With dozens of tyre manufactures, walking into a Kmart Tyre & Auto Service to replace your tyres might seem a little daunting. Should you buy the same brand as your worn out tyres or should you choose a cheaper brand?
We’ve put together a guide to help you decide on the right tyre for your car and your budget.
What Are The Correct Tyres For My Car?
When replacing your tyres most experts will recommend you buy the ones suitable for your particular car. This is because car manufacturers go through a rigorous testing phase to ensure the tyres are an optimum blend of handling, braking, efficiency, wear rate, ride comfort and road noise.
Check your owner’s manual to find the recommended tyre for your car. The manufacturer will identify the right size, speed rating and load rating.
The brand of tyre is generally left up to you, but it is best to ensure your two front tyres are of the same brand, and the two rear tyres are the same. Having different brands on the front for example, can result to poor handling.
What Is The Writing On The Side Of The Tyre?
The code on the side of the tyre might seem pretty complex, but provides valuable information that can help you decide on the right tyre for your car.
Brand and Name - simply the maker of the tyre, for example Bridgestone and the particular model range.
Tyre Type - the tyre type will indicate what style of car the model is designed for:
- P: passenger car and most 4WD
- LT: light truck and some utes
- M: motorcycle
- T: temporary
Tyre Width - The first set of numbers in the code will indicate the tyre width measured in millimeters
Profile - The second number featured will be the profile which is the ratio of the tyre width to height. This number is expressed as a percentage. Generally, tyres with a lower profile are typically used on performance cars and have a firmer sidewall.
Construction - the type of construction is indicated by a letter, usually ‘R’ standing for radial.
Diameter - Just to confuse you, almost all diameters of tyres are measured in inches. The diameter will tell you which size rim the tyre is designed to fit.
Typically, the larger the diameter, the more expensive the tyre will be, however as car wheels are increasing in size, the smaller tyre sizes are less popular.
Load rating - Load ratings can be expressed in kilograms or an index number, such as 82. This is essentially how much load a correctly inflated tyre can handle.
Speed rating - The last letter of the code indicates the speed rating, which tells you the maximum speed the tyre can take for ten minutes without falling apart. This is very important as you are legally obliged to fit tyres with the correct speed rating on your car.
V-rated tyres for example, are rated for a maximum speed of 240 km/h, whereas the maximum speed of M-rate tyres is 130 km/h.
How Much Should I Pay For New Tyres?
When comparing some brands and models of tyres to others, you may notice a big difference between budget priced options to those at a higher end, costing upwards of $1000.
Like most things, paying more will give you a better tyre. Typically it will grip a little better and may have additional qualities such as lower noise levels at higher speeds.
Smaller and family sized cars generally suit more affordable models or tyres, whereas a Porsche will demand a higher quality and speed rating.
When deciding on what to spend on replacement tyres, not only should consider the requirements of your car, but also your needs. If you only travel short distances within the city, then it may not be worth your while purchasing tyres in the top end.
Mid-range priced tyres can often be a good choice that will provide you a good balance of value for money and performance.
The Risks Of Buying Cheap Tyres
Sometimes saving a few dollars can potentially put you at risk and turn out not to be worth it in the long run. Cheap tyres are generally cheap for a reason and often don’t grip well as the more expensive models.
Grip will be one of the key factors in helping you avoid a cash and potential injury. The better the grip, the better the handling under all weather conditions and on a variety of road surfaces.
Don’t be afraid to research tyre options and reviews before replacing your car tyres or come see one of our technicians at Kmart Tyre & Auto Service for recommendations. Getting your car expertly fitted with the right tyre for your car may just be one of your most important purchases!