Guide to buying tires
The rims of our cars are pieces of great importance that cannot be neglected, being necessary to constantly check their good condition. In case you have decided to replace them due to their deterioration, you should know that the market has a wide palette of options. That is why we have created this guide to buying the best tires, since it will allow you to know all those quality indicators that you cannot miss out on.
Layout and format
The design of the rims can have some variations aesthetically, since some have four, five and up to six adjustment holes for the bolts. This will depend on the car model. Also, when reviewing the different shopping catalogs, you will find models whose structure has been coated with a chrome or titanium treatment, which suggests a fairly shiny appearance compared to other wheels enameled with professional anti-scratch paint. Both options are attractive and resistant, but in any case, the selection of these aspects will depend exclusively on the taste of each person.
On the other hand, we have the issue of format. And you should emphasize this feature, because if you select the wrong rim diameter, you will not be able to fit the tire or adjust the bolts. So, before making the purchase, the recommendation is to verify that the measurement is correct, knowing that it can be from 13 to 20 inches, the weight varying in the same way.
The manufacturing materials will always star in any tire comparison that we carry out, since the useful life that the product is capable of offering will depend directly on this aspect.
In general, manufacturers adopt aluminum as the raw material par excellence for the manufacture of rims. This is because it is a metal with great attributes, among which its resistance, adequate level of support and stability stand out. In the same way, you will find others made of steel that are a little more robust.
In addition, when considering purchasing a tire, it is important to verify that the structure has corrosion protection. Remember that the rims are exposed daily to dust and humidity, so it is worth making sure that the enameling has been done with professional paint, preferably anti-scratch. If so, you will be able to extend the good condition of the product for much longer.
It will be useless if the piece we are acquiring is good and cheap if it is not compatible with the space where it will be installed. This applies to any product, being the specific case in this opportunity of car tires.
When selecting a tire, we must take into consideration many quality indicators, but the issue of compatibility is one of the most relevant . Remember that when purchasing a tire it is important to have some information about the car on hand, such as its model and the year of manufacture, since contrasting this information with that provided in the purchase catalogs will allow you to get the exact tire model .
In addition, it is important that you previously verify the user manual corresponding to your car, in order to know the requirements established by the manufacturer, regarding the brands of tires with which it has an affinity.
Accessories are elements that manufacturers sometimes incorporate into their products, in order to drastically improve the experience of use and / or assembly, being a specification that can influence how much said item costs.
However, it is important that you take into consideration that although the cost may rise a bit compared to other models, it is also true that in the long run you will end up saving money. Remember that acquiring the accessories separately will always represent an extra investment of both money and time.
Car tires are a good example of this, since when you review the different shopping lists you will find a wide variety of designs that have been provided with sets of screws and spacers. Likewise, professional paint spray, so that you can carry out some retouching in the structure, polishes, cleaning liquids, in order to eliminate accumulated grease or dirt, centering rings, among others.
The recommendation is to think about the practicality that having some attachments on hand when installing the rim can represent, so you should not think twice if the model that caught your attention incorporates them.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to clean aluminum rims?
Everything will depend on whether it is dirt or corrosion. So, in the first case, you will need to have a special liquid aluminum cleaner on hand. There are many products of this type on the market, but the important thing is that they contain neutral PH. This will remove ingrained grime without causing any deterioration. Once you select and purchase it, you will only have to spread it over the rim, wait a few minutes for it to act and then remove it with water. Next, you will have to dry, apply a polishing spray or cream and polish with a mop.
A second option is to sand the rim manually or with the help of a polisher, starting the task with a P240 sandpaper, which is thick enough to remove surface imperfections. This process is complemented with a second pass, but this time with a P320 sandpaper, which is suitable for polishing. When finished, you have to remove the residue and rub in a protective cream that seals the porosity, while providing shine.
Q2: How do I know which tires I can put on my car?
To find out which model and brand your car is compatible with , you will have to dust off its instruction manual and read the section on wheels and tires. With this information, you can start your product selection with confidence.
Q3: How to repair scuffed aluminum rims?
It is important that you take into consideration that for the repair of chafing or cracks to be a true success, you will need to verify that their depth is not greater than two millimeters. In this sense, the solution is to tie or abrade the area evenly with a special tool. Once the process is finished, you must put insulating tape before mounting the tire.
