Tyres

Michelin CrossClimate lr

 

By Tim Saunders

Tyres are a boring subject but I have been forced to research into them on my wife’s behalf.
She is one of those people who does not recognise different makes of cars and has even less idea about tyres. After noticing tyre wear on her car I have found out more about these bits of rubber.
A little over a year ago when Caroline purchased her 2002 Vauxhall Corsa its tyres were already showing signs of wear. Over the last 12 months the cracks in the sidewalls of all four tyres have become ever more prominent.
Such cracks occur because over time the oils and chemicals in the rubber compound, that keeps the tyre intact, gradually evaporate or break down due to over exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
“They’ve probably been on the car since it was new,” I said to Caroline. After all it has only covered just over 23,000 miles.
So the time had come to replace them. There is such a lot of choice out there but bearing in mind that tyres are the only thing between the motorist and the road it makes sense not to skimp. I have tried this in the past, purchasing a set of Yokohama tyres for my Mazda Xedos, finding that they didn’t even last for 12,000 miles, which was really disappointing. The garage claimed that as it was a sporty saloon thanks to its 2-litre V6 engine coupled with the fact it was front wheel drive that this accounted for the excessive tyre wear. I wasn’t so convinced.
According to research from Michelin 65 per cent of European motorists use summer tyres all year. I was none the wiser about this either.
This French manufacturer, which was established in 1889, has launched CrossClimate, the first summer tyre with winter certification, which means it can be used in countries where fitting winter tyres is a legal requirement. It brakes in short distances on dry ground. It has the highest European label rating of "A" for wet braking. This sounded like a sensible option for my wife’s car because we haven’t got the time to be changing tyres twice a year nor have we the storage for four tyres.
Until now it has been thought that summer and winter tyre technology was incompatible. The CrossClimate dispels this myth. Its tread area is extremely supple and increases the ability of the compound to adhere to the slightest roughness of the road surface under all conditions (dry, wet, and snow). A new material beneath the tread optimises the energy efficiency of the tyre by reducing heat generation. Michelin's engineers have reduced this heat build-up by introducing the latest-generation silica into the rubber mix – thus improving the fuel efficiency of the CrossClimate.
There is a noticeable difference when driving with a new set of tyres, not least the fact that they grip the road far better. I am now confident that my wife is as safe as she can be on the road no matter what the weather might throw at her.


www.michelin.com

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