There is no question about the importance of tires for safety purposes. In no case. Even the most sophisticated car, enriched by modern electronic driving aid systems (from automatic emergency braking to stability control) becomes dangerous if it is fitted with tires in poor condition, which are unable to transform the control unit commands into concrete actions. Let’s remember, especially in this period when you return to travel more with family and friends, with the car loaded, on the motorway (and therefore at high speed) and in the heat: all things that increase the stress on the tires. .

The first thing to check is the pressure: it must be that recommended by the car manufacturer. You can find it in the use and maintenance booklet (often there is also a sticker on the car): the right value improves stability and braking, but also reduces fuel consumption and tire wear. In extreme cases (almost flat tire) there is even the risk of failure, with detachment of the tread. Attention also to the thickness of the latter, essential when it rains: by law it must not go below 1.6 mm, but it is better to consider 3 mm as a limit to reduce the risk of aquaplaning (the rubber cannot dispose of water , removing any possibility of control) in a possible puddle faced in speed. Do not underestimate cuts (even if superficial) and drafts on the side of the tire: structural failures could cause it to burst suddenly. And remember to use the right tires in relation to the season, so in this period the summer or all-season tires: with the heat, the winters greatly worsen braking distances and road holding. Now let’s see what are the fundamental tools to check the tires and, if it is necessary to change them, how to look for a bargain. Also online.


According to the rules of the road, the depth of the tire grooves must not be less than 1.6 mm. In a new tire it is 7-8 mm and, as it reduces due to tread wear, safety in the wet decreases. For this reason, we do not recommend going below 3 millimeters, otherwise (especially at speed) the tire cannot maintain contact with the asphalt and you risk losing control of the car. On the internet there are several depth gauges for a few euros, to be inserted between the tread grooves. There are also digital ones, even easier to use.

> Buy mechanical meter

> Buy digital meter


The amount of air in the tires is crucial for safety, fuel consumption (or electricity in the case of electric cars) and the durability of the tires themselves. If the pressure is low, the wear on the sides of the tread increases, and in extreme cases the resulting overheating damages the structure; vice versa, if it is too high compared to what is prescribed by the car manufacturer, the tires wear more in the center (as well as worsening comfort and grip on rough surfaces). The pressure must be checked when cold, possibly avoiding the pressure gauges of the service stations which are often not well calibrated due to the blows they receive. Better to buy one and keep it well protected in the box, using it at least once a month. There are those to be connected to a compressor or “stand alone”.

> Buy compressor pressure gauge

> Buy mechanical stand alone pressure gauge

> Buy digital stand alone pressure gauge


If you do not have a compressor and you do not want to go to the workshop or to the gas station to inflate the tires, a good solution is to use the tire inflator and repair kits often supplied in the car. In addition to blowing air into the tires to restore the correct pressure value (they also include a pressure gauge), they allow, if necessary, to repair a puncture by injecting a special sealing liquid through the valve. If the car does not have one, they can be purchased for a few tens of euros. If, on the other hand, you are not looking for a compressor but need a compact solution for inflation and repair, there are special cans, and the cost is reduced quite a bit.

> Buy kit with compressor

> Buy sealant can


If it’s time to change your tires, you can buy them online. There is no lack of choice and interesting offers can be found, but be careful not to get the measurement wrong: it must be one of those indicated in the car registration certificate. For the speed code and the load index (a letter and a number at the bottom of the size indicating the tip and the weight for which the tire is approved) it is possible to move to higher values. So let’s see some examples for three very common measures, in order to get an idea of ​​the expense. Before purchasing, check that the seller has affiliated workshops for assembly in your vicinity.

205/55 R 16 91H

It is the most common size among the midsize sedans: the choice of products is abundant and the prices are affordable. And to save money, if you use the car a little, you can also find used tires, but checked and still in good condition.

> Buy Pirelli Cinturato P7 (premium)

> Buy Firestone Roadhawk (average price)

> Buy Goodride ZuperEco Z-107 (low cost)

> Buy used

225/45 R 17 94V

For some years now, this size has been affirming itself among medium-sized cars: they are combined with 17-inch wheels, with a more captivating appearance than those of 16 ”, and they do not cost too much.

> Buy Vredestein ULTRAC (premium)

> Buy Debica Presto UHP2 (average price)

> Buy Nankang Noble Sport NS-20 (low cost)

215/55 R 17 94V

Among compact crossovers (and more) this is a fairly common measure, and not too expensive when it’s time to change tires.

> Buy Bridgestone Turanza T005 (premium)

> Buy Toyo Proxes TR1 (average price)

> General Altimax One S (low cost)


Those who decide to mount the same tires all year round can choose the all-season ones which are a compromise solution between summer and winter (as the latter can also be used when it is mandatory to fit snow chains). Also in this case the product offer is good. Let’s see, for example, the three measures already mentioned.

205/55 R 16 91H

> Buy BF Goodrich g-Grip All Season 2 (premium)

> Buy Nokian Weatherproof (average price)

> Buy Imperial AS Driver (low cost)

225/45 R 17 94V

> Buy Goodyear Vector 4 Seasons G3 (premium)

> Buy Uniroyal Allseason Expert 2 (average price)

> Buy Cooper Discoverer All Season (low cost)

215/55 R 17 94V

> Buy Michelin CrossClimate 2 (premium)

> Semperit All Season-Grip (average price)

> Fortuna Ecoplus 4S (low cost)


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