When you buy a used car, you will normally be drawn to the particular vehicle because of its type, style, performance, age or total accumulated mileage. You will buy it "as is," but may plan to upgrade certain parts of it, once it is in your possession. In particular, you may want to swap out the current tyres with something that more suits your vision. As you are selecting a different type of tyre for your new acquisition, what should you be bearing in mind?
Handling Weather Conditions
Australian drivers don't have to worry too much about conditions underfoot and as a consequence, don't need to fit snow tyres for the winter. As the weather is largely taken out of the equation, they need to consider their driving style when choosing the right rubber.
Performance Versus Standard
If you consider yourself to be a performance driver, you like to get a little bit extra out of your motoring. You may push the car through corners rather than just coasting and will need to ensure that your tyres can cope with this. Covers that are designed for performance motoring will not only work better when you put your foot down, but they will last longer under duress. You can still expect them to wear down faster than a conventional tyre, however, due to the additional friction that will be built up.
In the same breath, don't expect tyres that are designed for longer life to perform particularly well when you get out on the open road. They are not designed to grip so strongly when accelerating through a corner, but may nevertheless save a bit of money in your annual budget.
Deviating from Standard
Manufacturers typically recommend a set size for tyres that are fitted to certain cars. The height and width of the tyre is adjusted according to the "stock" size of the wheel. You can adjust performance by fitting different specification wheels and appropriately sized tyres. You may enjoy enhanced performance, but this comes with a caveat. Your speedometer may not be accurate any more, as the new tyre will be covering a slightly different distance to the original and remember that the speedo was calibrated for factory specification. Also, consider whether this might have an impact on your insurance coverage.
No matter what tyres you choose for your new ride, make sure that you look after them as carefully as possible. In addition to a weekly pressure check, take them into your service centre to ensure that the geometry is aligned and the tyres are all properly balanced and configured. This will help you to avoid excess wear and risks on the road.