = Width (W) in millimetres, mm
65 = Aspect ratio (to calculate the height/thickness of the tyre, H in millimetres, mm)
R = Radial
15 = size/rim diameter (R) in inches
94 = Maximum load capacity
H = Maximum speed rating 210 km/h
Check the last letter:
S = Maximum speed rating 180 km/h
T = Maximum speed rating 190 km/h
U = Maximum speed rating 200 km/h
V = Maximum speed rating 240 km/h
Z = Maximum speed rating 240 km/h
W = Maximum speed rating 270 km/h
Y = Maximum speed rating 300 km/h
To calculate the height or thickness of the tyre, H:
For example, the aspect ratio is 65, which means 65% of the width is equal to the height or thickness of the tyre.
65% x 205mm = 133.25mm
W = Maximum speed rating 270 km/h
Y = Maximum speed rating 300 km/h
Check the Four-Digit Date
To purchase the best car tyres, as a driver, you need to check the four-digit date marked on the tyre’s side. This is important because the date indicates when the tyre was manufactured.
For example: 0416
To read 0416, it means the tyre was produced in the fourth week of 2016. The ideal lifespan of a tyre is five years from the date of manufacture.
Can tyres older than five years be used? They can be used but it is not recommended. This is because the tyres become harder over time as the rubber compound deteriorates. It is recommended to replace tyres when the tread is worn out or after five years of use.
Choosing the Right Car Tyre Size
Just as we need the right shoe size for comfortable walking, cars also require the correct tyre size for optimal driving. It also needs to be suitable for the car’s specifications because different cars have different specifications. Generally, cars are designed with slightly larger tyre sizes than the standard size. The tyre size must also be compatible with the rim size. Drivers need to consider the inner diameter
While we all want to save money whenever possible, being too frugal when purchasing the best car tyres can pose risks and dangers. Tyres are the single component that navigates every turn, brake, and acceleration of a car. It is recommended to spend a little more to get high-quality tyres. Suspiciously cheap tyres may have low quality and endanger the driver.
Tyres Suitable for Driving Conditions
When selecting the best car tyres, factors related to tyre performance should be considered. Different tyres have various performance features, such as those focused on wet road performance, fuel efficiency, and more. Here are some performance factors to consider:
- Maximum grip: Tyres designed for track-day purposes have good grip. However, they may only last for around 20 to 30 km.
- Wet road performance: For this type of driving, tyres with deep tread patterns that help disperse water consistently are needed. This not only enhances stability but also reduces the risk of aquaplaning. Wet road performance is also good for tyres that contain silica compound in the tread.
- Tyre noise level (NVH): Some tyre types generate more noise. The compound and tread design of these tyres may produce resonance at certain speeds. Tyres with high noise levels are not suitable for driving on uneven road surfaces.
Choose the Best Car Tyre Brands
It is important to select the best brand of car tyres. Here are some of the top tyre brands in Malaysia for you to choose from:
- Toyo Tyre
Tips for Maintaining the Best Car Tyres
Choosing the best car tyres is one thing, but maintaining them is equally important. Many people, both men and women, neglect proper tyre maintenance, which can lead to dangers. Here are some tips for maintaining the best car tyres:
Tyre pressure has a significant impact on driving performance. It is recommended to check the tyre pressure at least once a month or every two weeks. Incorrect tyre pressure can result in uncomfortable driving, increased wear and tear, and poor grip. Proper tyre pressure helps save fuel, enhances tyre grip, and protects the tyres from premature damage.
Here’s a guide to check the tyre pressure:
- Park the car on a level surface and ensure it is straight.
- Draw a line across the tread of the tyre.
- Drive slowly until the line fades away.
- If the line disappears evenly across the tyre, it indicates that the tyre pressure is appropriate.
- If the line disappears in the centre, it indicates overinflation.
- If the line disappears at the edges, it indicates under-inflation.
If you aren’t familiar with inflating car tyres, you should definitely check the vehicle manual or the sticker on the driver’s door. This sticker contains precise information on the recommended tyre pressure for front and rear tyres, including the recommended pressure for different loading conditions, e.g. when the car is empty or fully loaded.
Note: The recommended pressure values are measured in kPa (kilopascal) and PSI (pounds per square inch) and may vary depending on the car model.
To achieve the best tyre performance, it is crucial to maintain the correct tyre pressure. Follow these steps to ensure proper inflation:
- Obtain the recommended kPa or PSI values.
- Set the pressure gauge or digital pump to the required value.
- Use the “+” or “-” button to increase or decrease the pressure on the gauge.
- Remove the valve cap and attach the pump nozzle to the valve.
- Remove the nozzle once the pump’s sound indicates that the inflation is complete.
To optimize tyre performance and extend its lifespan, regular tyre rotation is recommended. This process ensures that the wear patterns are evenly distributed across all four tyres, reducing the risk of tyre damage. Cross-rotation is advised every six months or every 10,000 to 13,000 kilometres.
Alignment and Balancing
Improper alignment and balancing can lead to accelerated tyre wear and, in extreme cases, accidents. Reasons for misalignment can include strong impacts on the suspension system, wear and tear on suspension components, or damage to springs, absorbers, cross members, and other parts. It is advisable to have the alignment and balancing checked every three months, depending on the condition of the tyres. Alignment ensures effective tyre grip on the road, while balancing involves adding weights to the tyre to ensure even weight distribution.
Signs of misalignment:
- While driving, briefly release the steering wheel. If the car continues to move straight, the alignment is correct. However, if it veers to the left or right, it indicates misalignment and requires adjustment.
- Park the car and check if the front tyres are aligned straight. If the steering wheel does not align with the tyre position, it indicates misalignment.
- Check for uneven tyre wear. If the wear patterns are not consistent, it indicates misalignment.
Regular Tyre Inspection
Regularly inspecting tyre tread wear can prevent accidents and potential fatalities. Follow these steps to check the tyre condition:
- Tyre tread wear indicator: Many people are unaware that tyres come with built-in wear indicators. Look for small bars that cross the middle of the tyre tread; they indicate the minimum tyre tread depth. The closer the tread is to the bars, the more worn out the tyres are.
- Tyre damage: Examine the tyres for signs of cuts, slices, bulges, or leaks. If any of these signs are present, immediate attention and repair are necessary to avoid accidents.
Safety Measures When a Tyre Bursts
In case of a tyre blowout, it is crucial to remain calm and take the following safety measures:
Avoid Sudden Braking
Abruptly pressing the brakes can cause the car to lose control and skid. Instead, downshift to a lower gear and apply gradual pressure to the brake pedal when the car slows down.
Apply Gradual Braking
In an unstable tyre situation, gentle braking is recommended. Press and release the brake pedal as if pumping it. Sudden and forceful braking can
increase the risk of the car spinning out of control and damage the braking system, which can be costly to repair.
Activate Hazard Lights
Turn on the emergency hazard lights once the car has come to a stop on the side of the road. This warns other drivers to exercise caution when approaching your vehicle. If you have reflective triangles, place them 45 meters behind your car. Avoid placing them too close to prevent potential hazards.
Contact Your Insurance Provider
It is essential to know that insurance companies offer towing services in case of vehicle breakdowns. Instead of using expensive tow truck services, contact your insurance provider for free towing service and choose a preferred workshop for repairs.
Choosing the best car tyres is vital for safety and optimal driving experience. Regularly inspect your tyres, maintain proper inflation, and perform tyre rotation, alignment, and balancing as recommended. Remember, safe driving begins with well-maintained tyres. For more information on car insurance and to find the best insurance provider, visit Qoala’s website, the top insurance platform in Malaysia.