Is it safe to use cheap and budget tyres?
Published On 13-Jan-2020
Budget tyres make sales their priority, letting the quality take a back seat whereas the premium tyre brands incorporate intense R&D to create tyres that are reliable, safe and deliver their best even in difficult scenarios.
Driving now is trickier, with our daily commutes being ridden with stop-go traffic, potholes, unpaved roads and chaotic traffic. So, there’s frequent braking, regular working-up of steering to negotiate the traffic and desperate overtakes. Let’s not forget the time we waste getting stuck-up in a jam, which we tend to compensate for with sporadic high-speed stretches. All this makes for a ride that won’t be possible if the tyres weren’t up to the task.
We don’t want to ramble about the importance of tyres in your vehicle and so on and so forth. Simply put, moving, turning or braking; you can’t achieve any of these without tyres. And one question that keeps flooding our “Ask an Expert” section is whether it is safe to buy “Budget” or “Cheap” tyres. We’ll try to answer this question for you by explaining what separates budget tyres from the premium ones. ( Read as good quality tyres )
1. R&D - The rocket science behind tyres
Cost of raw materials( rubber, steel, nylon, carbon black etc) used in manufacturing of tyres are almost same for all the manufacturers. Yet, the cheap tyres cost almost 40-50% lesser than the premium ones. Ever wondered what could possibly cause this difference? It’s the Research, Development and Technological acumen.
Tread pattern, rubber compound, construction technique, robustness, ride comfort, braking, sound-containment and some...all of these require tons of R&D. There’s a reason why popular brands spend billions (yes..billions and not just millions) of dollars to set up competitive R&D centres that keep innovating and make use of cutting edge technologies to come up with the best products. Budget tyre brands merely try to imitate the tread pattern of popular brands, but lack the quality and reliability.
2. Performance and reliability
Tyres from premium brands ensure a level of performance that the budget brands simply fail to match. While most of this difference can be attributed to superior R&D, it also comes down to priorities. For budget brands the priority is to maximize sales by keeping prices low and in doing this they put quality and performance on the back burner. So, while these tyres won’t lighten your pockets much at the time of purchase, their poor quality can very well lead to serious consequences, the ones that could serious losses.
The true test of any tyre is when it is faced by difficult situations- Wet roads, emergency braking and handling etc. These are the situations that require the tyres to deliver their best, and more than often, budget tyres usually fail.
In fact, a substantial number of accidents can be avoided if the tyres are of good quality and in good shape. Premium tyre brands know this and hence strive to create products that rank high on safety and reliability.
Don’t use your vehicle much? Still no reason to go for cheap tyres !
Are you willing to compromise on your loved ones’ safety just to save couple of thousand bucks?
A lot of us feel that since we don’t drive our vehicle much, investing in a good set of tyres is something we can skip. This is a very myopic approach. No matter whether you drive daily or bi-annually, the tyres must perform well every single time. Good tyres would keep you and your loved ones safe more than you can imagine. These would also be less menacing for others on the roads.
We are not insisting to go for the top-of-the-line tyres, but try to stay away from the ones at the bottom of the pile, especially the ones that are cheap imports.
Transportation in last couple of decades has taken a huge leap. From the roads being occupied by only few vehicles to even the sidewalks being used for commutation, things have changed big time. The insanely high number of vehicles occupying our roads require a different set of expertise from the driver and car, alike. And no car can perform well if the tyres aren’t good enough.
So, invest in a good set of tyres and keep away from the cheap imports that are dumped in to our markets. Well, as they saying goes, better safe than sorry.
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