September 2012 Issue of 4×4 Magazine
Black. Round. Too expensive. Tyres, we all need them, but do we take enough time making the decision of what to fit? Do we leave them on the car too long? ‘Still got a few miles left, I’ll leave it for another month.’ Sound familiar? It’s surprising really, although admittedly understandable in today’s austerity, that keeping the Pound in the pocket may seem more sensible than splashing out on a decent set of rubber.
As this is being written, we are in the middle of the typical British summer – which means 60mph winds and torrential rain! Splashing out, therefore, is what a lot of vehicles will be doing on our roads. Poor tyres means poor grip, and that’s a serious safety issue.
Tyres are, therefore, the single most important item you can fit to your 4×4 for all kinds of reasons; climbing that steep muddy slope that always defeats you, to just keeping your family safe and secure on the school run. The trouble is, it’s just so confusing when you come to need a new set. What other product can you think of that has so many product numbers, letters and codes fixed to it? And to make things even more confusing, the EU, in its wisdom, now wants to add new stick-on labels. For heaven’s sake! With the best will in the world, I cannot see how that will help. It’s a laudable idea to be able to ‘rate’ tyres, so you and I can compare them, but tyres are not like refrigerators. Add to that the fact that the tyre manufacturer gets to self-certificate and I for one, am not filled with confidence. Fit the tyre and the sticker gets pulled off – buy that vehicle second-hand, and you have no idea what the rating was without doing some further research.
Which is why we have tried this month to set out some detailed advice to give you some understanding of what it all means. We hope it helps. One further piece of advice, however, is simple. Go talk to the experts. Call up the numbers of the tyre advertisers in this magazine, check out your local specialist and go and talk to them. I have had personal experience of doing both – and I’d never buy a set of tyres without getting that advice first hand.
So, stay safe, and take tyres seriously. Here’s hoping you enjoy the issue.
Nigel Fryatt, Editor
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