Top tyre-buying tips

Posted by: Cal on 13/01/2014

Category: Tyre Information

By now we should all know our car tyres are one of the most important features of our beloved automobile. But when it comes to buying new ones, how much do we actually know?

From picking the best ones for your budget through to ensuring you get top tyre performance, check out these tips to ensure you make the right decision.

Check your size

There's no point in buying a shiny new set of tyres only to find out they're not the right size for your vehicle. Save yourself a world of hassle by checking your vehicle's requirements before you start looking for those new wheels.

You can find out the correct size by checking your owner's manual, or even looking on your tyre sidewall or placard inside your driver's side door.

Consider your profile

Your tyre's profile is expressed as a percentage of a tyre's width, and relates to the depth of the sidewall. A low profile tyre is generally less than 50 per cent of the tyre's width, and ultra low profile varieties can get down to 30 per cent. High performance vehicles frequently have low profile tyres as they give greater control and handling around corners.

On the flipside, low profile tyres can give you a harder ride and can alter your speedometer rating, so check with your local tyre expert before making the decision to go low.

Buy the best you can afford

Tyre safety is vital on the road, so don't skimp when it comes to replacing yours. While you can get good models at an affordable price, make sure they excel in braking, handling and resistance to hydroplaning tests, and check out what kind of warranty they come with.

Ride comfort and noise are also important considerations, so take your time and choose wisely.

If you're happy, stick with what you know

Replacing your tyres for the first time after buying from the manufacturer can be exciting, and you may want to splash out and go for something top of the line. But if you're happy with the way your car performed on the existing tyres, consider sticking with what you know and buying the exact same set.

Tyre and car companies spend huge amounts of time and money developing tyres to suit cars, so the original set that comes with the vehicle are usually perfectly matched to highlight its good features and provide the best ride possible.

Consider what you need most

These days, tyres have different levels of ride quality, noise suppression, wear, load capability, fuel economy and cost. It's up you you - and your tyre expert - to select which of these is most important to you and your driving style.

Replace all tyres at once

If you can afford to, replace all four tyres with the exact same type and size in one fell swoop. This is because all tyres on your vehicle should have roughly the same tread pattern and performance rating, as well as size, speed rating and construction - that is, unless your car has been engineered to have front and rear tyres in different sizes. This is especially important when fitting snow or all-weather tyres to performance vehicles.

Check the car while you're at it

While you're focusing on buying new tyres, take the time to give the rest of your car a once-over to ensure things are running as they should be. Better yet, ask your mechanic to take a look around while he or she is fitting your new tyres.

If you've had issues with brakes or suspension, ask your auto shop to do an alignment on the car when you get the tyres fitted. Bad shocks can cause tyres to wear out faster than they should, so make sure these are tip top before you drive away.