All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Steveieb
It's hard to find a used car these days that hasn't got Chinese tyres fitted.
Are they all bad ?
I find they affect handling and ride but are there any good makes out there ?
All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - gordonbennet

I've experimented twice, once with a set (not Chinese but far eastern) of Federals on my old Merc, and my Landcruiser was fitted with an obviously new set of Nankang road tyres (not AT's).

The Merc was fine for the first year though i only used them during the summer, having a full set of winters on another set of wheels, tyres were amazingly quiet and rode well, but during the second year, still barely worn i had two unprovoked broadside oversteers on damp roads, i immediately replaced them with Uniroyal Rainsports which you would have to do something really silly on the road to lose grip with.

Same story on the Toyota, first year they seemed fine, heading into the second winter despite the rather clever stability/traction on the car and with permanent drive to all 4 wheels, i got that uncomfortable feeling on damp roads that it was on the edge of losing grip, not silly driving by any means.

Replaced them with Yokohama snowflake marked AT's, and the wet grip 2 years later is unmatched.

Both were perfectly decent tyres in the first year and during the first year with the Toyota i found myself thinking i would see the Nankangs out, i wonder in both cases just how bad they could get if i'd kept them on for several years and down to 3mm, TBH i'd rather not find out.

Maybe there are decent Chinese tyres out there, certainly according to some of the test sites and professional reviewers they can score well, but these are new tyres, and i would like someone to professionally compare those same tyres at 3mm to similarly worn european and Japanese makes.

I'm not going to experiment again, i'll stick with known make european or Japanese made rubber which have yet to let me down, its not as if well bought tyres from Europe or Japan are that much more expensive, but someone down to their last tenner might feel differently.

Its very odd, i dare say a lot of people buying Chinese tyres would turn their noses up at a Chinese made car, what's the difference, especially when the tyres are arguably the most important part of the vehicle.

Edited by gordonbennet on 20/09/2019 at 15:39

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - CHarkin

My Triumph motorbike came with Chinese made Pirelli tyres, they must be pretty good as I just bought a second set. The choice of tyre has a much more pronounced effect on a bike than it does on a car.

Many years ago when I worked in the tyre industry I was shocked at the quality of Polish tyres, they would have been scraped where I worked, and that was just from inspecting a stack of them, but now Polish tyres are as good as any. Things change.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Terry W

Generalities are dangerous. Over the last 40-50 years many previously under-developed countries have massively improved their manufacturing capability.

Stage 1 - the journey starts using very low cost labour to reduce costs. They also need to develop their domestic market where price is a major issue. Often products are copies of European or US - albeit without the quality of materials or precision.

Stage 2 - they start signing joint ventures and licencing deals with first world companies. Quality increases - as do costs as local economies start to grow rapidly.

Stage 3 - they have caught up with first world manufacturers. Prices are still a little below the competition so products are perceived as good value.

Stage 4 - far east companies move ahead in product quality. Prices are close to European levels. They have a culture of continual improvement and are responsive to change - unlike some European manufacturers who can be very complacent.

This simply development model can easily be applied to cars - Japan and South Korea have followed precisely this development path. And we may now be seeing the Chinese making inroads, albeit presentlt at about stage 2.

I suspect this simplistic view of life also extends to TV's, computers, household appliances etc etc.

What does this mean for tyres - ditchfinder is a reasonable term to use for those at stage 1. By stage 2 (Pirelli?) they will be starting to perform adequately. Whilst the best are still European, in 5-10 years the ditchfinders may have morphed into good performers at a reasonable price.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - badbusdriver

It is only natural to want to cut costs when it comes to motoring. But, given the tyre is the only point of contact between your car and the road, that is one of the last places you should be looking to save a few pounds.

Looking online out of curiousity for an example of the size of tyre contact patch, i found US piece regarding the Ford Crown Victoria used by the police. This has a fairly chunky 225/60 r16 tyre and between all four, there is 147 square inches in touch with the road. To put that into perspective, the car's actual footprint would be around 16400 square inches.

Each to their own, but there is absolutely no way i'd buy cheap tyres of a brand i'd never heard of. Unless they had been tested in carefully controlled circumstances and found to be the equal of known brands. It just isn't worth the risk.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - nick62

Once made the mistake of letting National Tyres sell me a pair of "Dunlops" to match the ones already on all four corners (from new) on a company car about 1991/2 I guess.

