Tyres-how much difference do they make? - volvoman
Genuine question - over the years I've had a range of tyres on my car from Goodyear Eagle to Michelin Pilot, BF Goodrich and now Kormoran (the latter 2 being owned by Michelin I've been told). I drive a 940 se turbo estate and have had the tyres on in different combinations at different times and on both front and rear axles but have never noticed any difference whatsoever in roadholding, noise, fuel economy, wear etc. whether on local runs or motorway driving. I don't drive to extremes and if this is the reason I'm not noticing any difference I just wonder if it's worth the average motorist driving an average car buying expensive tyres they don't need and won't derive any benefit from.
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - HF
I find my car tends to run much better with tyres.

HF
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Garethj
I've found that some cars are more tolerant of different tyres than others, but the difference only comes out when pushing it quite hard.

It's not just down to width and tread, but things like sidewall stiffness which you never know until you try it.

Gareth
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - NARU
I found my BMW likes Michelin but tends to follow grooves in the road on Dunlop. The difference is quite noticeable.
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Phil I
As a small child who lived quite close to Fort Dunlop I was told that this groove following ability of Dunlop Tyres was built in by specialists who used the facility to find their way home from the factory following the 79 tram route;-)

Phil I
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Alan
I have found some far eastern cheapies to be very poor in the wet and are best avoided, but with well know brands I cannot detect any difference betweeen them.
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Blue_nova
Well i recently had to replace a full set of tyres on my mercedes. on my previous car i had perilli and i have found that the car has always had a smother ride with the Dunlop tyres. even when the tread is running low.
Well look at that
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - M.M
Volvoman,

You are right that a difference in tyres may not show up for some drivers who are pretty steady.

However the differences in character are quite marked between many. Obviously there are some that are very close in behaviour though.

In your circumstance it is possibly OK to go for the cheapest....but for the one in a million chance that you will need the grip to stop hard one day on a greasy roundabout.

That is when you'll find out!

M.M
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Harmattan
M.M. is right on this. I bought an Audi Coupe fitted with Kumho tyres. They were wonderful for dry road holding and performed excellently in an emergency stop but I had to tip-toe round wet roundabouts. I switched to BF Goodrich Comp T/As which were described as an all-round tyre and found them an excellent compromise. Although I lost the ultimate grip of the Kumho in the dry, I didn't have to tremble every time I came to a roundabout. The Comp T/As have now disappeared in most sizes but I still look for all-rounder tyres for our cars from manufacturers that I have heard of. I just cannot see the point of buying cheap tyres of an unknown quantity when there is so much at stake. And, yes, I do not buy cars with tyres of unknown make because it suggests to me the owner has been penny-pinching.


Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Blue {P}
I personally intend to replace my tyres with the original make when they need doing as they seem good all round.

David - Shame you would never buy our BMW then, it's fitted with cheapies all round becuase it is only driven in a relaxed manner around the city and we noticed no difference between the Tigar tyres and the branded Dunlops that came with the car (but cost much more). However, it is always serviced according to it's little light thingy and is generally a well maintained excellent example of the car, despite the cheaper tyres.

Blue
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - John S
Blue Oval

I'm with MM and David on this. Yes, you may drive gently, but if it comes to panic braking (say when a child runs out) you have no choice but to abandon your relaxed manner and hit the pedal hard, and the cheapo tyres may just make things very nasty. This is especially true round town with polished roads and more chance of road contamination. It's my experience that tyres do vary especially in things like noise and wet road grip. No, you may not spot the differences under many circumstances, but I wouldn't chance it. I have to say if anything puts me off a secondhand car, it's cheapo tyres. Do you not find it odd that in their quest to reduce costs, car makers don't fit obscure makes of tyre at the factory?

Regards

John S
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Sooty Tailpipes
Yes, I agree, better tyres give you a greater margin of safety.
You only have 4 contact patches on the road each the size of your hand, if a motorcyclis's engne seized in front of you or a child ran out or whatever 1% extra stopping distance could be the difference between stopping just before them or on top of them.
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - Ben {P}
I borrowed a set of wheels with kormoran tyres while i searched for some new wheels for my car. The tyres on my rims at the time (goodyear eagle nct2's i think) were on the limit of legality. The nearly new kormoran tyres gripped noticeably worse in all damp conditions except heavy rain. In the dry there was no comparison. the Kormoran was predictable and progressive, but just lacked grip. It may have last well though. I can say with certainty stopping distances with the Kormoran tyre were significantly worse. However, overall, i would say the Kormoran tyres are amongst the best "budget" tyres out there, particularly at the excellent prices Cost co sell them for. You can get a 195/60 15 tyre for a Mondeo etc fitted at cost co for £28.99!

I recently took on a car that needed one tyre. I opted for a part-worn michelin from a place i tusted rather than a kumho. I think its ok having the better budget tyres on a car allround, but good tyres and one end and el cheapo at the other isnt great. I had a car with Strada tyres. Truely rubbish.
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - No Do$h
Possibly because my Alfa had only covered 7k in the first two years, the rears were in perfect condition.... except for cracking all round the sidewall. The fronts went the way of all 156 front tyres, scrubbed out on the inside edge at 16,000. The original tyres were continental contactsport and, from day one, were surprisingly poor in the damp. They were also very noisy.

I opted for 4 Michelin Pilot Sports from Micheldever and, in true British fashion, it absolutley bunged it down that day. I found the Pilots to be significantly quiter and to offer much more predictable handling. Part of this may be down to the "toe" being set to neutral at the front, but the rear alignment was ok so left alone. Tellingly, the rear stayed on track where previously it would start to break loose, despite still having 75% of the original tread. When pushed, the pilots give plenty of warning when getting near the edge, something the contis tried, but with less margin.

I've since driven another sportwagon with new contis on and my observations ran true. The Pilots are quieter, more predictable and offer superior grip. If Micheldever are to be believed (I have no reason to doubt them) the Pilots will offer longer life as well.
Tyres-how much difference do they make? - RogerL
At the cheaper end of the market, you get what you pay for. On my previous car I fitted a set of Tyre Technic Remoulds. They were a third of the price of Michelins but only lasted a third of the mileage, so no cost saving there. At the expensive end of the market, you DON'T get what you pay for. Michelins are generally 20-25% more expensive than other top line tyres, based on their historic reputation for longevity, but modern Michelins don't even last as long as Goodyears, so they're not worth the price premium.

The exact car / tyre combination can give wildly different results for roadholding and ride, even within one car model range. Unfortunately tyre tests are carried out using one common vehicle, great if you own that exact model but useless otherwise.

 

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