If there is one thing that keeps your car up and running like a real beast that it has the potential for, it is that little rubber that supports the rims under your car, tires. As inconsequential as it may sound, tires are the most integral part of any car.
They come in different qualities ranging from premium, mid-range and inexpensive. Now, it’s not entirely necessary that an inexpensive tire automatically means a lousy one. However, that being said, the more you pay for a tire, chances are, the more research and consideration has gone into its manufacture to make it better than the rest. That is what makes it better and justifies the price.
10 Tire Brands To Avoid
Chaoyang is a Chinese brand which was founded in 1958. It is manufactured by one of the largest tire manufacturers in China, ZC Rubber. The company was initially known for making tires for bicycles and forklifts, only very recently has it made its debut in the car world. They have a very low UBQG rating (which measures treadwear, temperature and traction).
This indicates that they have a lifespan much shorter than that of the more expensive brands. Owing to the low quality rubber used in their manufacture, these tires are not considered safe. They can easily burst and are particularly infamous for not being able to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Even though the tread looks pretty thick and well ridged, the rubber tends to weaken pretty fast, especially on rough roads.
Typically costing between 50-200 dollars, they are considered inexpensive but considering their short lifespan, it is definitely not good value for money. The grip and traction of these tires is good only when they are new. Once they are driven a few hundred miles, everything starts to go downhill from there as the rubber starts to wear down pretty quickly. What makes it worse is the unavailability of any after sale services which makes it extremely difficult to resolve any issues that you might face with your tires.
Westlake is also another brand that belongs to the ZC Rubber Company from China. The way they are manufactured, they are considered adaptive only to the roads in China and do not follow the stringent inspection laws of the US and Europe despite being sold there. The thing about these tires is they are meant to be driven at low speed because otherwise they can get very noisy thereby impacting the overall comfort while driving.
For up to a speed of around 30 miles per hour, their traction is somewhat reasonable but anything beyond that is not safe as they tend to lose grip real quick.
Thus, as far as durability is concerned, they have a lifespan of around 1 year. They are sold at a price range of around 60-80 dollars which seems like a good bargain but considering the short lifespan and the possible perils of driving them at a high speed, it sure isn’t the best value for money.
3. Compass Tires
Tire manufacturer Compass Tires first entered the market in 1998, but since then, there has not been any noticeable advancements. Given their placement on such a list, the performance of these tires is as you would expected. These tires tend to hydroplane during rain as their water channels are not designed very well. Added to that, their UTQG rating is fairly low which makes them very unreliable.
Having said that the performance is not anything you’ll want to experience, their longevity and comfort are not the worst.
Goodride tires are infamous for having a very poor grip in extreme weather conditions. This can lead to the car losing control which means it is not the most reliable in emergency situations as the rear tires lose grip too easily.
They have an unbalanced handling especially in wet conditions where it tends to skid a lot. As for the dry weather conditions, the tires are too slow in response to steering and the rear wheels again can go into a skid. The noise levels are relatively low but the tires are relatively rigid. Overall it has very unpredictable handling characteristics.
This company was founded fairly recently. It has two major concerns. The first is that there are not many options available, and with such few options to choose from, it can’t really provide anything. The performance is the second issue.
Most of the time, the tire’s wet performance is very poor, and its stopping distances are among the longest ever observed. As an added inconvenience, durability is not their strongest attribute.
When buying cheap Chinese tires, naturally you should not expect them to perform like anything close to the premium quality tires. YKS tires are the worst when it comes to extreme weather conditions due to their lack of grip and traction. Safety is a big concern.
Imagine driving at 80 miles per hour on a highway and getting your tires burst by just a small nail on the road, not the best situation to be in, right? If you choose cheap companies like YKS, chances are, you might find yourself in such unfortunate situations.
The thing about Chinese tires is that owing to the kind of saturation there is in this field, the competition has reduced merely down to the price. The quality, thus, unfortunately has largely been overlooked. The safety rating of a cheap, subpar tire is one of its major drawbacks. When these tires run over a pothole or even a nail, they are more prone to blow out.
These tires have a very long braking distance and even though it might sound like a minor inconvenience, in the long run, it can cost you your life.
When buying such cheap tires, you might feel like you are saving money but due to their short lifespan and the need to replace them more often, you might actually end up spending much more money than you might have planned.
8. AKS Tires
AKS tires are ranked the third worst tires in the world when it comes to safety and durability. Its origin is still a question mark as no one really knows where its headquarters are and what technologies are used in its manufacture.
