Choosing the best tires
Tires are definitely not “one size fits all." It’s important to know what kind of tires are suited to your car, and to use the right tires for the weather conditions. Here are some tips on how to tell if you need new tires, and questions to ask when you’re shopping.
Is it time for new tires?
If your tires are showing uneven wear or have inadequate tread depth, it’s time for new ones. New tires usually have around 11 mm of tread. When the tread gets down to about 4 mm, it’s time for new tires. Less than that and the tires may not give adequate control on wet or muddy roads. Wear bars are solid bands of rubber woven into tires that start to show when there are 2 mm of tread left. If you can see the wear bars, it’s time to buy new tires.
Before you buy
Tires come in a variety of grades and meet different levels of safety standards. You’ll need to make some decisions before you hit the tire store. Radial or bias-belted? Tires come in a variety of types (such as radial or bias belted tires), sizes and treads. Check your owner’s manual or call a dealership to find out what the manufacturer recommends for your type of vehicle.
Standard, mud or snow? Depending on the weather conditions where you’ll be driving, you may need mud and snow tires (all-season tires), snow tires (good for areas with frequent or heavy snowfall), or standard highway treads (suited to normal driving conditions).
A, B or C traction? Tires are rated for their traction and are given an A (best), B (intermediate) or C (acceptable) rating. These ratings grade a particular tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement according to government test standards.
How fast will I be driving? Tires are graded from Q to Z according to the maximum speed of a passenger car tire. “Q” means a maximum speed rating of 159 km per hour and “Z” is 240 km per hour.
It’s best not to “mix” tire types, as different types of tires affect your car’s driving and handling. All four tires should be the same size and type and should have the same speed rating.
[Updated on 26th Aug,09]
I happened to stumble upon an extensive guide on tires. Read it at carwale.com
Tags: Automobile advice Tyres