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Highmac

'Average' drivers - did you replace tyres with Ford's choice?

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Our 63 plate Fiesta Ecoboost is likely to need new tyres before too long. It's still running on the original Continental 195/50 R16 84V, which have done about 23,000 miles. A search tells me the V rating means they are capable of up to 150-odd mph. The car (and its users!) are not... We're not hard drivers, never (alright, rarely :) ) exceed 70 and my RoadTrip app says it's averaged 43mpg over nearly four years. Regular service and MoT by our local Ford dealer, who we've come to trust. 

We're not looking for the cheapest, but the best value. We'd rather pay more for longer-lasting, more efficient ones. Just wondered what other people with similar driving styles chose as replacements, and how they are getting on with them.

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We had this same decision for my mum's 1.0 Focus.

She doesn't do huge mileage, we were trying to not put on the most expensive, but also avoid the cheap rubbish.

Went with Avon ZV7s in the end, they are really good. Similar to the continentals, good grip, but not as expensive.

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V rated tyres are more common so usually cheaper, the Fiesta is only likely to need H rating (130mph) but doesn't hurt to go higher to save a pound or two.

The thing to remember with tyres is that they're main use is for stopping on a wet 30mph road when a kid runs out for example...driving fast or hard isn't really relevant to road tyres.  I personally look for best wet grip as a main priority, wet braking and aquaplane protection as well.  Then longevity, fuel efficiency and low noise.

I've currently got Dunlop Sport Bluresponse which I can't really fault, fairly quiet, good on fuel and handle well, plus they've done over 20k with rotation but the edges are getting low now, possibly due to driving style or possibly dodgy tracking, not the tyres fault though.  They were the winner of the AutoExpress tyre test back in 2014, and came 2nd this year, with the Continentals winning.  Very good test write up for the top ten tyres tested over on thier website to help you decide which ones are for you.

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My Ford dealer, who I usually send my vehicle to recommended using Black Circles for tyres as they're cheaper plus I can book the Ford dealer to fit all through their site.

I went for Goodyear EfficientGrip 3 and I would recommend them, especially in the UK as we do get more rain than not. I've had them since February and they're still doing well, compared to budget tyres I've had previously. I would buy them again and definitely helps reducing aqua planing. That's my brief review on them. I had 195/50/15, so were cheap and wet grip A. Different tyre sizes may vary in specification and features.

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because tyre fitting places want to get the most money, some say things like we can't fit a lower speed rating tyre unless you show us a letter from your insurance company saying it is OK.  Obviously you won't get such a letter, it's a way of forcing you to spend more and blaming someone else (the insurance company). Having said that, for equivalent make you often find V rated is cheaper than H because it's easier to pile high and sell cheap of one speed rating that meets all needs (virtually) rather than stock multiple versions.

Based on speed limit we could all argue that we only need S rated tyres, but there is some sense in saying that the speed rating should be at least the max speed the car could drive at, it could be taken on holiday to a German autobahn so i can see a sense in tyre fitters feeling uneasy about fitting tyres with a lower speed rating than the speed the car could be driven at (abroad or by a thief etc)

I see black circles are mentioned above. I have also used tyreshopper , even if you don't want to use one of them, it can give you a good guide on price comparison - asda tyres is another

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Your insurance company may not cover your for certain accidents if you fit a tyre with less rating than that specified. Check your owners manual for what is required for your model. 

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i have avon zv7's very good tyre, i has contis on befor and they needed changing i too did research and avons came out on top from my research and my budget, cant fault them good grip wet and dry and all round cant fault them getting some on the rear soon as they are now near the limit. 

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I have Uniroyal Rainsport 3 tyres on my front wheels and they are magic in the wet.   (which is what we normally have around here).   I think David might be right and there are some unscrupulous insurance companies that would refuse a claim if you had the wrong rating.

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I replaced my Focus ST tyres with a make Ford don't use, although the size and speed ratings were the same. It's not always possible to replace with exactly the same tyre and the ones I used as a replacement were considerably cheaper, but when you get a puncture, waiting 10 days for the exact replacement to be delivered to Shetland wasn't an option. So yes go for a better value tyre if you wish, but don't play around with the ratings for safety reasons

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My ST came with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrics and they are really good tyres especially in the wet.
Replaced with the same when they wore down.

