Category Archives: Car Tyres

Winter Tyres – What to do in Summer

Winter tyres are a good option if you want to stay safe in wintery conditions. They have extra grip and will withstand more difficult driving conditions. However, it can be difficult to know what to do with the tyres in winter. Here are some of the options:

  • Leave them on. You may just want to use winter tyres all year round. They are going to wear out more quickly but it is an option if you don’t want the hassle of swapping them over every year.
  • Keep them in storage. If you use the same garage to fit them for you every year, they may be able to keep them in storage for you. Be careful about costs thought, as they may want to fit new tyres each time.
  • Fit and store them yourself. If you can fit a tyre, it’s the easiest option. Store them in a shed or garage.

Checking the Quality of a Spare Tyre

Many people will carry a spare tyre with them when they are driving. We are all taught the importance of this when we are learning to drive. However, how often do we check the quality of the spare tyre? Is it actually usable should we have an emergency and need to fit the tyre to the car?

If a spare tyre is brand new, just cast an eye over it to make sure it all looks as it should. Make sure there are no chunks or rubber missing from the tyre or any other obvious defects. If the tyre is not new, you may want to try it out on a vehicle to make sure it is functional. You should be satisfied that you are happy to use it should you need to. When renting a car, make sure it comes with a spare tyre and look the tyre over before you leave with the car.

The Pros and Cons of Run-Flat Tyres – Part 2

The cons of having run-flat tyres –

 

  • No spare: Vehicles equipped with run-flat tires carry no spare, which means they don’t have the jack or tools either. In fact, eliminating the spare and reallocating that space to some other purpose (styling, third-row seat, interior room, etc.) is a big reason why carmakers offer run-flats.
  • Reduced tread wear: Rcent studies have found that people were replacing their run-flat tires an average of 6,000 miles sooner than owners using standard tires. Opinions differ on why this is, but one theory is that tiremakers put a soft tread compound on a run-flat tire to counter the hard ride. A side effect of the softer compound is a shorter tread life.
  • Harsher ride: The stiff sidewalls that make a run-flat work also result in a harder ride. If the vehicle came with run-flat tires from the factory, the automaker usually tunes the suspension to offset the harsher ride.

 

The Pros and Cons of Run-Flat Tyres – Part 1

The Pros of having Run-Flat Tyres –

  • You can drive on a flat tire: The primary benefit of a run-flat tire is that it allows you to keep driving about 100 miles after all the air has gone. This means that a person doesn’t have to get out of the car in the cold, or the rain, or onto a busy highway or on the street in a sketchy part of town. Drivers will usually have to reduce speed to about 50 mph to get the maximum range. The owner’s manual will have exact figures for each tire/vehicle application.
  • Better stability after a blowout: Because this tire can support the vehicle without air, a sudden deflation results in less weight transfer and tread destabilization. Steering and handling will remain near normal.
  • Lower vehicle weight: With the spare and tire repair tools eliminated, vehicle weight should theoretically go down. But it’s not as much as you might expect, since run-flat tires weigh more than regular tires, due to the added sidewall reinforcement.

Van Tyre Safety

Vans and LCV’s are subject to the same tyre law as cars so they must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters of the tyre around its entire circumference. Tyres must also be well maintained in order to keep the vehicle stable as it travels around corners; to help it accelerate and brake effectively; and to work in harmony with the vehicle’s main suspension system to carry loads safely.

Basic checks such as making sure tyres are correctly inflated can make all the difference, as the pressurised air inside the tyre helps to support the weight of the vehicle and its load. Tyre tread depths are vital for ensuring vehicle safety and vans are particularly vulnerable as they can be heavier than normal cars, and often carry loads. The extra weight carried by a van also increases its stopping distance, making it even more important that tread depths meet safe and legal standards.