Went to collect it and it had their own brand tyres on the back............ "they are Dunlops sir, but they brand them for us".........Like a fool I didn't kick-off.

Biggest motoring mistake I have ever made from a safety point of view, (thank goodness it was a company car), I couldn't wear them out fast enough.

I don't remember where they were made, but they were shocking.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Steveieb

I can tell from the ride straight away but some Kuhmo are made in China so they are bound to pick up a few tips from them

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

Each to their own, but there is absolutely no way i'd buy cheap tyres of a brand i'd never heard of. Unless they had been tested in carefully controlled circumstances and found to be the equal of known brands. It just isn't worth the risk.

Each to their own, exactly. If your driving can be urgent, motorway in heavy rain, you may need to take this into account. Mine isn't, nor do I test the envelope of safety when driving. That doesn't mean that I buy the cheapest tyres, and I do treat Chinese ones with suspicion.

For a long time I have tended towards Avons as a reliable middle-price brand. However for the last few years they have come from Serbia, which may or may not be good news. They still seem to be OK for me.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

As long as the design is sound and the manufacturing plant does the job properly, I don't care where goods come from. That being said, I think there are a lot of Chinese owned and designed makes of tyre that have a poor rep for performance in damp conditions, often because they are very hard wearing (to save on cost), or are good on performance but wear very quickly because they are soft. As yet, not many are decent in the wet, and I personally would not trust them in winter.

Like many other products, I agree that this may change as they develop their brands, just as they did with electronics, and as they are beginning to do with cars themselves.

At the moment, they are too much of a risk for me, given the tyre is the only think keeping my car from crashing in poor weather. I'd rather pay the extra for the piece of mind of decades of R&D. Safety shouldn't be a big compromise, especially if it 'only' costs £100 or so extra over a few years to be safer.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - badbusdriver

If your driving can be urgent, motorway in heavy rain, you may need to take this into account. Mine isn't, nor do I test the envelope of safety when driving.

With all respect, that is falling into the age old and deeply flawed logic of "i don't drive fast, i am a good driver, so i don't need good quality tyres". The logic is flawed because you can't control all that happens around you on the road, and you certainly can't anticipate all that could happen. There are so many reason you may suddenly have to make an emergency manoeuvre on the road, be it swerving or braking. I have read plenty of tyre tests, and the biggest gap in the performance of good quality tyres over poor ones, is in exactly this type of scenario, particularly in the wet. For the vast majority of my driving time, i am behind the wheel of my 70bhp Caddy van doing 50mph on single carriageway roads, so driving fast, or urgently, simply is not a factor. I'd just rather spend a little more on tyres i trust.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

<< I'd just rather spend a little more on tyres i trust. >>

That's fine by me. It's approaching 60 years since I took my test, and so far I haven't been seriously discomfited by any driving emergency caused by tyres. We could take precautions to avoid all kinds of nasty scenarios, and we all choose what scenarios are likely enough to affect us. I consider the extra cost of super-quality tyres to be unnecessary expenditure - I may regret that choice, but it's my choice of risk.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - romford4

<< I'd just rather spend a little more on tyres i trust. >>

That's fine by me. It's approaching 60 years since I took my test, and so far I haven't been seriously discomfited by any driving emergency caused by tyres. We could take precautions to avoid all kinds of nasty scenarios, and we all choose what scenarios are likely enough to affect us. I consider the extra cost of super-quality tyres to be unnecessary expenditure - I may regret that choice, but it's my choice of risk.

Is a cautious driver with a cheap set of Chinese tyres doing 60mph more dangerous than a more 'gung-ho' driver with a set of Bridgestones doing 70mph?

I've had everything on my cars from remoulds to premium makes depending upon my budget at the time, and you very quickly get a feel for any tyre and drive accordingly.

A Dacia Duster isn't going to handle as well as a BMW M3. Should we be advising folk not to buy a Dacia? A Fiesta 1.0 isn't going to accelerate/brake/handle as well as a Fiesta ST. Should we advise folk not to drive the 1.0?

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

<< I'd just rather spend a little more on tyres i trust. >>

That's fine by me. It's approaching 60 years since I took my test, and so far I haven't been seriously discomfited by any driving emergency caused by tyres. We could take precautions to avoid all kinds of nasty scenarios, and we all choose what scenarios are likely enough to affect us. I consider the extra cost of super-quality tyres to be unnecessary expenditure - I may regret that choice, but it's my choice of risk.

