Buying Car Tyres - Advice From An Expert

By Mark Walters

The only point of contact between a car and the road surface is the tyres that are fitted to the vehicle. Because of this it is not difficult to understand how important it is to check that your tyres are in good condition and are also appropriate for the expected driving conditions. Below is a more detailed look at the types of tyres available and how each type differs.

Vehicle tyres are designed with different road conditions in mind and tyres that work well in warm, dry conditions may not work so well in wet or icy conditions. Also, tyres are constructed with differing compounds of rubber, meaning that while softer compounds will offer more grip both in terms of longitudinal and lateral traction, they will wear out much quicker than harder compounds and therefore will have to be replaced more often.

On a dry road, the more contact area a tyre has with the road, the more traction you will have. Unfortunately, as it is not always hot and dry, we can not all fit racing 'slick' tyres to our cars. Standing water forms a layer over the road surface that separates a vehicle's tyres from the road unless the water is guided away from the tyre. This is why all road tyres contain grooves to guide the water out from the center of the tyre so that the tyre can grip the road surface in direct contact.

If you are using tyres that are not designed for wet weather or if your tyre tread is lower than 2.5mm then you are at high risk of experiencing aquaplaning if you come across standing water. Aquaplaning is when the tyres can not channel away standing water and they lose grip due to being separated from the road surface. A huge number of accidents are caused everyday due to this phenomenon, and this is why it is sensible to seek all-weather tyres to fit to your vehicle. All-weather tyres are, as the name suggests, able to work sufficiently well in all weather conditions, whether it is dry or wet, light snow, hail or torrential rain.

Many people fail to see the advantage of spending large amounts of money on tyres. It is understandable that a person's budget plays a large part in determining what kind of tyre is fitted, though this can be somewhat of a false economy as cheaper tyres tend to offer much less traction and can wear out quickly. More expensive tyres will offer improved safety in all conditions depending on the type of tyre and, in many cases, can last much longer.

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