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Your Guide To The New Tire Labels

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      February 12, 2023 1:23 AM MST
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      January 7, 2023 5:08 AM MST
  •   December 31, 2022 3:49 AM MST
  • From the 1st November 2012 it will be a legal requirement for all new tires to feature one of the new tire labels as required by European Regulation No 1222/2009. The intention behind these labels is to give customers more information about the performance of each tire. It covers three areas - wet braking, which gives you a guide to how safe the tire is; rolling resistance, offering a guide to fuel consumption; and external noise. The labels are very similar to those found on household appliances such as washing machines, and should be easy to understand.

    These new tire labels are likely to encourage consumers to put more thought into the tires they purchase, and tire manufacturers to put more effort into improving the performance of their product. In time this should improve the safety of our roads (by reducing stopping distances), reduce greenhouse gas emissions (by reducing fuel consumption), and reduce the noise that traffic produces. Overall this should result in a definite improvement of our environment.

    The tires will be graded by each manufacturer or importer (where tires are coming in from outside the European Union) to a strict testing system, and each country will be responsible for ensuring that the testing is carried out to the correct standards. Tire manufacturers have already begun this process, so how are the tires tested for each aspect of the label?

    Wet braking - this test involves using a real vehicle and a wet road. The temperature, state of the road surface, water depth and speed are all stipulated under European legislation, although they do vary for different types of tyres. For example, winter tires must be tested between 2 - 20 degrees Celsius, while summer tires are tested between 5 - 35 degrees Celsius. The water must be between 0.5 and 1.5 mm for all tyres, and the speed must be between 12 - 50 mph.

    Fuel economy - by measuring the rolling resistance of the tire under standardized conditions. The test does not require a vehicle, but instead simulates a vehicle driving at 50 mph with a load that is equivalent to 80% of the tire's load index. The lower the Brake disc' rolling resistance, the more fuel efficient they will be as they will use less energy as you drive.

    External noise - tested with a microphone at the side of the track to record the sound as a vehicle drives past at 50 mph. Again, the track and the temperature are stipulated.
    This is all useful information when you are choosing new car tires, but there are other things you should be considering. The longevity of the Car check will naturally effect how much it costs you in the long run, while dry braking performance is as important as wet braking (more so if you find yourself needing to do an emergency stop on a dry road!). The handling performance is also important as the majority of our roads aren't straight!
      December 17, 2022 3:37 AM MST