Driving with the right tyres on your vehicle can save you lots of troubles. Wrong tyres will increase your fuel consumption as well as make your vehicle prone to accidents resulting from burst tires.
Choosing new tyres for your vehicle can be a tedious task especially if you are doing it for the first time. There are several factors to be considered before one can buy a set of new tyres and some of them are: - performance, price, brand, class, appearance and safety.
The question is to tell which tyres are right or suitable for your vehicle. There are many different types of motor vehicle tyres.
The ones you choose will depend on a number of factors such as the make of vehicle, driving style, terrain of where you live, the season of year and how your vehicle is used.
For instance if you spend a lot of your working day driving up and down the highways like a Taxi driver, you will need a hard wearing tyre that doesn’t create a lot of noise.
If you live in the rural areas tyres that provide firm grip on muddy roads would be more appropriate. I am going to tackle at a number of different types of commonly used vehicle tyres and will try to point out a number of their key differences.
Standard/ All weather Tyres
Most vehicles are imported with standard tyres; these are fitted by the manufactures because they cannot tell what time of the year these vehicles will be sold and where they will be sold. It is an average tyre that is suitable for all year round use. It works equally well in the wet and the dry season.
The tread block pattern is designed not to be noisy when used on standard roads but enables adequate water scattering to provide a firm grip in wet road surfaces. The rubber used is a harder composite to lengthen the tyre’s life.
High Performance Tyres
These are known as summer tyres, performance tyres are designed to provide excellent grip in the dry. Often used on fast cars or for a driver whose style requires increased performance.
They can be used all year round if you live in a region with a warm climate and little rain. These tyres work best with drier than wetter road conditions.
A soft rubber compound is used which decreases the lifespan of the tyre but provides enhanced and excellent grip on the road surface. It is very important that the car tyres are kept in excellent condition.
Driving on wet road surfaces is difficult with such tyres; if there is any indication of wear and tear, it would be nearly impracticable to get good grip. For better performance, these tyres must be replaced as soon you notice signs of wear.
Winter tyres are designed to deal with the poor weather and difficult driving conditions that the winter season brings.
They can handle snow and ice. Winter tyres may sometimes have small metal studs entrenched into their tread as a measure for extra grip in severe conditions.
The tread block pattern on winter tyres is larger and more prominent than on standard tyres. This improves grip but also increases the tyres’ operating noise and better traction.
These tyres cannot be used all year round because in dry conditions they wear out exceedingly quickly and may sometimes cause damage to the road surface as well as endanger other road users.
All Terrain Tyre
All terrain tyres (sometimes known as off roader tyres), the term “all terrain” may be misleading, they should have been called “rough or rugged terrain tyres.
These really provide good and firm grip on loose surfaces such as gravel, mud and sand. Often used by off road vehicles, they can be used on standard roads but are very noisy.
The distinct feature on these tyres is that, they are normally very wide in nature. Like the winter tyre their tread block pattern is large to improve grip. The tyre’s sidewalls are stiffer to cope with uneven surfaces and unexpected potholes.
Mud tyres are an extreme type of all terrain tyres, designed to be used in mud and dirt. They have very large tread block patterns that are only suitable for driving on that type of terrain.
Run Flat Tyres
The Run flat tyres are relatively a new concept though they are fast becoming more and more common on new cars. They are intended to minimise the loss of handling that occurs after a tyre puncture.
The tyre can operate without air to enable the vehicle to continue to be driven for a few extra kilometres up to a safe location where a tyre change may be done.
Nonetheless this is only suitable for a short distance and at a reduced speed, until the tyre can be safely changed; it is an emergency facility.
With the above said, there is still a lot at stake before you decide on what kind of tyres to buy and fit on your vehicle.