To an average person who does not know much about tyres, what are some features of a tyre that they look out for?
For most drivers, tyres must make their ride as smooth and comfortable as possible, preferably absorbing humps and bumps on the roads.
The grip of a tyre directly affects the handling and cornering abilities of a car, hence many place emphasis on this aspect.
3. Noise Level
Regardless of comfort-oriented preferences or performance-related wants, noise level of a tyre should always be as low as possible.
Depending on what the tyres are for, different types of drivers seek performance in various ways. Regular standard tyres will suit most drivers with overall good traction, long tread life and a comfortable ride at a reasonable price, but lack precise handling and grip of performance tyres. High-performance tyres provide better handling and grip without compromising too much on comfort and wear. Ultra-high performance tyres give the best handling and braking abilities in dry and wet conditions, but tread life will be sacrificed.
Nowadays, newer tyres are becoming safer with shorter stopping distances or run-on-flat technology that allows the car to continue moving despite a tyre puncture.
Tyre manufacturers do provide general approximation on the distance that the tread can last, but it really boils down to the driver and his style of driving. Types of roads, weather climates, driving behaviour and level of usage of tyres can affect the life of a tyre.
7. Fuel Economy
The better you can conserve your tyres, the further the distance travelled for the same tank of fuel, hence improving fuel economy of the car.
With information readily accessible anytime over the Internet, consumers are getting smarter these days. Drivers in Singapore still generally lack proper tyre education and often just ask for cheap and good tyres. Many will spend time comparing prices before they find one that they perceive as ‘value for money’.
A higher treadwear rating of the tyre means being able to clock a longer distance before needing to change tyres. This leads to better fuel economy due to less resistance from the harder rubber compound. However, harder rubber means reduced cornering ability. So if you want good cornering from a tyre, go for higher dry traction instead of high treadwear.
10. Wet weather ability
Some tyres are very good in the dry, but for tropical climates like ours where it rains and shines equally often, wet weather abilities of a tyre are just as important, if not more.