Can’t tell the difference between car tyres? Here are some pointers…

No matter what car it is, good tyres are a sure-fire way to make it better. Here’s everything you need to know about how to pick a tyre for a car. Tyres are so critical that there are “controlled” tyre rules in many car racing series, meaning everyone has to use the same tyres. Formula 1 does not have this rule and there is a difference between the performance of each team depending on how good their tyre manufacturers are. As the only part of your vehicle that makes contact with the ground surface while driving, tyres are vital for your protection.

1. High-Performance Tyres

If you’ve ever seen sports and luxury cars zooming by on the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur, you might have noticed that the tyres on these speed machines look a tad bit different from the run-of-the-mill ones found on economy class vehicles. More often than not, these high-end cars use high-performance tyres, which have been heavily optimised for a whole host of advantages.

For one, high-performance tyres have been designed to offer a quicker response for the driver, together with a reinforced grip to help cope with the exceptional speed commonly found in high-performance vehicles. Because of this, much like the high-end cars that use them, these tyres are often produced by premium manufacturers that apply an extensive amount of technology, research and development into each of their products. In fact, most high-performance tyres are literally made of a different compound, comprising specialist traits that enhance the levels of grip to improve braking power and handling.

The result of all this is an extremely effective tyre that encompasses qualities that a sporty speed machine might require to perform excellently on the road, from precision in steering response to great capacities for handling, and high-speed endurance. There are drawbacks, however, such as the obviously steeper price tag that comes with all this A+ quality, along with potential rapid wear and tear coming from the sheer performance advantages that these tyres were designed for.

2. Energy Saving Tyres

These days, it might seem like environmental friendly options and sustainable alternatives exist for practically every product in any given market. A tyre range is no exception, and energy-saving tyres are the economical, eco-friendly response to the industry’s demand for better sustainability-related solutions for the eco-conscious consumer. 

Most tyre manufacturers do in fact offer some form of energy-saving tyre, whether via in-built efficiency designed to reduce fuel consumption or whether the composition of the tyres helps to lower CO2 emissions, constant research and development is underway to find a balance between good performance and a mitigated impact on the environment. Drivers who want to save on fuel consumption and do their part for planet Earth can consider choosing an energy-saving tyre.

The concept is simple enough since certain tyres are built to use less energy to consume fuel at a lesser rate, this amounts to using a lesser amount of overall energy to move a particular vehicle from point A to B. As such, don’t expect phenomenal performance benefits from such eco-options, because the main priority for these tyres is to save the environment (and go easy on your wallet).

3. All-season tyres

As of yet, no ideal single tyre can tackle all forms of weather conditions during the year. A summer tyre offers terrible traction in the snow, as we’ve established, and a winter tyre performs dismally on the warm asphalt. But you’re close to straddling both worlds with an all-season tyre; If you live in an area with just a mild climate in winter and summer or in a city where the roads are clear of snow and you’re driving less than 6,000 miles (about 10,000 kilometres), it might be enough for your needs.

An all-season tyre incorporates both summer and winter tyre features, providing a hybrid option with the advantages of both. An all-season tyre, however, in its respective elements, does not match the seasonal specialism of a summer tyre or winter tyre. Bear in mind that an all-season tyre will only ever represent a solution, simply providing those drivers who do not intend to have to contend with harsh weather conditions with a solid mix of attributes.

The all-season tyre incorporates the best of both summer and winter tyres into one kit, so you can run it throughout the year. All-season tyres, opposed to specialized summer and winter tyres, provide decent performance in summer and winter without excelling. If you don’t want to move from summer to winter every 6 months or so, they are a convenient choice.

4. Run-flat tyres

After the introduction of the pneumatic tyre or the transition from bias-ply to radial tyres, run-flat tyres are one of the best innovations in the automotive industry. Why is it groundbreaking? A run-flat tyre can remain completely operational in the event of a puncture, or a sudden decrease in inflation pressure, before the driver can safely make it home or to the nearest garage.

Solid and thick reinforced sidewalls have the functionality of a run-flat tyre so that they can be pushed on temporarily after a puncture. In general, on a punctured run-flat tyre, you should be able to drive up to 80 km. Bear in mind, however, that they can’t be fixed and you need to replace them with a new tyre as soon as possible.

5. 4×4 tyres

4×4 tyres, mostly a wider tread block and deeper tyre grooves, have a more widely spaced tread pattern than traditional car tyres. On conditions like wet ground, regular tyres perform poorly because the tread fills with mud easily and the wheel starts to turn uselessly, digging the tyre deeper and deeper into a pit. By contrast, 4×4 tyres have greater traction without the tread area being clogged on rough terrains such as dirt, grass and snow.

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