Is a cautious driver with a cheap set of Chinese tyres doing 60mph more dangerous than a more 'gung-ho' driver with a set of Bridgestones doing 70mph?

I've had everything on my cars from remoulds to premium makes depending upon my budget at the time, and you very quickly get a feel for any tyre and drive accordingly.

A Dacia Duster isn't going to handle as well as a BMW M3. Should we be advising folk not to buy a Dacia? A Fiesta 1.0 isn't going to accelerate/brake/handle as well as a Fiesta ST. Should we advise folk not to drive the 1.0?

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

It very much depends upon which Bridgestone tyres they are using! I used one fantastic set of RE720s on my old Micra, whilst the OEM tyres (ER30s) on my current 13yo Mazda3 were horrendous near being replaced, especially in the wet. Normally solid makes can have off days (or years) producing less than decent tyres.

At the moment, most Chinese makes of tyre don't have the money or R&D experience base behind them that the established brands do, but this will undoubtedly change as they gain experience and market share.

At present, though, I still would not put my trust in them egenerally, but then I always check the reviews of any tyre I'm considering to make sure they will be safe and good performers. After all, they are the only contact with the road. Better in my view to buy a cheaper car (less gizmos, not compormise on safety) and more on tyres and maintenance.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Miniman777

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

Sorry, simply cannot agree. Maybe your interpretation of 'safe' is different to mine.

Some years ago, I acquired a 2003 Mazda MX5 which had been fitted with new Chinese Infinity 05 tyres on the rear by the previous owner, 1,500 miles before. Being a rear wheel drive car, these tyres proved lethal in the wet, regardless of road surface. At under 30mph on leaving a roundabout, the gentlest press of the accelerator twitched the back end, sent the front towards the rear wheels of an HGV. The car bounced off, and completed its 360 pirouette, coming to rest close to a concrete wall.

It wasn't the first time the rear had twitched in the wet, and the rubbish wet grip quality is underlined by many on the tyre reviews website and has a wet rating of 31% - the third lowest. Changed for Hankook tyres, the transformation in the wet was amazing, was. like the proverbial to a blanket.

This WAS very much a case of a poor quality tyre, the hard compound not simply suited to wet conditions. found in the UK, Your blame of the driver is well off the mark.

Manufacturers spend time and money finding an optimum tyre, but replace with cheap mediocre alternatives can and does compromise safety. No different to buying cheap replacement brake pads and discs, and wondering why the car still cant stop on a sixpence.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

Sorry, simply cannot agree. Maybe your interpretation of 'safe' is different to mine.

I think what was being suggested is that drivers adapt their style of driving to their vehicle. Some will explore its limits, others are more restrained and never push the envelope. The first category may well go too far and represent a hazard, perhaps on almost any tyres. But that does not mean that every driver should use maximum-grip tyres - the extra margin of safety may be surplus to requirements.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

Sorry, simply cannot agree. Maybe your interpretation of 'safe' is different to mine.

I think what was being suggested is that drivers adapt their style of driving to their vehicle. Some will explore its limits, others are more restrained and never push the envelope. The first category may well go too far and represent a hazard, perhaps on almost any tyres. But that does not mean that every driver should use maximum-grip tyres - the extra margin of safety may be surplus to requirements.

If a tyre cannot handle a slow speed turn at a roundabout or suchlike without the car doing a 180, then patently those tyres are unsafe. The last time I looked, no tyre said 'not for rear wheeled drive vehicles' or 'only for pootling only'.

Vehicles need tyres that provide adeqaute grip in different weather conditions. Obviously summer tyres aren't designed to work in snow/ice, similarly track day tyres for specific dry or wet conditions cannot be used on the public road and say so explicitly on the blurb.

