Alastair Reid Garages - Tyres for your car
Alastair Reid Garages - Choosing Tyres
Alastair Reid Garages are able to provide you with tyres for your car or tyres to suit all vehicles, driving conditions and budgets. Being an independent garage Alastair Reid Garages are able to purchase tyres from all manufacturers that supply the UK market including, Michelin, Avon, Bridgstone, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, Goodyear, Pireilli and many other well-known brands. The advice you receive from our qualified technicians will ensure you get the ideal tyre for your needs.
Having the correct tyres on your vehicle will significantly improve safety, performance and passenger/driver comfort while driving. Many people make the decision on tyres based on price alone, while this may be a factor in the decision, there are so many other things to consider.
When choosing a tyre for your vehicle there are 2 factors to consider and take into account. These are factors related to the vehicle and the driving conditions in which tyres are used; the second set of factors are the specification of the tyres needed.
Car and driving related factors are;
- The manufacturers recommendations for tyres
- Any special driving conditions such as off-road or winter driving
- The expected level of usage, i.e. occasional or high volume use
- Personal preference in tyre design, e.g. low profile
- Choice of specific manufacturer of tyres
Considerations for the tyre are;
- Tyre Size
- Speed rating based on the driving you are likely to be undertaking
- Tread pattern
- Performance of the tyre
- Durability of the tyre
The new labelling system has made it easier to compare tyres, showing performance and other factors on the tyre label.
Tyre size – this is normally well defined by the vehicle manufacturer. You must buy the correct tyre size for your vehicle. The tyre size quoted by the manufacturer will normally contain 3 numbers that define the diameter, wall and width of the tyres. Your vehicle will be designed to run on a tyre of certain sizes and any deviation from this will seriously impact safety and performance.
Driving locations – if you drive most of your mileage in urban areas, then you would choose a different tyre from someone who drives 90% on motorways. If you intend to spend time driving off-road then you will need a tyre that is suitable for this type of driving. Alastair Reid Garages are happy to advise on the best tyre suitable for the driving you undertake.
Performance Tyres - improve road holding and performance of a vehicle, designed for sports cars where this is important. The trade off is that these tyres lack durability and tend to wear much quicker than general tyres.
Special surfaces – if you are likely to be driving often on certain surfaces such as snow, wet, off-road then you may wish to consider a suitable tyre. These tyres improve the performance and safety on these surfaces, but tend to perform poorly under general driving conditions.
Whatever your tyre needs the Alastair Reid Garages will be happy to help you find the ideal solution for your vehicle, driving and budget.
Factors Impacting Tyre Life
Easy operation of your vehicle and care of its tyres can increase tyre life, improve vehicle performance and most importantly improve safety. Here is a quick guide to tyre maintenance than anyone can undertake.
Check your pressures regularly – details of correct pressures can be found in the car manual. Check the pressure with a tyre gauge when the tyre is cold as any journey will warm up tyres and increase the pressure reading.
Inspect for damage on the tread surface and tyre walls. Check for cuts, chips or cracks, which can lead to loss of pressure or even punctures.
Check your tread depth as less tread will increase your fuel consumption and performance as there is less grip. The minimum legal depth is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread width and around the entire circumference of the tyre.
Take extra caution in wet or slippery conditions as you are more likely to have an accident in wet weather as in the dry. The stopping distance of a car in wet conditions can be twice that of dry weather.
Only load/tow within the parameters defined by the manufacturer. Overloading or towing excess weight will cause early tread wear, and may reduce overall safety.
Maintaining the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle ensures that the performance and safety criteria as within the bands defined by the manufacturer. Modern cars are complex machines that have numerous sub-systems working together to ensure maximum efficiency and optimum performance. If any one of these is not working to peak performance, then it has an impact on the vehicle. The engine management system will help keep fuel flows, exhaust emissions, etc. within parameters. Incorrect tyre pressures will lead to increased fuel consumption, increased braking distances and reduced safety.
Incorrect tyre inflation can reduce tyre life by by as much as 70% with even a small reduction in the inflation of tyres.
Under-inflation increases the amount of the tyre's tread that is in contact with the road surface leading to increased friction and higher fuel consumption.
Check your pressures regularly and always before a long journey. Check pressures when the tyres are cold Follow guidance in the drivers handbook for tyre pressures under different load and towing conditions
With tyres, the tread area making contact with the road is relatively small in comparison to the size and weight of the vehicle. Therefore, if tyres are worn or damaged it can seriously affect a vehicles safety and handling. Your tyres must also comply with legal requirements, or you could face a fine levied per tyres and points on your license.
