Tyres are one of the most significant components of your vehicle. They determine the handling capabilities and long-run durability. Whether it’s a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler, tyres are the core components that provide stability to the vehicle.
The debate between original equipment and replacement tyres is not new. As the market for driving enthusiasts and riders grew, more and more brands came up with fine-tuned tyres to match the driving needs. While original equipment tyres still have their charm, replacement tyres are now more popular than ever because of their effectiveness and availability at an affordable price.
Let us first understand what are the Original Equipment Tyres and Replacement Tyres.
What are Original Equipment(OE) Tyres?
Original Equipment Tyres or stock tyres are those that come fitted from the factory with the automobile. A tyre manufacturer provides these tyres to the automobile maker. Companies design these tyres keeping in mind the design and performance of the vehicle, and ensure that the tyre is compatible with it.
OE tyres are also modified according to the vehicle’s usage. Sports cars have more rugged tyres where luxurious cars come with easy, quiet tyres. Sometimes, automobile makers have the tyre company make custom tyres to address a specific OE application.
Generally, OE tyres are not designed to meet the rough off-road driving conditions. They focus on providing fuel efficiency, comfort, and better road handling capabilities. No matter what brand it is, OE tyres are not manufactured for sturdy roads and driving on terrains.
What are Replacement Tyres?
Replacement tyres are those that you purchase for replacing the OE tyres. They are also known as aftermarket tyres. OE tyres have certain limitations like off-road driving, terrain trips, and much more, which replacement tyres can easily overcome.
Due to tyre damage, wear and tear, etc., you might have to replace the OE tyres. Most people who are satisfied with the performance of OE tyres opt for them again while going for a replacement. However, OE tyres do not provide you with the driving experience that other superior quality tyres can.
A new set of replacement tyres are better than bald OE tyres that have sketchy grips, leading to skidding in wet road conditions. When you experience such a situation, you know that it is time to replace your tyres. Replacement tyres are mostly known for providing –
- Superior driving experience over comfort
- High-terrain driving and long drives
- Enhanced puncture resistance
- Longer driving life before natural wearing out
- Stronger rubber as compared to worn out OE tyres
It is expected that the replacement tyre market in India will grow at 7% to 8% this year as compared to 5% the last year. Since there was heavy rainfall last year, it has made the drivers cautious. Now, they want to replace their OE tyres with tyres which have more hydroplaning and less rolling resistance.
Should you stick with OE tyres?
It is not necessary that the OE tyres are the best tyres for your vehicle. They are designed keeping in mind an optimal performance and driving experience. The primary purpose of OE tyres is to match the fundamental characteristics of the vehicle for which they are designed.
The choice of OE tyres also depends upon other factors like the relationship of the car manufacturer with the tyre company, the location and expected usage of the vehicle, and the budget.
Since OE tyres are built to match the optimum performance of the vehicle, they are vigorously tested. You may notice that these tyres provide better fuel efficiency and are able to meet your expected performance goals.
Now, as tyre manufacturing technology is continually advancing, the OE tyres fitted in your vehicle 3 years ago might not have the same specifications. OE tyres of today and that of 3 years earlier can have a massive difference. While they deliver excellent performance, you should choose OE tyres as your replacement tyres only when you don’t have high a utility of the vehicle. They are a good choice for comfortable rides, local city rides, and infrequent long drives.
Why should you choose replacement tyres?
OE tyres are infamous for having a shorter tread life. Treads allow for less friction in the tyres and superior grip on wet and off-road terrains. With OE tyres, the problem occurs when your treads start to wear out quicker than replacement tyres.
If you want to experience the enhanced performance of your automobile, go with a different set of tyres other than original equipment when it’s time to replace. Tyres enhancements include reduced rolling resistance, improved traction, longer tread life, and reduction in noise while driving.
You can opt for replacement tyres from the OE tyre brand if you trust the performance of their tyres. It is recommended to replace tyres in a set rather than a single tyre. By replacing one tyre, you mismatch the performance level that the vehicle can achieve.
How to find the best replacement tyres?
Finding the best replacement tyres can be overwhelming since there are a lot of options available for each vehicle. Search for tyres by learning the specifications of your car or two-wheeler and what kind of tyre size they have. After that, look for tyres which are compatible with that size and can deliver your expected performance.
One thing you should note is that always buy replacement tyres that provide the enhancement you are looking for. If you want the same performance as earlier, you should stick with OE tyres. Routinely changing tyres is a good practice to maintain stability and handling while driving. You can also opt for high-end tyres that are a little expensive but provide a longer tread life than cheap tyres. Whichever tyre you select, always match their specifications with your expected performance, and you will always be satisfied while driving.