More importantly, tyres should work well not just when new with a full 7 to 8mm of tread left. Quick wear rate is one thing (but can be managed), but poor grip, especially in the wet, is quite another. Tyres should be capable of been driven at reasonable, road legal (but safe) speeds and not if the driver were in a car from the early 1900s.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - alan1302

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

What about in an emergency...say it's raining, doing 65mph in middle lane of motorway, someone pull in front of you without warning...you brake sharply...the Bridgestones just about stop you in time...the cheap tyres make you stop a few meters further and you crash

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

What about in an emergency...say it's raining, doing 65mph in middle lane of motorway, someone pull in front of you without warning...you brake sharply...the Bridgestones just about stop you in time...the cheap tyres make you stop a few meters further and you crash

Or even worse, because they don't stop the car quickly, you have to swerve to avoid hitting the vehicle in front (despite being a normally adequate distance behind in compliance with the Highway Code) and get wiped out by other vehicles or causing a major pile-up, possibly killing many people.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

<< What about in an emergency...say it's raining, doing 65mph in middle lane of motorway, someone pull in front of you without warning...you brake sharply...the Bridgestones just about stop you in time...the cheap tyres make you stop a few meters further and you crash >>

There are some situations no tyre can do much about. A few years ago I spun my 205 into the Armco on a reverse curve I had driven many times before, at about the usual speed of 35-40. At the time there was very light rain after several days of dry weather, but I am sure the main cause was road work including tree felling - meaning chainsaws and some spillages of oil, or diesel perhaps.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - nick62

There are some situations no tyre can do much about. A few years ago I spun my 205 into the Armco on a reverse curve I had driven many times before, at about the usual speed of 35-40. At the time there was very light rain after several days of dry weather, but I am sure the main cause was road work including tree felling - meaning chainsaws and some spillages of oil, or diesel perhaps.

Andrew, I would argue you could have done something about that - you say "there was very light rain after several days of dry weather", so you should not have taken the bend at the "usual" (presume dry) speed?

Sanctimonious mode off.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Leif

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

Not so. I had some Kumho KH27 tyres on my Ford Ka, almost brand new. I twice lost control on a roundabout. On the first occasion the car spun round 360 degrees and onto grass. The second time I was pootling around behind other cars and the rear end lost grip and starting sliding until I used the steering to correct the skid. I'm not a fast or enthusiastic driver and those tyres were downright dangerous. I replaced them ASAP.

These days I only use the premium brands to be safe, even though I know most second tier brands are just as good.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

Not so. I had some Kumho KH27 tyres on my Ford Ka, almost brand new. I twice lost control on a roundabout. On the first occasion the car spun round 360 degrees and onto grass. The second time I was pootling around behind other cars and the rear end lost grip and starting sliding until I used the steering to correct the skid. I'm not a fast or enthusiastic driver and those tyres were downright dangerous. I replaced them ASAP.

These days I only use the premium brands to be safe, even though I know most second tier brands are just as good.

I remember seeing your video clip of the roundabout incident. Hairy moments indeed. Did Kumho ever get back to you with an explanation?

Edited by Engineer Andy on 26/09/2019 at 18:29

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - dan86

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

Not so. I had some Kumho KH27 tyres on my Ford Ka, almost brand new. I twice lost control on a roundabout. On the first occasion the car spun round 360 degrees and onto grass. The second time I was pootling around behind other cars and the rear end lost grip and starting sliding until I used the steering to correct the skid. I'm not a fast or enthusiastic driver and those tyres were downright dangerous. I replaced them ASAP.

These days I only use the premium brands to be safe, even though I know most second tier brands are just as good.

I remember seeing your video clip of the roundabout incident. Hairy moments indeed. Did Kumho ever get back to you with an explanation?

I've always found Kumho tyres to be good quality for the price. But then again different cars handled differently even on the same tyres.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Leif

ANY car with ANY make of tyre on it is perfectly safe... It's the driver, not the equipment that can be the problem.

Not so. I had some Kumho KH27 tyres on my Ford Ka, almost brand new. I twice lost control on a roundabout. On the first occasion the car spun round 360 degrees and onto grass. The second time I was pootling around behind other cars and the rear end lost grip and starting sliding until I used the steering to correct the skid. I'm not a fast or enthusiastic driver and those tyres were downright dangerous. I replaced them ASAP.

These days I only use the premium brands to be safe, even though I know most second tier brands are just as good.

I remember seeing your video clip of the roundabout incident. Hairy moments indeed. Did Kumho ever get back to you with an explanation?

I was unable to find contact details. Another reason to avoid them.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - JonestHon

Surly I would like to see the science to back up the claims for differences between a cheap and expensive tyre or mid range on a modern made tyre whatever the location of manufacturing?

I believe we should be more concerned with the sustainability of the black stuff:

Edited by Avant on 21/09/2019 at 09:26

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - edlithgow

I dunno if y'all consider Taiwan to count as Chinese, but Maxxis (local Taiwan brand) used to be well spoken of on the local Forumosa foreigner website by people who used them on motorcycles, and didn't appear to be idiots.

