Most motorists do not think about their tyres unless it’s time to replace them. The average driver is more concerned about fuel prices, ERP and parking charges, along with servicing costs. When it comes to tyres, most car owners happily settle for the cheapest ones possible.
But to car enthusiasts, tyres are a matter of life and death. Apart from influencing a car’s handling, tyres could mean the difference between a collision and being able to stop in time. To us, cheap and shoddy tyres are a disease that we wish we could eradicate.
Tyres are important because they’re the only connection between your car and the road. The size of an average tyre’s contact patch (the portion of the tyre that’s constantly in contact with the road) is the size of the palm of your hand.
That contact patch has to provide grip and cut through water, among other things. That’s why you can’t compromise on tyres.
I was once approached by a former colleague who mentioned that he needed new tyres. I gave him a few recommendations of affordable, but good quality models. His only reply was to ask me if I knew of anything cheaper.
I had another ex-colleague who had three different brands of tyres on her car. I remember recoiling in horror when she recounted that her mechanic was okay with such a setup. I told her that he should be slapped for endangering his customers.
Mixing tyres is another no-no. Because every tyre model is different, using a combination of brands will give mixed, rather than consistent performance. That’s scary.
One of the worst things you can do is not change your tyres when they get worn. I once advised a relative of mine to get some new tyres because the ones on his car were almost bald. His answer to me was even more horrifying: “It should be okay. I don’t drive fast anyway.”
It doesn’t matter what type of driver you are. Tyres are a matter of life and death. Get a decent set from a reputable brand to ensure your safety and that of your family.