Q4: What is the ET of the tires?
The displacement that is exerted from the center of the rim’s structure to its specific support area is known as the ET of a rim. You may have heard it referred to as Offset and some people even refer to it as “offset”. Whatever the case, you should take this specification into consideration when purchasing the rims for your car, since it is an aspect that, if not selected correctly, could lead to some unfavorable consequences with respect to the operation of the bearings. In fact, it is just as important as the hub or axle.
Q5: When to change the tires?
The change of tires is carried out when their structure begins to be very deteriorated, so it is important to always be vigilant and carry out a periodic review. Make sure the edges are not sticking out and that the tire fits properly without creating insulation. Remember that the ideal is to place the replacement, before warning signs begin to appear, which will end up reducing the performance of the bearings or deteriorating other parts that work together with the rim.
Q6: Where to throw the tires?
Since the rims are made of aluminum, steel or some type of alloy, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer to find a collection center, where these types of materials can be melted down and reused.
Q7: How to paint rims?
To carry out the painting process, it is necessary that you first review the rim’s instruction manual, since in this way you will know the manufacturer’s recommendations about the care that you should take according to the type of metal. Also, remember to purchase a spray with professional pigment, which allows you to provide anti-corrosion and even anti-scratch protection to the structure.
Before starting, you will need to thoroughly clean the structure, with the help of a special liquid that allows you to remove accumulated dirt and grease. Thus, you will make the most of the coverage provided by the enamel. Finally, grab the spray bottle and start painting the piece, but be careful enough to get a good finish. Let dry for the time stipulated on the container and apply a second coat if necessary.
Q8: Why do the tires vibrate?
The reasons why your car tires are vibrating can be varied. For example, if the vibration is generated when acquiring a certain speed, then you can be sure that it is because it requires a general balance. This is because the tires have begun to wear out, causing these types of incidents. Also, it is recommended that you check the condition of the centering rings. If these have deformed a little over time, they could be causing this type of unexpected oscillations when driving. Always keep in mind that, at the slightest sign you identify, the best thing is always to consult an expert.
How to use tires
Fitting the tires on our car is a task that cannot be taken lightly, since despite being a simple task, if not done correctly we could lead to an accident. Next, we show you how to use a tire.
Check the product
Once you have the product at home, you should verify it . So open the package and carefully remove all the packaging paper that covers the rim, which will allow you to observe the structure in detail, to ensure that it does not have any type of scratch or dent.
Likewise, check that the diameter and number of holes are correct, as well as that the respective instruction manual has been incorporated. If the selected model has accessories, you will also need to verify that they have been attached and that they are in good condition.
Read the instruction manual
Although mounting a rim is a fairly simple process, it is worth reading the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer. Ultimately, it only takes a few minutes and will probably save you future inconvenience. In addition, it is a very practical way for those who are entering this topic of tires to become familiar with the product and learn how to take care of the structure in order to extend its useful life. For their part, people who already have previous knowledge will be able to review the correct way to carry out the installation.
Have some tools on hand
Before removing and mounting the new tire, you should have all the necessary tools to carry out this task at hand. Take into consideration that this way you will save time.
Among the items you will need is a cross wrench to release – adjust the bolt screws, a hydraulic jack to raise the car, a pair of safety blocks and, of course, the rim to install.
Remove the old tire
Proceed to remove the old rim from the tire, using the corresponding tools, the main one being a kind of hook or wrench. Release the air outlet from the tire and apply pressure across the entire diameter of the rim to make it easier to handle and release the pressure.
Next, place a mixture of soap and water on the circumference of the rim and apply a little pressure to the sides so that the liquid penetrates, acting as a lubricant. With the help of the hook, the tire is detached from the rim. The wheel must then be turned over and the procedure repeated. What follows is to turn the tire again to proceed to extract the rim, being recommended to do so from the front area.
Fit the new tire
When completing the previous step, it is time to place the new rim, following the same procedure mentioned, that is, applying soap and water to lubricate the tire and rim and adding the tire with the front side of the rim facing up. The process requires to be exerting pressure on the sides, with the help of the hook, until the piece fits. Afterwards, it must be lubricated again so that when filling the tire the parts fit correctly.
Is it worth it to fit bigger tires on our car?
The size of the rims of our car has a considerable influence on its aesthetics and image, but also on its behavior and its operating parameters. Therefore, it is important to assess these details when changing the wheels of our car for larger ones.