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My mondeo came with Conti's I think. I replaced them with Michelin CrossClimates, they are relatively new on the market (18 months or so) so they are not available in all sizes but that is slowly changing. They are an all season tyre with excellent reviews. I've had no problems with them since putting them on several months ago and can see no excessive wear. I bought them direct from Budget as they price matched Black Circles. I've also heard good things about ASDA tyres believe it or not. Like most who have commented here I don't scrimp on rubber as it's the only thing that keeps you on the roads, and to that end I paid £113 a corner. Brakes are another area where I feel it's best to buy quality. Will be going for EBC offerings come renewal time.


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Thanks to all of you for such helpful posts. Plenty for me to chew on. I agree that tyres are too important to buy on price alone and the only reason for looking at the slower rating was thinking - naively -  they would cost less than the higher rating... and good call on the insurance situation.

It's well over six years since I had to worry about tyres, and I wasn't aware of Black Circles, so I'll take a look at them after checking out the AutoExpress site. I don't reckon we'll need them for a few months, but wanted time to do a bit of research.

Thanks again :thumbup:

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7 hours ago, Jonro2009 said:

I don't scrimp on rubber

its an all too common choice, im the same went with the best of my budget, didnt want some cheap rubbish, my dad seems to think that better tyres dont mean better stopping distance or grip, tyres can probably be put down to one of the factors some people crash 

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23 minutes ago, AlexBartlam said:

its an all too common choice, im the same went with the best of my budget, didnt want some cheap rubbish, my dad seems to think that better tyres dont mean better stopping distance or grip, tyres can probably be put down to one of the factors some people crash 

So many people think like that, my dad included. Tyres are the only thing keeping you on the road, and the easiest thing to change to improve the cornering and braking capability of the car, not to mention not sliding when wet. Buy the best you can afford. Remember that long life usually means less grip. 

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7 minutes ago, ThaiFiesta said:

 Remember that long life usually means less grip. 

With the modern compound technology available, the top brands are able to make tyres with a low rolling resistance for long life, low noise and good fuel consumption as well as decent grip in both wet and dry conditions.  Obviously it will always be a bit of a compromise but as long as you're buying decent brand stuff, it should no longer be the case of either buying a rock hard tyre that lasts 5 years but understeers off every corner or buying a 'rain tyre' that is great in the wet but so soft they wear out in 6 months and the sidewalls fold over if you take a dry corner at any sort of speed.  

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Don't what ever you do, get "event" tyres, the previous owner of my car had them put on by a Ford garage.

They are absolutely shocking, every time you drove in the wet it was an "event", would constantly slide and spin even when just pootling about. Replaced then with some part worn contisport 5's, (6mm tread) for £80 for both, best thing I ever did! 

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That's a thing i will never do is skimp on rubber, i spent a week looking at reviews on the companies website and on independent tyre review i was torn between conties sport 5's and the zv7's i went with the avons due to them being a bit cheaper and having really good reviews.  

dont do what i did and buy and fit at two different places, the place i bought them from didnt fit and due to my tyres being illigal at the time, i had to get them fitted at £15 a tyre due to all other places being shut at 4:30 

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Totally agree @AlexBartlam think of it like a pit stop and get it all done at the same place

I'm not sure I would go down the route of part worn or remoulds, too many horror stories and potential problems and cover ups.


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Don't be put off by low prices however. I bought my Falken 914s after a lot of research (205/55/R16 91V) for £44 each, and then all 4 fitted for £20 at my local tyre shop. They perform amazing, if not a little high tyre wear.

They may have only done 30k, fronts are now down to 2.2-2.5mm and the rears at 3mm (swapped fronts to rear sometime last year). I will swap for my winters (to actually use them) as soon as it starts to get cold, and before the fronts become illegal/dangerous especially in the wet, and then in the new year I will buy at least a new pair of tyres if not all 4 (Falken 914s again if they're a good price).

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5 hours ago, Jonro2009 said:

I'm not sure I would go down the route of part worn

part worn can be alright if you know what to look for, i had to get a part worn due too funds and the tyre becoming low, went to the local worn tyre place, £20 for a part worn conti sport 5, and free fitting, id only do it if i absolutely needed too

had a look at tyre shopper last night, found my avons zv7's at £59.12 each and free fitting at a local garage, i did pay £55 at the independent tyre shop but i had to get them fitted for £15 each, also iv got 5% off tyre shopper so its gone from £118.24 to £112.32 all in compared to paying £140 for tyres and fitting

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