It’s the final contact point with the road. It’s a safety-critical feature, and it’s a regular purchase for any car driver. A tyre is an integral part of your car, whether you have it fitted to a Toyota Fortuner and are planning on taking on the Great Outdoors, or on a family-friendly Toyota Camry that spends most of its life moving around the city streets.
Every so often you have to think about a tyre change, as your old tyres will need replacing. But what do you need to know before you pay good money for your car’s ‘boots’? Here are a few top tips to know before you buy tyres online or in-store in the UAE.
When should you change your tyres?
The obvious answer is when they reach a stage where the tread depth is below the recommended level (and certainly before it goes below the legal requirement). The legal depth will depend on the category of your vehicle. So a light vehicle (most family cars) must have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth, while medium-sized vehicles (larger pick-ups and vans) need to have at least 2.4mm of tread. If you’re not sure which category your vehicle falls into,
That’s the legal depth, but what about the ‘recommended’ depth? Well, the deeper the tread on your tyre, the more effective it is at moving water out of the way and adhering to the road surface. Anything below around 3mm, while still legally acceptable, could compromise both safety and performance.
The time of year
Changing tyres in the middle of summer or the depths of winter may not be the best time. During the summer, the road temperature can be very high which can wear a new tyre very quickly. During the winter, a new set of tyres can feel ‘skittish’ on cold, wet roads.
So ideally, the best time to change them is during the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn, when the road surface is neither too hot nor too cold. Obviously, if your tyres are below the recommended or legal tread depth then you will need to change them, regardless of the time of year.
How old are your tyres?
The law in the UAE states that all tyres must be sold within two years of their manufacture date, and should be changed every five years regardless of the tread depth. Over time, the rubber compounds in tyres deteriorate, especially in the extreme weather conditions we experience here in the UAE. A quick glance at the sidewall of a tyre will tell you its age.
You’ll find the production date on the sidewall as a four-digit number which denotes the manufacturing week and year. So for example, a tyre with 1022 on it was made in the 10th week of 2022.
The right size
This is vital, as an incorrect tyre size simply won’t fit properly, and could lead to a disastrous blow-out. To check which tyre size you need, you can go back to the sidewalls of the set currently on your pre-owned or new car, or you can check in the owner’s manual.
The right type
The choice of tyres both when you’re buying at a service centre or buying tyres online is huge. From cheap, generic tyres to famous brands like DUNLOP, the sheer volume of different types can be baffling. Let’s break them down into three basic types:
Winter tyres – specifically designed for colder climates, they offer exceptional grip in the rain, sleet and snow, and icy conditions. As these are rarely conditions that you’ll encounter in the UAE, winter tyres are not particularly popular in the UAE.
Summer tyres – also known as standard tyres, these are ideal for our conditions in the UAE. They perform well in dry conditions and high temperatures.
All-Season tyres – a combination of both winter and summer technology, they work well in all conditions and are perfectly suitable for use in the UAE.
Armed with this information, you can now make an informed choice on the next set of tyres for your car. You can always take a look at reviews on YouTube too, and narrow down which tyres you think may be best for your driving habits, whether that’s off-roading in a Land Cruiser, tackling a swooping coast road in a sporty Supra, or cruising the city streets in a Corolla.
To find out more about what tyres Al-Futtaim Toyota recommends for all of our vehicles, contact our friendly team today and they’ll be happy to help you make the right decision.