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Tyre Advice

Selecting the appropriate tyre for your car, road conditions, terrain, and driving style can be daunting given the range of brands, prices and tread types. RTS will take individual customer requirements into account to provide the best match to keep you safe and within budget.

All Weather Tyres
All weather tyres combine attributes of both summer and winter tyres to give optimal all year-round performance. The majority of vehicles are sold with such tyres, being effective all-round performers, however remember that they are less reliable in weather extremes and you would be better to consider a weather-specific option (eg winter tyres).

Run Flats
Run flats should only be fitted to vehicles with tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS). The system is designed to alert you when the tyre drops below a certain set level. With run flats, when you suffer a puncture, the effects are reduced. This allows you to travel a little further to seek help rather than being stuck at the side of the road.

Winter Tyres
We cannot stress enough the benefits and advantages offered by fitting winter tyres. In harsh winter conditions winter tyres can increase your vehicles grip and reduce stopping distances in adverse conditions. It is becoming much more common for drivers to switch to winter tyres for the season.

High Performance Tyres
Given the unique dynamics (speed, traction, responsiveness, handling) of higher performance vehicles, it is important to match this with an appropriate tyre. High performance tyres support and improve ride, handling and braking and give better overall performance at higher speeds.

All Terrain Tyres
These types of tyres are designed to be good all rounders on and off road. All terrain tyres are particularly appropriate for those frequently using bumpy and off-road terrains.

In November 2012 a new piece of legislation came into force which required the majority of new tyres sold within Europe to be labelled. The aim is to provide consumers with information on the performance of tyres, and details 3 categories to take into consideration when choosing a tyre:-

fuel efficiency wet grip external rolling noise

Each category is rated A (best) - G (worst) – see the label for an example.

It is hoped that with every applicable tyre being tested and classfied using these criteria, consumers will be able to make clearer comparisons between tyres during the purchasing process. This legislation is applicable to everyone in the supply chain, from manufacturer to end customer, and covers cars, 4x4s, vans and trucks. It does not extend to racing, professional off road, spare, vintage, re-tread, motorbike or studded tyres.

Tyre treads are designed to give good grip on wet roads. As a tyre’s tread pattern wears down (or the depth of the water increases!), this grip decreases.

The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is currently 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of breadth of the tread and around its entire circumference.

Drivers whose tyres do not comply with this specification risk a fine of up to £2500 and 3 penalty points for EACH ILLEGAL TYRE.

We therefore recommend you check your tread monthly with the quick 20p test.

Place the edge of a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of the tyre. The outer band of the 20p coin measures 1.6mm, so if you cannot see this band when the coin is inserted, your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band is visible, your tyres may be illegal and unsafe. Time to call RTS to have them checked professionally!

As an interesting note, most of you will have heard of “aquaplaning”. This occurs when you have insufficient tread depth to clear the water properly from the road surface. SO, your tyre loses contact with the road surface and you skim across the water. This will leave you unable to control your car safely or effectively – it is so important to CHECK YOUR TREAD REGULARLY. If in doubt, please call RTS.

Air pressure in your tyres is the most important factor in determining how well they perform – it can affect the tyre’s speed capability, load carrying capacity, handling response, wear rate and safety. Underinflated tyres will also mean that your vehicle users more fuel and emit more CO2. It is therefore worth checking the pressure in particularly cold weather and before a long journey.

Every vehicle has a different tyre pressure, measured in psi (pounds per sq inch). Your vehicles pressure can be found in the handbook, and often it can be found on a chart inside the driver’s door or on the inside of the fuel cap.

Tyre pressure is easily taken manually with a pressure gauge, however due to the criticality of maintaining the correct tyre pressure, all new cars are now fitted with tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), which notifies you of any issues your vehicle may have.

If in doubt, call RTS!

Finding your tyre size should be straightforward as it’s detailed on the sidewall markings of your tyres in a series of numbers and letters.

245/45 R 18 96Y

The width is measured in mm and is measured from end to end of the tyre including the sidewall but excluding any raised lettering or rim protectors (represented as 245 above).

The aspect ratio is the height of the tyre stated as a % of width (represented as 45 above). Low profile tyres have a lower aspect ratio, therefore more tread is on the road.

The rim diameter is essentially the rim size (represented as 18 above). The letter R refers to the radial size.

The load index is a numerical code that represents the maximum load a tyre can carry. Above, the load is 96. All tyres do not carry the same load rating.

The speed rating determines how fast the tyre can travel. There is a predetermined table of speed ratings, in this case, it is depicted by the letter Y which is 186mph.

 Speed rating  MPH  Speed rating  MPH  Speed rating  MPH
 N  87  S  112  V  149
 P  93  T  118  Z/ZR  150+
 Q  99  U  124  W  168
 R  106  H  130  Y  186

It is very important that you check your speed rating before fitting new tyres. Fitting tyres with a lower speed rating could invalidate your insurance.

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