(These days the idiot ratio seems to be quite a lot higher so I would no longer consider that a generally reliable source.)

As per above comment on Pirelli's, tyres are arguably even more important on a motorcycle.

I wouldn't know really. I've got locally made Bridgestones, and they seem ok, but then I don't very often drive a car close to a tyres limits, and if bad things happen when I do (I've spun cars unexpectedly a couple of times) I would think its quite likely to be my driving, or because I've let the tyres get too old.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - CHarkin

Had another look at my Chinese made Pirelli bike tyres and it turns out the rear tyre was made in Brazil. A truly cosmopolitan set of tyres. I honestly don't see the relevance of the country of manufacture, they will be made on Pirelli machinery using Pirelli textiles and compounds. The whole process will pure Pirelli. These particular tyres were developed by Pirelli for this particular model of Triumph bike but have since been adopted by other makes. They are not cheap tyres and are priced well up the range.

There have been a couple of magazine reports on Chinese "own brand" tyres and their biggest failing was wet grip but they outlasted other makes by a large margin. This was attributed to the inclusion of natural rubber in the tread compound, a material seen as way to expensive to put into ordinary car tyres. The only tyres I have experience of that had natural rubber in them were military vehicles and tyres for forestry tree felling work.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - snufflegrunt

I bought a set 20 years ago. My BMW left the road and burst 3 tyres and bent some suspension parts it was also cosmetically damaged on every panel.. I replaced the suspension parts and had it aligned and 4 of the cheapest tyres available fitted as I was young and poor and needed to get to work. I would then save to get another car. The tyres were awesome grip, wet and dry. They felt soft and comfy and I liked that. The downside was that they wore out in 9 months by which time I had saved enough to scrap the car and got a new one. I went back to the tyre shop to get 4 more of these tyres for my new car, I couldn't remember the name so asked them to tell me some of the cheapest makes and none of them rang a bell so ended up with Goodyear. These days I go for the well-known Korean brands and have found them to be excellent.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - badbusdriver

Andrew, I would argue you could have done something about that - you say "there was very light rain after several days of dry weather", so you should not have taken the bend at the "usual" (presume dry) speed?

If the circumstances were indeed due to something like oil having been spilt on the road, how could you know this to adapt your speed accordingly?. Otherwise, no, of course not!. Maybe if you have the aforementioned Chinese ditchfinders, but a good quality tyre, even a summer one, will have no problem dealing with very slightly damp conditions. What on earth kind of tyre do you use that you'd feel the need to slow down on a 35-40mph corner in those conditions?.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - nick62

Andrew, I would argue you could have done something about that - you say "there was very light rain after several days of dry weather", so you should not have taken the bend at the "usual" (presume dry) speed?

If the circumstances were indeed due to something like oil having been spilt on the road, how could you know this to adapt your speed accordingly?. Otherwise, no, of course not!. Maybe if you have the aforementioned Chinese ditchfinders, but a good quality tyre, even a summer one, will have no problem dealing with very slightly damp conditions. What on earth kind of tyre do you use that you'd feel the need to slow down on a 35-40mph corner in those conditions?.

OK, I give in.

I suggest it be mandatory for all car drivers to drive a motorcycle all year round before they are allowed to drive a car. Darwin should sort it out.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - badbusdriver

I suggest it be mandatory for all car drivers to drive a motorcycle all year round before they are allowed to drive a car.

In the interests of making car drivers more aware of bikers, i'd agree. But in the context of this thread on cheap Chinese tyres (which i am very much opposed to), why?.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - dan86

I'm a firm believer in buying the best tyres you can afford. For most people a decent midrange tyre should be attainable if they're not running a car they can actually afford to run. I'd never fit part worn tyres as I feel it's a false economy and the same goes for cheap no name tyres that may last a long time but have such a hard compound they have no grip.

It's not about driving on the limit it's about knowing you can stop in any eventuality.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - CHarkin

I think what nick63 is saying is that bikers have to be super mindful of road surface conditions much more so than in a car, hit an oily patch and there is a strong chance you are off. It gets written into your DNA to monitor the road surface.

