Quality v cost, part 2

IN the last issue, we covered the differences in cost, versus quality, of the brakes of your car.

In this issue, we are going to be looking at tyres, and how the quality of these can affect the safety and handling of a vehicle. We are probably all familiar with top-brand names such as Goodyear, Pirelli, Michelin, Yokohama and Bridgestone, to name but a few. So, is it worth saving a bit of money, at the expense of safety?

Clearly, the larger, well-known tyre brands are a better standard. They are made of a better quality of rubber, and the companies have invested time and money in making their brand of tyres the “best in the market place”.

They will have been tested under vigorous conditions; heat, cold, snow, adverse weather etc., to see how the tyres perform. You only have to look at Formula-One racing, to see how weather conditions and driving style affect the life and performance of a tyre.

High-quality tyres: In testing, they have proved to provide better fuel consumption, and superior grip on the roads (in almost all-weather conditions), and, overall, they are also the best for your safety.

They work, of course, in conjunction with your braking system, to stop the car quickly, if necessary, while maintaining good grip of the road surface, and, to a certain degree, preventing skidding and sliding.

However, the style and type of your driving, and the type of vehicle, also have to be considered, when choosing replacement tyres. If you do a lot of high-speed driving, or have a high-performance vehicle, then choosing a cheap tyre is a bad choice for many reasons.

The car will probably not be able to stop effectively, the life of the tyres will be short, and your fuel consumption will increase. Here in Spain, it is important to remember that replacement tyres (size-wise) have to be the same as shown on the Ficha Técnica, although this does not specify manufacturers. But it does specify the necessary dimensions and tyre rating.

Mid-range tyres: These are, as the title suggests, a middle-of-the-road-priced tyre. Often, these are the same tyres as some of the premium-branded, named products. But they are sold, and/or manufactured, by another company, or “under licence”.

For a good, all-round tyre, these are probably the best choice for, say, a family saloon or runaround town car. They will have undergone the same types of testing as the high-range tyres, but the quality of materials may differ.

Budget tyres: These pose the question of cost, and whether you are actually saving money in the long term. The short answer is that cheap tyres are not really cheap, because they are made from an inferior-quality material.

The tread will be the minimum required by law, and you’ll have to replace them far more frequently. But if you use the car, say, once a week to go shopping, they may be the correct selection for you, providing you are not driving a high-end vehicle!

Second-hand tyres: From a professional point of view, these are not a good option, and should, wherever possible, be avoided.Your safety, and that of your fellow road-users, as well as pedestrians, is more important than saving a few euros.


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Posted by on Feb 23 2018. Filed under Motoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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