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Things You Need To Know About Car Tyres
21/01/2016



 

Car tyres are often overlooked when it comes to vehicle maintenance. In fact, most people just leave the hard details to the mechanics, and all they need to do is just pump the tyres when it’s about to go flat. There’s a lot to know about tyres and it could mean a difference between riding like a king, and riding on a lawnmower that’s about to break down.

 

The first thing you need to know about tyres would be the codes listed on the side of the tyres, which typically looks like ‘215/65R15 95H’. Those numbers and letters have a meaning behind them which we’ll explain using that very same code as an example:

 

215: the section width of the tyre, in millimetres (215mm).

65: the aspect ratio of the tyre’s section height with its width (65% height, 45% width).

R: radial structure.

15: the diameter of the wheel rim.

95: the maximum load capacity of the tyre 95 is the load index, which means 690kg).

H: the speed symbol, in which H represents a maximum speed of 210km/h.

 

Car tyres have a speed rating that is given by a particular symbol. For a clearer understanding, we’ve created a table for what each speed symbol represents:

 

Speed Symbol

Maximum Speed

S

180km/h

T

190km/h

U

200km/h

H

210km/h

V

240km/h

W

270km/h

Y

300km/h

(Y)

Over 300km/h

 

The most crucial part about car tyres happen at the moment when you have to choose the tyres, in which case you will have to ask yourself 3 questions:

 

  1. What weather conditions will you be driving in?
     
  2. Where will you be driving?
     
  3. What is your driving style?

 

Weather Conditions

Source: giphy

 

In the case of the first question, we know that we’re living in Singapore, where we experience a tropical climate. Although it doesn’t rain every single day, it does rain often, so if we’re simply going by this question, we will definitely have to choose wet weather tyres. What are wet weather tyres, you ask?

 

Wet Weather Tyres

 

Also known as rain tyres, these tyres are designed for times when you see rainwater more often than sunshine and glitter. They are specifically designed for rain and wet road conditions. Usually when you’re on a wet road, the distance you need to bring the car to a stop will be longer than usual, and it can go as much as 3 times the usual stop distance.

 

Wet weather tyres will rapidly expel rainwater from its tread to maintain proper contact with the road. The amount of water being expelled depends on the depth of the tread, in which the minimum is set at 1.6mm deep. The deeper the tread, the more water it is able to expel.

 

Where Will You Be Driving?

 

Now don’t panic, we don’t have plans to spy on you…yet. What we meant is if you’ll be driving more on urban roads or highways. If you’re going to be driving more on urban roads, it’s best to prioritize braking distance, longevity, and low rolling distance.

 

The reason for braking distance is because urban driving will force you to brake often, usually because of traffic lights or other cars slowing down. At the same time, braking often will also deteriorate the tyre’s tread patterns at a faster rate, thus reducing its lifespan, which is why longevity is important for urban driving.

 

On the other hand, if you’re driving more on highway, you will need to prioritize high-speed braking distance, comfort, and handling. Unlike urban braking distance, this one in particular is to make sure that the tyres are able to grip the road enough for you to stop at high speeds, instead of just stopping the tyres altogether, forcing the car to skid forward.

 

For comfort, you’ll need tyres that aren’t noisy and at the same time, fitting the delicate balance of not being too bouncy and not being too stiff. The latter is subjected to your particular tastes, as you’d want a ride that feels as comfortable for you as possible, as highways usually mean that you’re driving long distances. As far as noise goes however, we’re sure that most us can agree that it’s best to find tyres that emit as little noise as possible.

 

What is Your Driving Style?

 

It’s also important to factor in your driving style when choosing car tyres. For an easier understanding, we’ve simplified driving styles into 2 types:

 

  1. The quiet and comfortable style.
     
  2. The “Fast and Furious” style.

 

If you’re a person who enjoys a quiet and comfortable driving experience, you should look out for tyres listed with low-noise, comfort, smooth ride, or anything that sounds similar to those 3 features.

 

It’s best to avoid tyres with crazy tread designs, as those will emit plenty of noise when driving. Usually, touring tires with a speed symbol of S, T, and H, are designed more for comfort rather than speed, so those types of tyres may be worthy of your consideration.

 

Source: thedrum.com

 

If you’re like the people you see above, then you definitely need tyres that mention steering precision or great handling. These features are common for performance tyres, which usually come with high speed ratings, better control, and a more precise ride.

 

Car Tyre Recommendations

 

We have picked 3 tyres that we feel would be suitable for the Singaporean weather and driving conditions. Even if you don’t buy these 3, at least you’ll have a better idea of what to look out for, so here it is, in no particular order:

 

1. Michelin Primacy HP

 

The Michelin Primacy HP tyres are great for wet road conditions and are meant more for urban driving. It has improved its wet road braking distance up to 2 metres, compared to its previous iteration, the Michelin Pilot Primacy, and it’s also able to last up to 25% longer compared to other similar tyres. As you’ll be braking often, the added longevity of the tyres will not only mean less hassle for you, but also means that you’ll save money by not changing tyres so often.

 

The Michelin Primacy HP is retailing at SGD257 to SGD799 depending on the size.

 

2. Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2

 

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 is a great choice for highway drivers. Not only does the tyre’s enhanced traction and wet control enable car’s to have a great level stability on wet roads, the enhanced stopping power would make the driving much safer, as you’ll be able to properly brake without skidding off while driving at high speeds.

 

The Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 is retailing from SGD160 to SGD250 depending on the size.

 

3. Bridgestone Sporty Style MY-02

 

Featuring a unique lightning groove tread pattern, the Bridgestone Sporty Style MY-02 tyres provides enhanced water drainage to continue maintaining contact with the road, as well as providing better traction on the road. It’s able to run with little noise thanks to its 5 separate block pitch arranged at a random sequence around the tyre.

 

You also won’t have to worry about irregular lifespan, as the Flat Contact Patch design forces to tyre to be constantly flat on the ground, which prevents the tyres to be worn out on different spots. The Bridgestone Sporty Style MY-02 is retailing from SGD93 to SGD203 depending on the size.

 

You can use all 3 of our recommendation if you’d like but if that is indeed your plan, best to buy one at a time, and buy another set of tyres when you actually need to as opposed to buying all of them at once. Tyres have a finite lifespan and will age whether you use it or not. If you need to know when you should change your tyres, look out for these signs:

 

The tread wear indicator on the tyre and the tread rubber is on the same level.

 

Tyres are punctured

 

The tyre's surface is uneven.

 

There are cracks, deformations, or any other damage on the tyres.

 

Pumping air to the car tyres every week or two would definitely help prolong the lifespan of the tyres, especially if you drive long distances on a weekly basis. Do take note if the tyres are looking a little flat or if it’s making a lot of noise on the road, as those are major signs that the tyres need to be pumped again.

 

Do you agree with our recommendations? Or perhaps you have your own set of recommendations for car tyres? Share your opinions with us by leaving a comment below.

 

Speaking of damage, you might be doing more harm to your car than you think. Check out 5 ways you're washing your car wrong by clicking here.

 

Did you know that the Volkswagen Jetta had 11 different names given since its global debut? Find out more interesting facts about the VW Jetta by clicking here.


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