The dust and debris that accumulates in the road surface texture turns roads to a slippery greasy mess for a period of time when it starts to rain, you instinctively know that on a bike because you have felt the tyres twitch a thousand times before.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - badbusdriver

I think what nick63 is saying is that bikers have to be super mindful of road surface conditions much more so than in a car, hit an oily patch and there is a strong chance you are off. It gets written into your DNA to monitor the road surface.

Yes granted, but he seems to be implying that Andrew-T should have slowed down further than his normal 35-40mph simply because there was light rain. And i'm just trying to understand why he thinks that. If, because of how tight the corner was, 35-40mph was about as fast as you could safely take the corner in the dry, well fair enough, maybe back off a little in damp conditions, but there was nothing from Andrew to indicate that was the case. And if 35-40mph is just an average speed to take the corner at when dry, surely there is no reason to slow down further on that same corner for some light rain.

As i keep saying, i am very much against cheap tyres, and even as a non biker, i am very much aware that the potential risk of putting cheap tyres on a bike is very much greater than on a car.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

<< ... he seems to be implying that Andrew-T should have slowed down further than his normal 35-40mph simply because there was light rain. And i'm just trying to understand why he thinks that. If, because of how tight the corner was, 35-40mph was about as fast as you could safely take the corner in the dry, well fair enough, maybe back off a little in damp conditions, but there was nothing from Andrew to indicate that was the case. >>

Just to clarify - the road in question was part of the main system in Runcorn 'New Town' so was designed for normal traffic of 50-60mph, but this particular section was limited at 40 while the roads were being rearranged for approaches to the new Mersey crossing. So no, the corner was not tight, and I used it every few months taking the car to my local indie. Conditions on that day were unexpected, and I don't think light rain had a lot to do with it - the road was greasy, I suspect as a result of the tree-felling going on.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Manatee

A mechanic friend, also a very competent driver, recommends Landsail to people looking for cheap tyres. User reviews vary.

A fair point has been made that one can drive safely with more or less grip. I have some sympathy for that view, within reason.

I prefer to use better tyres myself but if I were to use cheapies I would fit them as a set of four. Some cars can be very sensitive to mismatched tyres. In 2011 I bought an old MX5 that had a pair of Barum Bravuris tyres on the back, and a Firestone and a Kumho on the front. I suspect all the tyres were quite old although they all had plenty of tread.

It was frankly terrible and would slide at the rear on a damp roundabout at very moderate speeds. It was very clear it had far less grip at the rear than the front. I fitted four new Vredesteins and after that it was nearly impossible to lose traction, wet or dry, without a deliberate effort.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

A fair point has been made that one can drive safely with more or less grip.

I think that is a variant of what I said earlier - drivers adapt their style to their current car. When that changes, some familiarisation has to happen. An unexpected 'situation' is always possible, but planned braking and cornering are the essential moves which will depend most on the prevailing conditions - and the tyres fitted.

If, having become accustomed to a vehicle, new ditchfinders are fitted, unexpected things may happen. Maybe the hardest examples are drivers who have to use various vehicles with differing characteristics?

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Manatee

I agree that one can and does adapt - the limit is just in a different place. The point about mixing tyres is a separate one - having much less grip at the back than the front is a potentially dangerous trait, even though one can adapt to that too - preferably before the first crash. Such a disparity is more likely to occur if only a pair of less grippy tyres is fitted. The usual practice of always fitting the new pair at the rear will only exacerbate any problem of this kind.

It's just simpler to fit known quality tyres if one can afford them. I don't do that because I am very worried about it, but so I don't have to worry about it!

My wife also has a much more on-off driving style than I do and is much more likely to find the limits unintentionally.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

It's just simpler to fit known quality tyres if one can afford them. I don't do that because I am very worried about it, but so I don't have to worry about it!

Just so. More expensive tyres usually last longer as well as being safer. Problem with that is with buyers who don't see a reason to invest in a later owner's safety, as they don't expect to keep the car very long.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

It's just simpler to fit known quality tyres if one can afford them. I don't do that because I am very worried about it, but so I don't have to worry about it!

Just so. More expensive tyres usually last longer as well as being safer. Problem with that is with buyers who don't see a reason to invest in a later owner's safety, as they don't expect to keep the car very long.

That's the reason I would always ask what tyres came with a second hand car if it were situated a reasonable distance away (e.g. at a car supermarket site). From some that I've seen of one or two of the car hire firms, I wouldn't buy one as they often appear to fit cheapo ditchfinders because it saves them money.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Leif
It's hard to find a used car these days that hasn't got Chinese tyres fitted. Are they all bad ? I find they affect handling and ride but are there any good makes out there ?

