SUVs are one of the most popular categories in India. People love them for their size, ruggedness and the ability to take on bad roads. But to get the most out of your SUV, you need to match it with the correct tyre.
CHOOSING A TYRE
When you buy an SUV, you have to first and foremost consider where and how you are going to use the vehicle. Is it going to be primarily used on tarred roads? Or is the vehicle going to spend a considerable time off-road? There are different types of tyres and patterns made for specific purposes. If you are going to drive mainly on tarmac, you would want a tyre more suitable for city or highway roads that gives you more comfort and handling. If you spend a fair amount of time driving to places with no road connectivity, you would want a tough tyre with all-terrain capability.
Here is another important thing to keep in mind before deciding on a tyre. Always refer to the vehicle manual to find out the correct load rating, speed rating and tyre size. Different SUVs have different requirements and therefore it is important to buy tyres that are rated specifically for the load and speed of your vehicle.
Want to give your SUV a rugged and macho look? Before you rush out to upsize your tyre, stop. While it might add to the vehicle’s looks, upsizing can have a detrimental effect on the vehicle’s performance and may even impact the suspension of your SUV if not done correctly. You have to check if the tyre doesn’t rub against the wheel well. Also, don’t forget that the larger tyre will be travelling faster than what the speedometer is showing. It is good to get expert advice if you are upsizing your tyres.
An important point to keep in mind when you are replacing the tyres, is to make sure that all the tyres are of the same size. In case you are changing only two tyres, make sure to mount ones with the same pattern on both sides of the axle. If tyre sizes are mismatched, the highly sophisticated computer system on your SUV will misread the information transmitted by the tyres. This will again compromise the performance of your SUV and may even damage the vehicle.
USING THE TYRE
Once you have the right SUV tyres, what’s the best way to get the most out of them?
The simplest things are the most important ones. For example, check your tyre pressure at least once a month. If the pressure is too low, the tyre will overheat. Keep the pressure too high and there will be excessive wear at the centre of the tread. The other thing to keep a lookout for is improper wheel alignment that will manifest itself through vibrations at the wheel and the tendency of the vehicle to pull to one side at highway speeds.
As you need balance in your life, so do your SUV tyres. Unbalanced tyres lead to driver fatigue, irregular tyre wear and unnecessary wearing of your SUV’s suspension. Make sure you get your tyres balanced the first time they are mounted or remounted after repair.
What’s a simple way to make your SUV tyres last 20 percent longer? Here’s a simple trick, rotate your tyres regularly. Check your SUV’s manual for the rotation recommendations specified by the manufacturer. And while you are rotating the tyres, check the tread depth. Tyres are required to have a minimum (read minimum) tread depth of 1.6mm. A brand-new tyre will have a tread depth of 8mm. Tyres have tread-wear indicators engineered into them. If your tyre’s tread is below the minimum, change immediately. The last statement might seem obvious (or not). But the point is to make sure that your tyre is removed and fitted by a trained professional who has the necessary equipment and expertise. An improperly fitted tyre can be dangerous for you.
GOODYEAR SUV TYRES
Though their vehicles are capable, only a very small number of people will do some serious off-roading on their SUVs. Most of them will spend their time on the tarmac, and, therefore, road tyres like the Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV are the ones to go for. They have all the benefits and advantages of high-performance car tyres, but with the build quality and sturdiness of an SUV tyre. These are engineered for a more comfortable ride with reduced road noise and their treads are designed for better grip under braking and wet conditions, giving you excellent handling.
If you are the adventurous sort who wants to drive both on tarmac and go off-road, an all-terrain tyre, like the Goodyear Wrangler AT/SA, is what you need. The sidewall of this tyre is stiffer and has a relatively larger tread block. While these tyres are designed primarily for on-road driving, they are capable of driving off the tarmac too.
Whether your vehicle is a basic, simple machine or a high-end SUV with the latest electronic aids, remember, it’s the four fist-sized contact patches of rubber that put down all the power and performance on the road. Ignore this and you are compromising everything else.