Are you looking for new tyres and don't know how to choose them? Are you planning to replace winter tyres with summer tyres and do not know how to find a professional workshop that will not destroy them? How to distinguish this professional service from accidental? Here are some tips to help you make your decision. Your road safety, car grip, skid resistance, lower fuel consumption and more effective braking will depend on it. Tyres can save our lives in a critical situation on the road. But only if the 3P rule is fulfilled. Properly selected, good-quality tyres can shorten the braking distance even from a few to several meters! It is worth remembering the 3P rule regarding tyres: decent tyres, professional service, correct pressure. More tips can be found on the website www.oponymajamoc.pl.
– A new, good quality tyre will be our best friend on the road. It will allow us to better control the car – especially in unusual or difficult conditions, it may even save our lives. So it is worth spending more time choosing them every few years – when we buy new tyres. There is a rule among flying instructors that the plane cannot be faster than the pilot. It is the same with the tyres. If the car is faster than the tyres – it does not bode for safe driving without unpleasant adventures on the road. That is why we should buy tyres adapted to our car and driving style. Tyres are a technically complex product that must meet opposing requirements – such as grip, durability and resistance to aquaplaning. They have many parameters that we can compare and focus on those that are most important to us – read the results of independent tests and talk to experienced service technicians. Thanks to this, we will not only ensure the safety of ourselves and the family, but also use less fuel, and our journeys will be more comfortable – says Piotr Sarnecki, General Director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA).
1. Proper tyres
Decent tyres – these are unused tyres, from well-known and reputable manufacturers, providing adequate traction, braking distance and skid resistance. Check the symbols and markings on the labels and remember - the tyre warranty is valid from the date of purchase, not production! The most important thing, however, is not to buy used tyres at all – you never know their history and damage to the inner layers caused by the fairly common driving with under-inflated wheels. It is not worth risking this for a small amount of savings – after all, the tyres will be the only point of contact between the car and the road for several years.
If you are buying all-season tyres, pay attention to the snowflake symbol against the mountain (alpine symbol). It means winter approval, which all good all-season tyres have – a confirmation that such tyres can be used in winter in countries where the requirement to drive on winter tyres has been introduced.
Warranty from the date of purchase
Checking the date of production of tyres does not actually serve any purpose, because the best tyre manufacturers provide warranty for passenger tyres from the date of purchase, not production. Therefore, carefully secure the tyre purchase receipt – so that you can make a complaint if necessary.
– Remember that tyres are not food with an expiry date! Tyres do not lose their properties from the moment of their production – and manufactured even a few years ago, they are a full-fledged product and retain all their properties and quality. Thanks to special anti-aging additives, the tyres do not wear out in a warehouse in a factory or in a wholesaler, but only during operation – explains Piotr Sarnecki.
To prove that the tyres stored in the warehouse for several years are not worse than the freshly produced ones, TÜV SÜD did comparative tests on the track. Tyres of the same manufacturer, model and size, and with the same tread compound composition were tested. One set produced in 2018, the other in 2020 on the same car. The test proved that tyres that are several years old can brake just as well as those from the last batch. What's more, to raise the bar, our rally driver tested 2020 and 2017 tyres, also with the same composition from the same manufacturer. The results of these tests also showed that even a 3-year-old tyre retains its performance when professionally stored. And only such warehouses have tyre factories and wholesalers. Therefore, it is worth buying tyres from a certain, official sales channel – online or traditional. Tests are available on www.oponymajamoc.pl.
The DOT number is used by the tyre manufacturers to identify the model, factory and production lot only. The production date is part of this code. The code was required by the US Department of Transportation (hence the abbreviation DOT – Department of Transportation) to have a label to identify the tyre in the event of a breakdown – assigning any other meaning or validity to the date of manufacture is simply a mistake.
2. Professional service
If we have already bought our dream tyres, it is only half the battle. You still need to find a service that will not destroy them during assembly. You think it is not easy to tear the tyre bead during assembly and you will surely notice it? Well, tearing with too much force and an unserviced assembly machine is a matter of seconds. And you will notice it only when ... the tyre falls off the rim while driving, or the air escapes from it in the parking lot. When choosing a website, it is not worth following the opinion that the website is "fast and cheap". This is a powder cake recipe, not a professional tyre repair shop. Cheap and fast service means mechanics are not careful with the tyres and are shortcuts – skipping important points of proper service. After that, you will lose that time on subsequent visits to correct the balance because the steering wheel is shaking. Or the weight fell off because the quick mechanic didn't clean the rim. The reason for the cheapness is also the lack of an appropriate and frequent service of fitting and balancing machines – which costs a lot. Then this "cheap" means for you to buy two tyres.
So that the customers of the workshops do not have to obtain a doctorate in tyre assembly technique, the Polish Tyre Industry Association together with the independent certification company TÜV SÜD introduced a system of evaluation and awarding professional services based on an independent audit of equipment and skills of technical personnel. A map of the workshops that have passed the TÜV SÜD audit and received the Tyre Certificate can be found on the website certyfikatoponiarski.pl.
– We want to support and promote websites that, on the one hand, care for customers, and on the other hand, apply appropriate work standards. The certificate is proof of this. To get it, the service must undergo an audit of equipment and skills as well as customer service, documented with photos. In many cases it is also a mystery shopper visit. This is where the tyres will not be damaged and the driver will be sure that the work has been done technically correctly. At highway speeds, tyres are the second or third fastest rotating component in a car – after the motor shaft and turbine, if any. There is no room for timely work or assembly errors resulting from ignorance or rush. A decent service does not change tyres faster than in 40 minutes. with one mechanic per car – summarizes Piotr Sarnecki.
3. Precise pressure – check at least once a month!
The correct pressure value provided by the car manufacturer is given in the vehicle manual and very often on the inside lower part of the left center pillar or the driver's door. Pressure should be measured at least once a month, even if the car has a pressure sensor system – while only 40% of drivers declare that they only occasionally check its level. 2 days of driving with too low pressure is enough, and we will wear the tyres as if for a week with the correct pressure. If we do not check the pressure, the tyres will last us 3 times less! Too low tyre pressure causes the temperature of the inner layers to double – and this is a straightforward way to burst tyres while driving. Tyres under-inflated by 0.5 bar are as much as 3dB louder and extend the braking distance by up to 4 meters! You cannot see such a loss, and the car burns more fuel or energy and we can easily damage the tyre along with the rim on the curb.