Important regular checks of tyre tread depth, general condition and tyre pressure should be undertaken. This will make sure your vehicle is safe to be used on roads.
Tread depth must be at least the legal minimum of 1.6mm throughout a continuous strip in the centre three quarters of the tread and around the entire tyre circumference.
Tyres must be inflated according to the manufacturer’s published specification, normally outlined in the owners manual. Over-inflated tyres can cause excess wear on the tyres. Under-inflated tyres result in increased fuel consumption and faster wear of the tread.
Tyres will also need to be checked for signs of bumps, bulges or cuts which could cause a blowout when driving. Uneven Tread Wear
Sometimes tyres need to be replaced before they are fully worn because of rapid or uneven tread wear. This can be caused by a variety of reasons such as
- Under-Inflation that causes faster wear along the edges of the tread.
- Over-Inflating that leads to faster wear along the centre of the tread.
- Faulty brakes or shock absorbers that can lead to flat spots around the tread of the tyre.
- Wheel alignment or tracking not correct leads to over-wear along the inside or outside edges of front tyres.
Be vigilant for cuts, splits, breaks and abrasions on the surface or wall of tyres. Ensure that the inner walls on the inside of vehicle are checked. Also, be wary of foreign objects such as nails, glass, etc. on the tyres that can lead to further damage. If you have any doubts or are unsure, then contact Alastair Reid Garages for advice.
To ensure the tread in contact with the road and wears evenly then the wheel should be correctly balanced. Incorrect balance can lead to vibration through the steering wheel, or even steering and braking problems. Incorrect wheel balance is easily corrected, bring your vehicle along to Alastair Reid Garages for balancing.
Tyre Repalcement and Maintenance FAQ's
Can I check if my tyres need to be replaced?
>One of the first signs may be that your car is not performing as well in wet weather, you may notice that handling or grip are reduced or even takes longer to stop. Wear of tyres is a gradual process rather than a sudden event other than punctures or tyre damage. Therefore, it can be hard to tell when your tyre needs replacing. Alastair Reid Garages recommend regular tyre checks, at least every 2 months, depending on the mileage you drive.
Can I measure tread depth?
You can purchase a depth gauge, though it is best to have your tyre checked properly as there may be other signs of wear apart from the tread. Some tyres also have tread wear indicators that show when a tyre is wearing low. If you are uncertain, then please contact Alastair Reid Garages for a tyre check.
How important is tyre pressure?
The correct tyre pressure is crucial to the safe operation of your vehicle. You may also need to adjust tyre pressures for different driving conditions or loading levels. Check you manufacturers handbook. Incorrect tyre pressure will reduce the overall performance of the vehicle and result in using more fuel. Correct tyre pressure keeps you safe and saves you money
Should I replace only one tyre at a time?
Generally you are best to replace all four tyres at the same time or replace them as axle sets, i.e. 2 front or 2 back at same same. A single tyre can be replaced if it is worn though it may make sense to replace more than one at a time, if wear is high on the other tyres. Early replacement of other tyres can help in the overall economy. If you need advice, then please contact Alastair Reid Garages for a tyre check.
Is it worth fitting winter tyres?
Winter tyres are designed specifically for the general winter conditions in the UK, i.e. wet, icy and low temperature driving. The compounds used to manufacture winter tyres are different to those used for summer tyres. Following recent heavy winters more motorists are opting to fit winter tyres. Winter tyres are very useful if you live in remote or rural locations or travel regularly in such areas.
All new tyres sold must be labelled in a certain way. The label must provide information regarding noise emissions, fuel efficiency and wet weather performance. This enables the consumer to make comparisons between different tyres and ensure that specific requirements are met. The example label shown here demonstrates the parameters that are covered.
Rolling resistance is the main key factor in measuring the energy efficiency of a tyre and has direct influence on the fuel consumption of a vehicle. A set of tyres of the green class "A" compared to a "G" class can reduce fuel consumption by 7,5% of a passenger car; even more for trucks.
The basis for determining wet grip is the absolute stopping distance when driving 80km per hour. Between each class, there are 3-6 metres difference in braking distance.
The driving by noise is quoted as an absolute value in decibel and as a 3 classes sound wave symbol. A continuous sound level above 80 decibels can cause health problems.
Alastair Reid Garages are able to provide guidance on different tyres and finding a suitable tyre for your needs and budget.