The tyres have to go through a lot while driving because they are the one that comes in contact with the roads. And as we know that Indian roads are not really known for their smoothness. Our roads are bumpy, there are potholes everywhere and they are not at all smooth. So, manufacturers have to specially make some tweaks to their cars so that they suit our roads. The same story goes for the tyres. The usual tyres that the manufacturers offer with their cars in the international market are not successful on our roads. For instance, there are low-profile tyres with 20 or 21-inch wheels, while some manufacturers might offer these as options. Most manufacturers usually offer a small-sized wheel such as 18-inches because of the sharp potholes of our country would easily destroy a large size alloy wheel with such a low profile tyre. Low profile tyres with big alloys also compromise a lot on the ride quality of the car. So, it is important to choose the correct set of tyres when it is time for your car for a new set of tyres.
Synthetic rubber and natural rubber
First thing, you should know that nowadays many tyres are made up of synthetic rubber instead of natural rubber. But still, in India, we consume a lot of natural rubber because rubber is grown in India and it is cheaper for the manufacturers to just use the natural rubber instead of a synthetic one. So, the tyres that are sold use a clever mix of synthetic rubber and natural rubber.
However, there are some advantages to synthetic rubber. The synthetic rubber being a petroleum product is more durable than the natural rubber. The tread of the tyre needs to be of a durable material and that is why natural rubber can’t be used for it. So, the base of the tyre is made up of 100% natural rubber while only 50% is used for the tread. The softening point of the natural rubber is lower than the synthetic rubber because of which they are mixed so that the friction and heat from the roads don’t soften up the tyres. If you would have noticed the tyre wall is softer than the tread of the tyre. This is because the percentage of natural rubber in the tyre walls is more than the synthetic rubber.
All-Terrain and regular tyres
All-terrain tyres are specially designed for people who go off-roading on their cars. The all-terrain tyres are specially designed with aggressive tyre treads that can grip better off-road. The sidewalls are specially designed to take more load because sometimes the car can stand on 3 or even 2 wheels while off-roading. The all-terrain tyres consist of more natural rubber because it is softer and helps on uneven surfaces. They have an inheritance design flaw that causes them to wear unevenly and because they are made up of natural rubber, they will wear out more quickly than normal tyres.
Buying a new set of tyres can be confusing especially when there are so many things to be considered. Today, we list down some tips that can help you buy new tyres for your car.
You should always get the correct size of tyres that are recommended by the manufacturer. You can find the recommended tyre size of your vehicle in the user manual or the driver-side door jam. Every rim or alloy wheel is designed to fit a certain size of tyre. If you fit on a different size of a tyre, your fuel efficiency and alignment cause early wear and tear of the tyre and damage to the camber angle.
When the tyres are being replaced, you should take a look at the wheels and check if there is some damage. Sometimes, the bend in the wheels can be corrected with the alignment. So, you should ask the mechanic if replacing the rim is necessary or the alignment can correct the bend.
Before considering new tyres, you should do a quick inspection or consult a second opinion. Buying a new set of tyres is a costly affair so it is better you are sure about it. Observe for an uneven tyre tread, wear and tear, discolouration, cracks or any bulging.
Most of the people do not take the spare tyre seriously but if your spare tyre has been worn out. Then this will be the right time to get a new one. Sometimes, the tyre guy will also give a discount for the spare tyre. Also, you can go for a slightly used pre-owned tyre instead of buying a totally new one for the spare tyre. This will save you a bit of money.
Suspension and misalignment
You should take your car to a trusted mechanic who can inspect the condition of your suspension, camber, uneven tyre tread and misalignment. These things can speed up the wear and tear of the new set of tyres which will decrease the life of your new tyres and then they would not be worth it. Suspension issues, camber issues have a significant impact on the tread of the tyres so make sure you take it seriously.
While buying a new set of tyres it is important that you check the manufacturing date of the tyres because tyres are made up of rubber and rubber hardens if it is not used and hard or stiff tyres are not good and make the ride quality bumpy and wear out faster. Make sure that the tyres are manufactured on a recent date.
Authorised tyre showroom
Always buy your set of new tyres from an authorised dealer. Yes, this might cost you a bit more than an independent seller but the authorised showrooms will give you a warranty on the tyres and you can trust their tyres more than the independent seller. You might also get a discount on installation and alignment if you ask your authorised tyre showroom to install the tyres.
Full set of tyres
Sometimes people only replace the tyres that are worn out. This is not a good practice because the suspension of a car is designed in such a way that it works perfectly when all the tyres are of the same size and the same set. You should always buy a full set of tyres so that they all wear out equally and you can replace all of them all at once. Not using a complete set also disrupts the camber settings which can affect the ride quality and will wear out the tyre much faster.
Most of the tyres have a break-in period with them. The manufacturing process of tyres involves a release agent which prevents them from sticking in the mould. So, for the first 800km, your tyres grip will be less because of the releasing agent. This release agent can leave a residue in the tyre treads so you should not corner hard, brake hard or drive aggressively for the first 800km. This will ensure that there is no residue left on the tyres and your tyres will be performing better than before once all the releasing agent has been melted away.
You should go for a tubeless tyre because they provide better puncture resistance and have an advantage over the tube tyres. A tubeless tyre loses air slower than a tube one which means you can cover up more difference even after a puncture. And it is those few kilometres that can come in very handy and can help you reach a tyre guy. Because the tubeless tyres do not have a tube inside them, they generate less friction and heat when compared to the tube tyres. Also, in case of a puncture, you can fill your tyres with air and keep on going till you find a tyre guy. Meanwhile, the thorn or the nail will be acting as a tyre plug and keep the air intact in the tyre.
Maintaining your new tyres
Ensure that your tyres are inflated at the pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer. This will make sure that you get good fuel efficiency and least resistance from the tyres while getting the most grip. This will also help in reducing the wear and tear of the tyres and will improve the longevity of your tyres. Follow the alignment schedule for your tyres because this will decrease the uneven wear and tear of the tyres.
Maintaining tyres is not a hard job as they do not require constant maintenance. You just have to be observant enough and check once in a while that there are no uneven tyre treads, bulges, cracks or something. Also, check if your car is going straight or not when your car steering wheel is straight. A good and well-maintained set of tyres can improve the handling, fuel efficiency, feel, grip, braking and feedback from the car significantly. So, when it comes to tyres you should not compromise.