From tyre pressure to treads, our Car Doctor can help.
Tyres can be deceiving. Although there may not be any hairline cracks, bulges or missing bits of rubber, the tyre can still deteriorate. This is due to UV light, weather conditions and the quality of the tyres. A tyre can look new or in good condition but not be fresh and pliable. Generally speaking, a vehicle’s tyres should be replaced after five years, regardless of the amount of wear showing on them.
While it is legal to put tyres with different tread patterns on a vehicle, it is recommended to at least retain the same tyre brand, tread pattern and specifications across the same axle. In other words, the two front tyres should be the same and the two rear tyres should be the same. The tread pattern of a tyre controls how the car grips to the road, disperses the water and generally how the car handles. It is unlikely that tyres with different tread patterns would cause any issues with the driveline. Ideally though, it is recommended to change either two or all four tyres at a time. It is also important to ensure the tyres have the same size, speed and load rating.
RAC Tyres advise that tyre pressures should be checked at least once a month, and it is best to check when cold.
Tyre pressures should be set to manufacturer specification, which can be found on the tyre placard. This is usually located in the driver's door jamb, under the bonnet or in the glove box.
While pure nitrogen does have some advantages over air for racing car tyres, where pressures are subject to more potential fluctuation due to temperature changes, the use of pure nitrogen for road car tyres is less essential.
Remember that regular air is already 78 percent nitrogen, so paying extra for pure nitrogen (which may not actually be pure nitrogen) would for most people be poor value for money given the imperceptible difference it would make.
Provided the tyres are the correct specification for the vehicle, you do not need to have the same brand front and rear, though we recommend having the same brand and age of tyres across each axle.
Using wheels and tyres which are different in diameter and width from those originally supplied with the vehicle may cause speedometer inaccuracies and some suspension issues over time. This also applies to front-wheel drive vehicles in a general sense. Get at least three different quotes for new tyres.