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Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
9:24 AM 18th November 2019

Time To Get Retyred

Regular readers will know that I recently purchased a 2003 Mazda MX-5. In generally good condition, bar a wheel arch rust bubble or two, the car came with plenty of service history. This shows caring ownership and is always a good sign.

It was therefore something of a surprise to fully inspect the tyres and to find that not only were they in poor condition but were also of unknown make. Cheap but not cheerful.

With winter fast approaching and having experienced some decidedly wayward handling in the wet, it was time for new rubber.

After a quick chat with my good friends at Kumho, a set of high performance ECSTA HS51s were sent to HiQ tyres in Skipton for urgent fitting.

The ECTSA is a premium tyre, designed to deliver motorists maximum comfort and the highest level of safety performance.

It has a solid rib-type design for improved wet road braking and four prominent circumferential grooves for optimum water displacement and wide lateral ones for enhanced wet weather steering.

Always efficient and helpful, the new tyres were fitted with the minimum of fuss and the car given the once over whilst in their custody. New rear pads and discs are now on the list of to-do jobs when finances allow.

Driving away from HiQ on a typical soggy autumn day, the improvement was immediately noticeable, so much so that I took the long and scenic route home.

The nervousness that had plagued the MX5 had gone and now with matching tyres on both axles, the car felt better balanced.

I had hoped that ride comfort would improve, but it was not immediately apparent. I will experiment with the tyre pressures and see if this helps. However, I suspect a previous owner may well have changed the original shock absorbers for something a little more hard core.

Expect to pay around £55 fitted for 195/50/15 rubber as per my Mazda, a veritable bargain in my books. It begs the question why an otherwise well cared for car had been fitted with such poor-quality tyres. False economy in my humble opinion – four small contact patches of rubber are all that stands between safe progress or an unexpected excursion into the surrounding countryside.

I would suggest now is the time to check your tyres for wear and tear. If in doubt, get the professionals to take a look and replace where necessary.

I will report back once I have covered some meaningful miles in my now Kumho-shod Mazda, but so far so good.

For more details of Kumho’s range of tyres: www.kumhotyre.co.uk