The New Car Owner's Guide Vol 2: Tyres

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1653294456334 What To Know About Car Tyres Featured

(Photo Credit: Pexels)

In this chapter of the New Car Owner’s Guide, we’ll be talking about one of the most vital parts of your vehicle: your wheels. What is there to know about a car’s wheels and tyres? How do you keep them well-maintained? And when should you get a tyre change? We’ve got the answers!

It’s really hard to argue against the fact that your car’s wheels and tyres are the most important part of your vehicle. After all, they are the only part of your vehicle that is in constant contact with the road (well, they should be anyway… I’m looking at you, lowered car owners..)

So as a new car owner, what should you be taking note of?

Reading Tyre Codes

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1653294805705 Tyre Code Meaning(Photo Credit: Unsplash)

Before diving into anything else, it is important for you to understand what those codes on your tyre wall stand for. It can get confusing for new car owners but once you understand them, it’ll make your car ownership journey so much easier! Here’s how!

First 3 numbers: Tyre Width (mm)

Second set of numbers: Aspect Ratio (%)

R: Radial Structure

Third set of numbers: Rim Diameter (inches)

Following set of numbers: Load index (kg)

Final Letter: Speed rating (km/h)

Now that we know what the numbers mean, we can proceed on to choosing the right tyres for your vehicle.

How to Choose the Right Tyre?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1653297392931 How To Choose The Right Tyre(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Tyre Width

So the first three numbers indicate your tyre’s width. Should you be opting for wider or thinner tyres? Well it’s a question of preference really. Wider tyres provide you with better traction because well, it has greater contact with the road. This is especially helpful in rougher terrain or in wet weather conditions.

Thinner tyres on the other hand provide you with a smoother, quieter ride. So if you’re driving on tarmac most of the time and would prefer better driving comfort, maybe thinner tyres would work for you.

Tyre Size

This would refer to the rim diameter. You should ensure that your tyres are suitable for your car rims and if you get bigger tyres, it fits well on your vehicle. Incorrect sizes can cause unnecessary stress and might lead to your tyres popping off or other accidents.

The pros of bigger tyres is a smoother ride with better traction however bigger tyres do cost more so keep that in mind!

Speed Rating

Tyres differ in how much speed they can tolerate efficiently. Higher speed ratings give you better stopping power and grip at the expense of durability. It would be good to note how you drive or what you’re going to be using your car for. If track days are in your schedule, maybe a set of tyres with higher speed ratings would be a good call!

How to Maintain Your Tyres?

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1653297502091 Tyre Pressure(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Other than going for tyre inspections or avoiding rough terrain, there are two main ways to ensure your tyres are in good condition. Observe your tyre pressure and your tyre tread depth!

Maintain Proper Tyre pressure

Overinflated tyres put you at risk of skidding as there’s less grip. It also puts you at risk of tyre punctures or bursting. Underinflated tyres on the other hand would make car handling more difficult and it’s very fuel inefficient as your car would require more effort to travel with flat or underinflated tyres.

Use your newfound knowledge of tyre codes and check for your tyre’s optimal pressure. Use an air pressure gauge to ensure there’s sufficient air in your tyres and get it pumped if there isn’t!

Observe Your Tyre Tread Depth

You can also conduct a visual inspection of your tyres’ tread depth to ensure that they are not worn off. Driving with bald tyres is extremely dangerous and can lead to skidding, especially during wet weather conditions. You can also spot issues with tyre alignment when there’s uneven wear on your tyre tread!

There is, of course, many other information available related to tyres, of which some you will find out in the latter stages of your car ownership journey. However, this article is a good starting point, especially as a car newbie. As always, stay safe on the roads and keep an eye out for our next article in the series!

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