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All About the Tyres:

Why Good Wheels are Important

It's oddly an area of car ownership that is either overlooked or not taken as seriously as it should be. The tyres on a car or people carrier are the most important things that keep you on the road. Those four small contact patches have a lot of work to do, such as dispersing rainwater, clearing snow and biting hard into the tarmac to offer comfort and handling that makes your journeys more enjoyable.

Buy Affordable best

There are a few things you need to know about, that can affect your choice. Firstly, make sure you buy the best ones you can afford, not the cheapest or worse still, remoulds. Badly made, cheaply designed or regurgitated ones will spit you off the road in no time, offer poor handling capabilities and generally wear down faster than if you'd just bought some decent ones in the first place. The fact that most seven seaters weigh upwards of 1.5-tonnes makes it even more important that when you press the brake, you stop in good time and if you go around a corner that you don't plough straight into oncoming traffic, as it would be disastrous.

Each Type of Wheel is Coded

If you look at the current tyres that are on your people carrier, you'll see some numbers and letters that look like: 205/65 R15 95H. They stand for the width, profile height, speed rating and diameter of the wheel (not the tyre). The 205 means that the tyre is 205mm wide and the 65 means the height of the tyre is 65% of that 205 (or 133.25mm 'tall'). The R15 means the wheel has a 15” radius, and the 95H is the speed rating.

Don’t be fooled by Low Prices

Don't be fooled by cheap tyres that are £50 each while well-known brands are £90, as you're more likely to have more problems and buy twice as many 'cheap' tyres so you would have been better off buying the good tyres in the first place. Also, don't let the tyres go bald before you change them. Not only is it illegal to have low tread (the current law is nothing less than 1.6mm of tread depth), but it is very dangerous as the tyres will not have the grip they once had and due to the thinness will be more prone to punctures.

Recommended 3mm tread depth

Companies recommend that you change the tyres when the tread depth is at 3mm. Not because they want to earn more money necessarily, but because they don't want their reputation put in jeopardy should you have an accident when tyres that are closer to the 1.6mm depth, as they won't work as well as they should.

Police may pull you over

Remember, buying new tyres for your 7-seater car is one of the most important things you can buy for it. If you let the current ones drop below 1.6mm, then you are looking at three points on your license as well as a fine, if the police pull you over. You can't risk having bad, cheap or useless wheels on your people carrier, especially if you are carrying six other people around in it!

Related Information

What might also be interesting is an article we wrote on entertaining the children on long journeys or even Eco Driving in your Family Car.

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