From 1 November 2012 all car tyres are sold within the EU countries must be marked with EU labels. These labels contain information regarding 3 important factors, these are the basis of the performance evaluation of tyres: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise.

Nowdays more and more people buy tyres from different web sites. We would like to share some facts about EU labels to clear any misconceptions.

The most important thing is that the classification is done by the manufacturer and not some independent professional organisation. So it can occur that a smaller manufacturer who has not got much money for developement as a bigger one who produces premium category tyres, puts the labels onto cheaper tyres containing false facts, therefore making everybody believe what they want.

Many people decide by comparison of the EU labels while purchasing car tyres, and they realise, that the factors of cheaper tyres are the same as the higher quality and more expensive competitors’ tyres. They may well ask why they should buy more expensive and more quality tyres if the cheaper ones are the same. So they often ask: Why should I buy the more expensive tyres if the cheaper ones are the same.

Well, let us see in detail:

1 - Fuel consumption from A to G (Efficiency) measured at 50 mph (80 km/hour) velocity.

There are on average 0.6 l/60 miles difference between the A and G classification. So, everyone must decide for themselves if its an influencing factor or not.

2 - Grip on wet road from A to G

The problem with this is that emergency brake measurments are tested from 50 mph (80 km/h) to 12mph (20 km/h) on wet roads, but in reality we use brakes from every kind of velocity and what is the assurrance that a tyre that brakes from 50 mph to 12 mph on a shorter road will be able to brake faster from 25 mhp to stop. For example, when a child runs from a playground onto the road. In my opinion it would be better for the emergency brake measuring to have been tested from 30 mph to stop. Also insufficiency was not measured on dry road. What can be an important thing is that different outcomes can be expected with the same tyre, for example on a 50-60 C degrees asphalt in Italy in summer or on a 10-20 C degrees asphalt in England in spring.

3 - Noise emission:

 

Noise level is measured on a car going at 50 mph (80 km/h) as well, placing microphones along the test path which is considerably influenced by the quality of the road, too. It’s by no means certain that the noise in the car gives a real image of the noise emission to the driver, as none of the noise insulation of cars are the same. The characteristic of humans’ sense of hearing is that the powers of two sources of sounds are percieved considerably different only when the difference between the noise levels reach the 10 dB measurement. However one is already able to percieve a 1 dB difference.

 

To sum it up:

 

Tyres produced for testing may have the features that their labels say (it’s by no means certain that Chinese ones have, too), but it cannot be assured that these would adapt themselves similarly at other velocities, road surfaces and temperatures. Tyre factories nowdays plan their tyres for testing instead of producing wide spectrum tyres. Otherwise this appears on the inflation of the grading: soon after entering the sticker system the first A/A grade tyre came out, then increasingly several of them came on the market…

 

EU label can be taken into consideration by choice, however it isn’t worth mystificating excessively. Look at the other tests and the users’ experiences, too (however the usefulness of these is also doubtful – if there are further queries I will come back to that soon) and take the results into consideration according to your own requirements.

 

An example is below:

Pirelli p7 Cinturato tyre 205/55R16 91V: in this size with the data of Fuel:C, Wet grip: B and Noise:70 dB and the price is 51 quids each.

vs.

Duraturn Mozzo S+ tyre 205/55R16 91H: in this size there with the data of Fuel:C, Wet grip:B an Noise: 71 dB and the price is 33 quids each.

Then which is better?

 

Nevertheless we suggest the premium brands, because if only 2-3 meter is the difference in the brake distance from 40 miles to stop for premium tyres, then on reflection, the pedestrian crossing is about 5 metres, so would you hit the pedestrian or not? But do not let us give the worst as an example. Let me mention a case, where a car is stopping ahead of us with better quality tyres and we run into them from behind.

 

IF A TYRE STICKS EXCELLENTLY IT WEARS OUT FASTER AND YOUR CAR CONSUMES MORE PETROL. IF YOUR TYRE DOESN’T STICK WELL IT’S MORE DURABLE AND MORE ECONOMICAL, HENCE YOU CAN GAIN EXTRA MILES.

 

And if you think your tyres are NOISEY, TURN UP THE VOLUME OF YOUR CAR STEREO!

 

Kindest regards,

The Wowtyres Team