Tyres - Types of Car Tyres and Maintenance

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Car Tyres Types

Tyres are designed for different performance levels and for specific environmental conditions. This means that it's important to choose the right tyres for the weather they will be used in and for their purpose. For instance, van tyres are different to car tyres, 4x4 tyres, caravan tyres and trailer tyres. These will take advantage of different tread patterns and rubber compounds.

Summer tyres are designed for use in temperatures above 7 °C on both dry and wet roads. They are made from softer, less-elastic rubber than winter tyres, and have fewer grooves and sipes in the tread. These features increase the tyres' contact with the road, increasing traction, giving them improved braking ability and making them able to absorb vibrations and reduce noise. Their design also reduces rolling resistance, which means that in the right conditions they will last longer and be more fuel efficient. This is the standard type of tyre you are likely to have fitted on your car in the UK because temperatures seldom drop below 7 °C.

Winter tyres (or snow tyres) contain more natural rubber than their summer counterparts so they remain flexible in colder conditions (ie below 7 °C). This helps the tyre to retain its grip on icy, snowy and wet roads below 7° C and to reduce stopping distances. This can hugely improve the safety of your driving in the winter when you would otherwise be much more likely to have an accident. Winter tyres also have a tread that is designed to bite into snow and ice and to improve stopping distances in colder, wet conditions. As well as helping you to cope with getting around when it is snowy or icy, they improve vehicle handling and braking in dry conditions and reduce the risk of aquaplaning when the weather is below 7° C. All-season tyres combine the features of summer and winter tyres, providing better summer performance than a winter tyre and much better winter performance than a summer tyre. This can save you the bother of changing your tyres and they are suitable for the British climate, but they will not meet the performance levels of the summer and winter tyres in their optimal conditions.

Beyond this, there are further choices of tyre designed according to the vehicle, with budget and premium brand options available. As more and more manufacturers develop performance vehicles, you could opt for sports tyres that are designed to maintain speed and safety. What most people call '4x4 tyres' are generally off-road tyres, but there are also 4 x 4 on-road as well as all-terrain tyres. The all-terrain tyres are designed to retain grip on mud, dirt and snow, by using their deep tread pattern to increase friction. You'll be able to use these tyres all year round, but you might find that winter-use 4 x 4 tyres are better for your requirements. At Motorserve-UK we will be pleased to offer advice on choosing tyres, and we provide full tyre services from our base in Solihull.

Proper tyre maintenance

The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the entire circumference of the wheel. This is because the tread depth helps to remove water from the contact patch between your tyres and the road surface, allowing you to brake, steer and accelerate. If this isn't the case, you risk a £2,500 fine and three penalty points for each worn tyre. However, experts recommend changing your tyres once the tread is down to 3mm to ensure the safe handling of your vehicle. You should also check your tyre pressure monthly and your wheel alignment at least annually to ensure the safety of the vehicle and the lifespan of your tyres.

Motorerv-UK is part of the BlackCircles tyre network, which means you can buy your tyres in confidence online, and have them fitted by us at your convenience. Our free vehicle health check includes a tyre check and our expert technicians are experienced at every aspect of vehicle maintenance and car servicing.

Wheel alignment for all car types

Correct wheel alignment is important for the safety, comfort, efficiency and maintenance of your vehicle. If your wheels aren't correctly aligned, you may notice that the tread on your tyres isn't wearing evenly – usually, most noticeably on the front tyres and on the inside or outer edge. Slight misalignment might not be visible to the eye but you might feel that the car pulls to the left or the right. This can be dangerous, because of the impact it has on your steering, and it causes uneven wear on the tyres, meaning you might need to replace them sooner. Misalignment can also reduce fuel efficiency.

If you are not sure whether your car wheels are properly aligned or not, you can have them checked at MotorServ UK to put your mind at rest. At Motorserv-UK we provide the customer experience you'd expect from a main dealership without leaving you out of pocket. All our services are carried out by our experienced staff on-site using our own facilities. We have dedicated service consultants, a comfortable waiting area with free Wi-Fi and hot drinks. Block exemption regulations mean we are able to service and maintain your car to manufacturer specifications, and your warranty will remain intact.

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