I would not touch any budget brand no matter where they are made. I'd have no issue with Chinese made and sold under a respected brand such as Pirelli.

My own experience of budget tyres is that they can be downright dangerous in the wet, even if you only pootle about. Why risk it for a few pounds?

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - gordonbennet

Why risk it for a few pounds?

This is the crux of it, i don't usually go for the premium makes, but go for carefully chosen second level which are often every bit as good as the premium but don't spend a king's ransom on sponsoring motor sport or advertising, by shopping around they are often to be found in the middle pricing of the numerous unheard of Chinese products.

Years ago daughter's BMW compact came sporting a set of Sumitomo's on the back, despite it's traction control on wet roads that car could suddenly swing the tail out for no good reason, a swift pair of Vredesteins in their place saw that problem gone never to rear its ugly head.

It doesn't matter how safe or good drivers think they are, the unexpected happens exactly as the word dictates, you can be the best driver in the world and never get into a situation of your own accidental making, but being able to dodge someone else who got it wrong might just save the day.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

Why risk it for a few pounds?

This is the crux of it, i don't usually go for the premium makes, but go for carefully chosen second level which are often every bit as good as the premium but don't spend a king's ransom on sponsoring motor sport or advertising, by shopping around they are often to be found in the middle pricing of the numerous unheard of Chinese products.

Years ago daughter's BMW compact came sporting a set of Sumitomo's on the back, despite it's traction control on wet roads that car could suddenly swing the tail out for no good reason, a swift pair of Vredesteins in their place saw that problem gone never to rear its ugly head.

It doesn't matter how safe or good drivers think they are, the unexpected happens exactly as the word dictates, you can be the best driver in the world and never get into a situation of your own accidental making, but being able to dodge someone else who got it wrong might just save the day.

I suppose it very much depends on the reviews from the magazines (which still seem to be reasonably independent) and especially anecdotal experiences from actual users, especially those owning the same model car as ours. Even some premium makes can sell the occasional duff tyre, whether its just a poor design once in a while or a bad batch.

The mid-range tyres, particularly for the summer tyres, are rapidly imrpoving, but to be fair, those that do (e.g. Hankook) are now going up in price to match the better quality. Some bargains can still be found if people are prepared do do a bit of research/homework first.

I would say about the cheap tyres is that, even for the best of them, they tend to be fine on grip but wear very quickly, the not so good ones tend to wear far better but have poorer grip, especially in wet weather.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Andrew-T

<< Even for the best of them, they tend to be fine on grip but wear very quickly, the not so good ones tend to wear far better but have poorer grip, especially in wet weather >>

Goes without saying. Grip = friction; Friction = wear. QED.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

<< Even for the best of them, they tend to be fine on grip but wear very quickly, the not so good ones tend to wear far better but have poorer grip, especially in wet weather >>

Goes without saying. Grip = friction; Friction = wear. QED.

But the better quality tyres use better 'ingredients' and thus wear better for the same or even better grip, but especially in poor weather conditions. That's why they cost more - more R&D.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Leif

Why risk it for a few pounds?

This is the crux of it, i don't usually go for the premium makes, but go for carefully chosen second level which are often every bit as good as the premium but don't spend a king's ransom on sponsoring motor sport or advertising, by shopping around they are often to be found in the middle pricing of the numerous unheard of Chinese products.

Years ago daughter's BMW compact came sporting a set of Sumitomo's on the back, despite it's traction control on wet roads that car could suddenly swing the tail out for no good reason, a swift pair of Vredesteins in their place saw that problem gone never to rear its ugly head.

It doesn't matter how safe or good drivers think they are, the unexpected happens exactly as the word dictates, you can be the best driver in the world and never get into a situation of your own accidental making, but being able to dodge someone else who got it wrong might just save the day.

I suppose it very much depends on the reviews from the magazines (which still seem to be reasonably independent) and especially anecdotal experiences from actual users, especially those owning the same model car as ours. Even some premium makes can sell the occasional duff tyre, whether its just a poor design once in a while or a bad batch.

The mid-range tyres, particularly for the summer tyres, are rapidly imrpoving, but to be fair, those that do (e.g. Hankook) are now going up in price to match the better quality. Some bargains can still be found if people are prepared do do a bit of research/homework first.

