Tyre Safety Centre News
Buying used tyres? Beware
A survey of used tyres - often called part worn tyres - has shown that many are potentially dangerous.
TyreSafe (a not-for-profit organisation) carried out a study which involved the purchase of 50 random part worn tyres from retailers across the UK. It found that 98 per cent were being sold illegally as they did not meet current requirements, but more seriously, over a third of the tyres were found to contain potentially dangerous forms of damage or non-compliance.
"Despite clear legislation it would appear from our investigation that the sale of illegal part worn tyres is a very real problem and needs to be tackled head on by Trading Standards as a matter of urgency. Those who sell illegal part worn tyres need to be educated and stopped as it really it could be a matter of life and death," said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
One tyre in its investigation was described as having the "potential to kill" as it still contained a metal object penetrating 5cm through the tread in a manner which was likely to result in sudden and total tyre failure had it been fitted to a vehicle.
Other serious safety breaches included dangerous and unsafe repairs, exposed cords, bead damage and evidence of runflat damage. TyreSafe says that, last year, there were more than 1,200 road casualties where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
We have to agree. We know new tyres are expensive – and as cars have ever wider tyres, the prices keep going up - but part-worn tyres are a gamble. A part-worn tyre could come from a legitimate source, but most people use their tyres until they are worn out and then replace them. How many MOT failures, for example, have tyres in good condition that you would be happy to use? Given the difference in how long a new tyre will last, you will normally get your money back in the long run.
From November 2012, an energy rating similar to those on fridges and freezers will be slapped on all new tyres produced for passenger cars and light trucks. It has three different categories: rolling resistance, wet grip and outside noise.
So how will manufacturers test tyres under the new rules?
Well, the truth is that for tyre development, these three categories are only a minute part of the exhaustive testing that goes into a tyre. Thousands of miles will be driven on differing road surfaces with extreme weather conditions to make sure that they are safe and perform well.
What can I expect?
The first thing that might surprise you is that most of the premium tyre brands will not automatically come with an A rating. Why? Well, this is because the three future parameters are actually very difficult to balance. This is a deliberate move by the EU to make extremely difficult ratings and thus it stops the market being flooded with A+, A++ and A+++ tyres in a matter of months. Manufacturers are therefore choosing one of the three features to focus on much more closely. Both Goodyear Dunlop and Avon are designing tyres that can perform admirably in the wet, so while it may have a great looking figure in the wet grip category, the other two might look poor in comparison.
You will have to decide which of the three ratings suits your needs best.
What will I have to do?
If you have recently bought a set of tyres or your tyres still have a healthy amount of tread, don't worry. The legislation does not require you to change them for new on 1 November 2012. Other exemptions include remoulds and retreads. However, if you are in the market for a new set of tyres, expect to hear a lot more from the mechanic than "That'll be £400 mate." Instead, you will be shown how the new tyres on the shelves have fared on the easy-to-read label before you make your judgement.
Why has the EU planned this?
The main drive to label tyres is so that consumers understand more about the rubber that keeps us on the road. Lie Junius, director of public affairs for Goodyear Dunlop, believes it will 'enable customers to get excited about tyres'. That may be pushing it, but if more people make a conscious effort to understand why it is important to keep tyres in check, the less number of accidents will happen on our roads.
Why is road noise on the label?
First of all, it is important to point out that the tyre noise grading on the label has nothing to do with what you can hear inside the car. It focuses purely on outside noise pollution and the negative impact on the environment. In town and cities, this could see a significant reduction overall in noise pollution from traffic, although we'd recommend buying tyres with better wet grip or fuel efficiency.
Why don't I just buy the most fuel efficient tyres?
On the face of it, this would seem like a good plan, especially if you don't do many miles or aren't looking to blat round your local country lanes in a tyre-screeching frenzy. A-rated rubber could save you up to 7.5% in fuel costs over the life of the tyre, or 6 litres per 1000 km. Great, but you must also consider that the wet grip grading needs to be high too, especially as from next November another bad winter is sure to set in.
What will be the real difference between A grade and G grade tyres?
The major manufacturers have already been conducting thorough tests that involve the equivalent of high grade and low grade tyres. Autoblog visited the Goodyear proving ground in Luxembourg to find out more.
A section of the track was kept wet to replicate heavy downpours and create conditions that may cause aquaplaning. The cars used were VW Golf Mk6 1.4 TSi models. Each Golf had different tyres on; one with the equivalent of A grade tyres and one with the equivalent of the lowest G graded tyres.
At 105kph, the brakes were applied firmly to simulate an emergency stop.
In Goodyear's research, the A grade equivalent tyre stops short by up to 40%, or 18 metres.
The A grade tyre gave excellent grip and really hunkered the car down. The stopping distance between the two cars simply felt huge. The car was completely controllable.
The G rated tyre was a different story altogether. It was skittish under heavy braking and the Golf really wanted to squirm in different directions, fighting with the ABS. It was here that 18 metres soon started to feel like 18 miles.
This could well be the difference between a dink in your bumper and a complete write-off!!!!
FREE ROADSIDE TYRES ASSISTANCE ** EXCLUSIVE TO MICHELIN STAR OUTLETS **
Tyre Safety Centre Ltd are one of only 3 outlets in Northern Ireland that are ableto to bring you this superb free benefit when purchasing a Michelin or BFGoodrich tyre.
FREE Tyre Assist when you buy any Michelin or BFGoodrich car, van or 4x4 tyre TyreAssist is an extended warranty offering roadside assistance services, and is available to any customers purchasing Michelin or BFGoodrich car, van or 4x4 tyres. The service cover is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and lasts for 2 years from the date of your registration to TyreAssist.
In the case of a puncture or any other tyre-related problem, simply call the number on your card, quoting your unique membership number and TyreAssist will arrange for a technician to be sent out to you.
The technician will fit your spare tyre or, if appropriate, tow you to the safety of a local tyre dealer or your own home.
FREE BENEFITS from the first day of registration:
Roadside assistance for any tyre-related problem
Expert roadside service (or towing to the nearest dealer if necessary)
Fast, efficient response times
Service across the UK & Ireland
Local rate telephone number
Cover for 2 years
Michelin Star Award
2011 saw Tyre Safety Centre being awarded the very first Michelin star to be given to a tyre company in Ireland.
An independent audit was carried out during the late summer. Criteria included, customer service, product knowledge, workmanship, quality, vehicle care, building layout, stock range, telephone manner etc etc.
A score of 96% was achieved and we at Tyre Safety Centre and management are extremely pleased.
In the later part of 2011, Tyre Safety Centre undertook a massive rebranding exercise. This included the re-creation of it's logo, Signage, building exterior, office, waiting area, stationery, staff uniforms, website, etc etc.
Hopefully it will keep TSC up to date and ahead of the game in today's very demanding world.
New website launch, November 2011
Since the creation of the website www.alloywheelsni.com some 8 years ago, Tyre Safety Centre has relaunched its website twice.
November 2011 brings the launch of an all new site, giving customers a more stimulating browsing experience and providing as much information and knowledge as possible on our alloy and tyre inventory.
Whether you are an experienced alloy connoisseur, or browsing for rims for a gift, there are a number of ways to locate your wheels of choice; by brand, by search but also by vehicle suitability.
In addition to this our all new inspiration panel helps by showing what other TSC customers have chosen for vehicles similar to yours.
Let us know how you get on - happy browsing!