According to experts, these tires are deadly because they lose grip and explode pretty readily. As far as durability is concerned, one of the biggest root causes for failure of this brand is the low quality rubber that is used in its manufacture that wears down quicker than one would have thought. When it comes to the price at which it’s available is quite tempting.
However if you weigh down the pros and cons, you might want to reconsider your purchase.
The reason for the low price is probably the cheap rubber that is used in its manufacture which would not last you long. Such low quality materials hamper its efficiency in extreme weather conditions due to poor grip and traction. So it is advised to avoid investing in such tires if you plan on driving in rains, snow or any extreme weather conditions. Since there is no real trace of where and how these tires are manufactured, the after sale service quality is very poor.
Geostar is a daughter brand that belongs to Nankang. It is known to produce budget tires and they are not supposed to function very efficiently. Considering the low price tag that it comes with, you can easily tell the lack of consideration that has gone in its manufacture.
The grip and traction are not up to the mark and durability is questionable as is. If you are looking for safety while driving, especially long distances, high speeds and extreme weather conditions, you might want to steer clear of such tires that promise no safety to you and your beloved car.
10. Triangle Tires
Triangle tires is a Chinese company which was founded in 1976. They are the largest producers in China, producing up to 22 million tires annually. They were initially producing sweeper cars for the Indonesian market and only recently has it stepped up to follow the trend and started making car tires.
Despite all the research that has, apparently, gone in its making, it has failed to provide even the most basic quality to the consumers that is safety. Poor traction and grip especially in wet conditions hampers the safety of the passengers a great deal. That is why it is rated so low in the tire world.
How To Tell Good Tires From Bad Ones
Economy/ budget tires are usually made up of a hard rubber compared to the premium quality tires that are made using softer rubber. Since most economy tires have poorer traction on the ground, their use greatly reduces acceleration and turning ability.
Added to that, braking distance might be shortened. According to a road test conducted by tire manufacturer Continental, economy tires braked around 16 feet shorter than premium tires.
This demonstrates that inexpensive tires might not be the safest choice. Conversely, more expensive tires composed of soft rubbers have better road traction. Your automobile is prepared for dynamic driving when you have premium or performance tires on it. This facilitates your vehicle’s ability to accelerate and turn with relative ease.
The area of the tire that actually contacts the ground is called the tread. Your tires’ treads provide them the capacity to safely grip the ground, thereby improving traction. It makes it easier for your car to brake more quickly and accelerate smoothly. Additionally, tire tread helps your car run as efficiently as possible which, in turn, helps you save some bucks. When roads are wet, the tread voids not only offer good grip but also let water drain away.
Cheap budget tires tend to have a very low UTQG rating, also known as tread wear grade/ rating. This, in turn, indicated a tire’s life, the lower the grade/ rating, the shorter its life.
Rubber molecules at the tire contact patch and the racing surface rub against one another to create friction, which gives tires their traction. The rougher the two surfaces, the higher the friction and the better the traction and grip. If your tire has a low tread, it can reduce tire traction and grip, causing your wheels to slip. This is especially seen in wet conditions or when accelerating from a stop.
Tires are made of very fine, resistant steel cords bonded into rubber providing resistance to the strains of turning. It also provides flexibility to act as a shock absorber on a bumpy road. Factors such as driving frequency, driving speed, poor manufacturing also greatly affect the lifespan of a tire. Added to that, tire treads, in particular, provide resistance to abrasion, cutting and tearing, influencing greatly on a tire’s durability.
Durability comes at a price because the work that goes behind making a tire durable is basically what the company charges you for. The best tires are the ones that have the greatest durability.
Although tires aren’t regarded as a component of the entire braking system, their general state might affect how much control a driver has when attempting to stop. This is so that the tires can provide the vehicle with traction and keep a firm grip on the pavement. A bad tire will have a less braking ability. This will take longer to stop the vehicle when the situation arises.
Since uneven tires make uneven contact with the road, uneven wear is a major contributor to tire noise. While driving, tires with uneven tread depths make loud noises. Typically, one tire will produce noises due to uneven wear. Tire noises may also be caused by alignment problems. Most budget tires end up have these issues.
The tire market, just like any other, is littered with Chinese products that offer tires at a price much lower than the big brands. The question that arises here is, is it really worth trading it for your own safety?
A premium quality tire sure comes with a hefty price tag, but for obvious reasons. What makes them expensive is the thought process and research that goes behind their manufacture to provide you not only with security but also, durability, comfort, longer lifespan and most importantly, safety. It’s sure an investment but one that would definitely last you longer than the cheap quality tires easily available otherwise.
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