I would say about the cheap tyres is that, even for the best of them, they tend to be fine on grip but wear very quickly, the not so good ones tend to wear far better but have poorer grip, especially in wet weather.

I doubt premium brands make duff tyres in the sense that they are unsafe. No better than decent sure, dangerous no. Unsafe comes from cheap materials and cheap construction.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Steveieb

When looking at a second hand car, one of things that i home in on is the make of tyre.

If they have fitted ditchfinders from China i presume that they have cut corners on serviceing.

IMHO a good starting point ! Together with the radio tuned to Classic FM

Me I have been impressed with Hankook but they are going steadily up in price as they become more widely accepted and are often very similarly priced to the well known premium brands.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - dan86
That's because they don't see themselves as a budget or midrange offering anymore. I don't know if they still are but they were the official tyre for the DTM (German touring car championship)
All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Lee Power

The 2 year old 308 I bought still had the factory fitted Goodyear Efficient Grip tyres on, these I shortly found where absolutely useless in the wet even at slow speeds or low steering inputs - fronts had 4mm+ of tread left & rears 5mm tread left.

Pressures & alignment all spot on when checked.

So I binned them off & replaced with a set of Michelin Cross Climate + which has transformed the car in all conditions.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - nick62

I wonder what the grip levels were like on this beauty?

tinyurl.com/y3yzf6k6

.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - gordonbennet

I wonder what the grip levels were like on this beauty?

tinyurl.com/y3yzf6k6

.

that's got to have been the result of running the tyre flat, presumably the driver carries a white stick

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - dan86

I wonder what the grip levels were like on this beauty?

tinyurl.com/y3yzf6k6

.

that's got to have been the result of running the tyre flat, presumably the driver carries a white stick

That tyre has seen many a kerb in its life time being bumped up and down unsympatheticly

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Engineer Andy

The 2 year old 308 I bought still had the factory fitted Goodyear Efficient Grip tyres on, these I shortly found where absolutely useless in the wet even at slow speeds or low steering inputs - fronts had 4mm+ of tread left & rears 5mm tread left.

Pressures & alignment all spot on when checked.

So I binned them off & replaced with a set of Michelin Cross Climate + which has transformed the car in all conditions.

From looking on the Tyre Reviews website, there's a significant difference between the abilities of the much older designed Goodyear Efficient Grip (often found for smaller tyre sizes only nowadays) and the newer-designed Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance tyres, which by all accounts are far better, not great but decent enough, rather like their Dunlop BluResponse cousin.

I found the previous generation tyre to those, the Dunlop SP Sport FastResponse, to be very good, and I only changed them out due to their age (6yo) and that I had the change the alloys anyway due to corrosion/being mis-shapen as a result - I changed down to higher profile 15in tyres and matching alloys from 16in ones, saving me a great deal over like-for-like 16in alloy replacements and refitting old tyres which I would've replaced anyway in less than a year or two.

Sometimes even the 'premium' tyre manufacturers put tyres on the market that aren't really that great. I had similar issues to you with my original tyres, some Bridgestone ER30s, and I certainly wasn't alone.

As has been said, some cars just don't get on well with certain brands and specific models of tyre, even thought they aren't anything other than bog-standard FWD cars.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Steveieb

As well as Kuhmo manufacturing in China, I was surprised that my preferred brand Hankook has switched production from Hungary to China.

I wonder how this has affected the quality.

Perhaps tyres are following Japanese cars in that the first thing I look for is the country of manufacture in order to reduce the risk of local content not being up to the manufacturers standard in their home country!

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - gordonbennet

Perhaps tyres are following Japanese cars in that the first thing I look for is the country of manufacture in order to reduce the risk of local content not being up to the manufacturers standard in their home country!

Conti tyres used to be amusing, with prominent letters on the side 'engineered in Germany', but you'd need the eyes of a hawk to find the places of origin of those not made there.

Reminded me of Bosch washing machines, the more expensive models proudly displaying the made in Germany label, never did find a country label on those that came in from China, they did have made in PRC on the box though.:-)

I always look for place of manufacture, ever since i almost bought a Belling microwave resplendent with its Union flag on the front, didn't buy it once i spotted the made in China label on the back, this some 25 years ago.

All Makes - Chinese Ditchfinders - Leif
A Made in England sticker is meaningless.A Made in Germany sticker has some legal standing.
 

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