One of the key responsibilities as a driver is to ensure that your car is in a roadworthy and safe condition. One of the most important elements of this is ensuring that the tires are in good condition and suitable for the make and model of car you are driving.
Using the correct tires for your car is not only an important safety consideration, but also one of the key factors in ensuring that your vehicle runs efficiently. If you need to replace your tires, then it is important to ensure that they are the right size and make to fit your vehicle properly.
Tires that aren’t correctly fitted may not inflate properly, which is a serious safety concern and can also make your car less efficient. If your tires are improperly inflated, they will wear down quicker and increase your fuel consumption, so it is important to check your tires regularly to ensure that you replace them when needed to maintain optimum safety and efficiency.
It is important to choose the correct type of tire and there are some things to take into account when choosing new tires:
The Weather and Driving Conditions
If you live somewhere that experiences extreme weather conditions, choosing the correct type of tire will make your driving experience safer and more enjoyable. If you live somewhere that experiences significant rainfall, choose tires that are rated for ‘wet grip’ to keep the optimum level of contact with the tarmac.
For icy or snowy weather, winter tires are designed to make driving safer and increase traction when the road surface is slippery. Some winter tires come with special studs to give them extra grip, although these are often noisier when driving in normal conditions, so some drivers prefer specific ‘all season’ tires that have deeper sipes (a special kind of tread) as these can be quieter when moving between conditions.
If you are expecting to spend time driving on unmade roads, gravel tracks or any other non-standard road surfaces, then choose tires that can handle a variety of different terrains. Off-road tires are designed to give improved handling on steep inclines and loose surfaces, but they will wear quickly if used on regular roads, so all-terrain tires may be the best choice for drivers that want to switch between both.
Consider the Other Properties You Might Need
Correctly chosen tires are not just a safety feature, they also contribute significantly to your vehicles’ suspension and the comfort levels that you experience as you drive. Whether your car is four- or two-wheel drive, what kind of load you will be carrying and the conditions in which you usually drive will all be factors in choosing the right tires.
Traditional tire design encompasses an inner tube that is filled with air, but tubeless tires, also known as pneumatic tires, are becoming more popular and they have a number of benefits:
- They are lighter
- Their construction is simpler
- They stay cooler
- Punctures tend to be much slower, so they are easier to repair
- They provide a smoother and more comfortable ride
Your tires should also reflect the weight of load that you are likely to be carrying. If you are expecting to carry uneven loads, then you should choose tires that can handle the fluctuating stress levels they will be experiencing.
It is also important to ensure that your tires are well-balanced, so if you aren’t replacing all of them at once, you need to check that their weight and dimensions are the same in order to keep your vehicle stable.
Car manufacturers should provide detailed information about the best type of tires to use on your vehicle. Although you may wish to ensure that your tires are suitable for the conditions in which you will be driving, it is always best to check that they are suitable for your make and model before committing to purchasing them to ensure that they will fit well and be safe.