A buyer’s guide to tyres

Do you wonder what is getting your car’s engine motion down to the ground once it leaves the transmission??? That’s right – it’s your tyres! Here are a few things to remember when it comes to those big black rubber rings on your rims:

  1. Buy the best brand you can afford – for me, the tyre of choice is the Hankook Optimo K415 in 205/65R15 99H. The Optimo range is also available in a H426 pattern but the H426 does not come in a 15″ size – having had the K415’s before, I opted to stick with them.
  2. Ring around for pricing and availability – it helps to ring a few tyre shops and get prices to compare and ensure they have them in stock. When I got my new Optimo K415’s, I rang two shops in Dubbo: Hannaford Tyre and Suspension ($105 each and would need to be ordered in) and Dubbo Tyres and Batteries ($88 each and in stock). I stuck with Dubbo Tyres as they had done a good job on the previous set and always hold stock (being a Hankook Masters dealer, that helps a lot!)
  3. Ensure your wheels are in alignment – it’s very important to make sure that you have a wheel alignment carried out when your new tyres are fitted. When we had our previous set of tyres on, we had to have the lower control arm bushes replaced – the alignment was severely out but it did not affect the wear on that set.
  4. Keep an eye on your pressures – monitoring your pressure ensures that the tyres wear evenly. It’s also important to check them when they are cold – checking them when they are hot will mean they are higher than when they are cold.

These little tips are provided by me on the basis that you are a everyday motorist and would like help to understand.

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Hankook Optimo K415 205/65R15 99H

Reading your tyre info on the sidewall:
Do you know how to interpret the sizing info on your tyres? Here’s a breakdown on what those series of numbers means:
205 – tread width in millimetres65 – aspect ratio (ie. the height of the tyre off the rim)
R – radial (steel belted)
15 – the rim size for the tyre in inches
99 – load index (99 is 775kg or 1709lb per tyre in a single tyre format as seen above)
H – speed index (H is 210km/h or 130mph)

Other information on the tyre can be interpreted as follows:
M&S – Mud and snow
Extra Load – indicates that a tyre is capable of sustaining high loads
And many more….

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