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Useful Knowledge about Tyres and Complete Wheels

A Better Look for Your Car

New tread patterns do not only aim to make driving safer. They can also make your car look sporty and modern. To underline these features even more, we recommend a combination of state-of-the-art performance tyres and light alloy wheels, instead of steel rims. No matter if you want to change in size or keep your standard dimensions, anything is possible.

Wide Tyres in Winter

Let’s start by eliminating an old belief: Using narrow tyres in winter is not necessarily safer or better.

Advantages of narrow tyres:

  • The only advantage of using narrow tyres in winter is a better grip when the car starts to move – but only in case of loose deep snow – and a lower risk of aquaplaning because of a smaller contact surface.

Advantages of normal and wide tyres:

  • Due to the broad contact surface and improved tread patterns, wide tyres show a far better performance on dry, wet, snow covered and frozen streets.
  • This has positive effects on steering precision as well as the lane and load changing characteristics of the car.
  • In comparison to narrow tyres, grip is better because of a higher number of blocks and grooves.
  • When braking, this is an advantage on wet and snow covered streets as there is more friction between the tyre and the road.

More Safety for You

No matter the season, when changing your wheels it is always important to check the tread pattern and condition of your tyres. When doing so, you should stick to the following rules:

Minimum tread depth:

  • The minimum legal tread depth for tyres is 1.6mm, no matter if in summer or winter.
  • Following the advice of renowned tyre manufacturers, however, we recommend changing tyres already when a depth of only 4mm is reached, especially in winter. Many tyres have a tread wear indicator (TWI) that helps you to find out if you can still use them safely.
  • A winter tyre with less than 4mm of tread depth loses its important characteristics.
  • In Austria, for example, winter tyres with a tread depth of less than 4mm are not legal and considered as summer tyres. High fines can be the consequence.
Continental
Yokohama

Tyre age:

  • When talking about roadworthiness the age of the tyres in use plays an important role. It can be identified by the DOT code on the sidewall.
  • A DOT code consists of 4 numbers with its first two digits indicating the calendar week and the last two digits the year of production.
  • When selling or purchasing tyres please make sure that their production does not date back longer than five years. This also means that unused tyres can be sold as 'as good as new' up to five years after their production, provided that they have been stored correspondingly. (Source: German Association of Tyre Retailers and Vulcanization (BRV))
  • We therefore recommend to change tyres 7 years after their production date at the latest, regardless of tread depth or their condition.
  • Tyres that are too old become hard and the rubber does not provide grip on the street anymore.

Tyre pressure:

  • Another important safety factor is tyre pressure. It needs to be adjusted to the vehicle, its load and the tyre size.
  • You can find information about the correct air pressure in the manual of your car or on so called tyre data sheets provided by the tyre manufacturers.
  • Incorrect air pressure may lead to uneven tread wear, cracks and blistering and can in certain cases even cause the tyre to burst.
  • If tyre pressure is wrong, even the rims might suffer damage. Deformations and cracks are quite common.
Hankook

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