Virtually all cars on the market, especially the most modern ones, have the ability to mount wheels and tires of different diameters. Something that is related to the wide existing equivalences, as well as a complete market offer, which puts at our disposal all kinds of products adapted to the style that we want to give our car. However, when looking for the best tires (by clicking this link you can find tires) for our car, we should really ask ourselves if the use of larger tires has an influence on the vehicle’s operating parameters. A mystery that we will reveal throughout this article.
This same question that we have raised is the one faced by the journalists of Car and Driver magazine in its US edition: how does the size of the tires influence the behavior of the vehicle. So to solve it, they got behind the wheel.
The vehicle chosen was a Volkswagen Golf 2.5, equipped with an in-line five-cylinder engine and a power of no less than 170 horsepower. To tame so much power and transfer it efficiently to the asphalt, this vehicle had a wide versatility of tires and wheels. As much as to be able to mount from 195/65 tires with 15-inch wheels to a curious size of 235/35 with 19-inch wheels, which is not especially common to see on the roads but that exists, it exists.
Thus, in each of the different tests that were carried out, the same type of wheels were mounted, of the ASA GT1 model, in sizes from 16 to 19 inches, keeping the original 15-inch metal wheels for the first test. Similarly, these wheels were fitted with Goodyear Eagle GT M + S tires.
A peculiarity of the test is that these tires are used for snow and in Spain they are not usually used, although it is not foreseeable that the use of conventional or summer tires could greatly modify the results.
What was measured
To make this test as complete as possible, different driving parameters were determined, although some were more typical of a conventional test bench. Specifically, the test evaluated aspects such as acceleration from 0 to 96 km / h (the equivalent of 60 miles), acceleration from 0 to 160 km / h (100 miles), lateral acceleration, fuel consumption, noise or the weight of the whole.
These parameters were measured by previously changing the wheels and tires of the vehicle, so that all the tests were carried out in the same way and under the same conditions for each type of tire.
Obviously, a wide range of results was obtained from this whole process, although all pointed in the same direction. The smaller the rims and tires, the better the test results used to be. As an example, in the case of acceleration from 0 to 96 kilometers, the original 15-inch wheels were 0.3 seconds faster than the 19-inch and around 0.2 seconds compared to the 17-inch. The same happened in acceleration to 160 kilometers, or 100 miles, with a difference of no less than 1.1 seconds in favor of 15 tires compared to 19, which remains in 0.4 seconds on the tires of 17.
Where the larger tires did obtain a slight advantage, due to the greater size of the contact surface, was when braking. In this case, the braking distance from 96 kilometers to 0 went from 39.6 meters on the 15-inch wheels to 38.4 meters on the 19-inch wheels. Just 1.2 meters, which reflects a greater grip on these bigger tires. Something similar was confirmed by the skipad, which measured the grip during the break, although in this case the difference, of just 0.05 G in favor of the wider models, could have more to do with the type of compound of the larger diameter tire , for having a higher speed code.
Regarding the rest of the parameters, the different tires analyzed offered similar results. Something that also happened with the noise level (just 1 decibel of variation) or the level of error of the speedometer, which was also negligible. Where there was a difference was in the weight of the rim and tire assembly. A difference that could reach 7 kilos per tire, 28 in total on the largest wheels compared to the smallest.
Once we have the data, it is time to draw conclusions. As we have seen, the use of large (16-17 inches) or especially large (18-19 inches) wheels does not add anything especially important to the vehicle beyond its image. What’s more, the use of oversized tires can even penalize the consumption and acceleration of the vehicle. Something that is due to the greater effort that the engine must make to move a larger and heavier tire and rim assembly, as we increase its diameter.
Additionally, for those who want the best tires for their car, it is necessary to take into account the price. Some large rim combinations use tires that are not particularly common on the market, which translates into a higher cost compared to other more common tires. In the study mentioned, a 235/35 R 19 top brand tire can cost 200 euros per unit, which is almost four times the cost of a 195/65 R 15 wheel from the same manufacturer.
As a final tip, before making any changes it is essential to review the vehicle’s technical data sheet and verify which rim sizes are compatible with our vehicle. Something for which we may also need a table of equivalences, in which all the combinations of rim and tire suitable for a vehicle are indicated.