How to read tyre size?

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New EU Labels

As and from November 2012 all tyres sold ex manufacturer will have to display a label (pictured above) to advise customers on three key areas of performance.

With the constant strain being put on motorists with rising fuel costs, these new standards should be welcomed. We have seen in several recent tyre tests undertaken by Continental Tyre Group, that tyre compounds and treads can impact significantly on fuel consumption. Similar standards have been applied to electrical appliances for some time and have been very successful in driving down energy consumption whilst setting the bar for manufacturers in terms of what is expected in the modern marketplace.

So what do the symbols and ratings mean?

Rolling resistance (Fuel Efficiency)

Fuel efficiency is important to reduce both carbon emissions and the cost of motoring. The grades are A to , with D not being used. The difference between each grade means a reduction or increase in fuel consumption of between 2.5%-4.5%. That's a difference of about 0.42-0.56 mpg for a 36 mpg car per grade.

Wet Grip (Braking Performance)

Wet grip is a critical safety feature and relates to the tyres ability to stop a vehicle quickly on wet roads and can be expressed in terms of stopping distance. The grades are A to G, with D and G not being used. The difference between each grade means an increase or decrease in stopping distance of between one to two car lengths (between 3 and 6 metres) when braking from 50mph.

Noise (Exterior Noise Emission)

This is the external noise made by the tyre and is measured in decibels. The more black bars shown on the label, the louder the tyre.

All imported tyres in to the EU as well as those manufactured within it, will be required to conform with the new standards. As with all new labelling systems there will be something of an overlap in terms of what is currently on shelves around the country and what is sold in November 2012, but by 2013 this new system will be well up and running. Remember the closer to A on both counts the better the tyre is on fuel and braking capacity. The higher the dB(a) or decibels the more noise is given off by the tyre.

Heffernan Tyres welcomes the new labelling as yet another point of difference between the experts in the industry and the ''fly by nighters''. If you require any assistance or advice on the new system, call in or phone us anytime. One of our staff will be only to pleased to help. We have literature explaining the new system available at our store.

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