Learn To Read The Tire Label Correctly

 

 

Despite taking some time between us, the European tire label is still unknown to many drivers. However, knowing it is fundamental, given the importance that information has for the consumption and safety of our vehicle.

 

In 2012, the European Union established the obligation for tire dealers and manufacturers to include labels on their products that contained the efficiency parameters of their products. A labeling that is also serving to eliminate those less efficient tires from the market, as it shows that in 2014 the distribution and sale of tires with worse ratings according to this standard were prohibited.

However, despite the time that has elapsed, there are still many drivers who do not know what these labels mean and what information they provide when it comes to finding the best tires for our vehicle. So for you to be informed, we will explain what data this label offers us. A label that, currently, must be attached to any tire that we find in the market, as well as be available if we are dedicated to buying tires online.

 

How is the label

The tire label has a certain resemblance to the label that accompanies the appliances we see today in any store. Specifically, in it we find three different parameters such as efficiency in fuel consumption, efficiency when braking in the wet and the level of noise or loudness of the tire. Each of these parameters is measured by different scales, which we analyze in detail below.

 

 

 

Consumption efficiency

The first parameter found on the label is the fuel efficiency of the tire, located in the upper left part of the label. This parameter is measured by a scale very similar to that of household appliances, ranging from letter A (the most efficient) to letter G (the least efficient). However, currently only tires rated A to E can be sold in the EU, with F and G tires being banned.

The fuel measurement is based on two parameters such as rolling resistance and tire deformation, which shows a loss of energy in the use of the tire. Therefore, the greater this deformation and the more rolling resistance the tire offers, the greater the fuel consumption of the tire. As a reference, the use of class A tires means an estimated saving of about 240 euros of fuel compared to the use of class E tires throughout the life of that tire. Something that also influences the fuel emissions generated by the tire in use, which are also lower in case the tire is more efficient.

 

Braking efficiency

Another important aspect of the tires, which demonstrates their safety, is their wet braking capacity. This situation is one of the most risky during driving, since wet braking implies a greater slip on the road than it would be in dry conditions, also having the risk of losing control if aquaplanning occurs.

This parameter is also measured with the alphabetical scale already mentioned, from A to F, although with the proviso that D is not used in tourism tires, being reserved for industrial vehicles. To assess the efficiency of the tire with respect to this parameter, the braking distance of a vehicle equipped with the corresponding tires that travel at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour and that performs wet braking is measured.

In this case, if the distance is 38 meters or less, the tire is rated A. From here, each letter represents an increase of 4.5 meters in that distance. Thus, class B tires brake at 42.5 meters, while class E tires do so at 51.5 meters. Regarding the difference, a class F tire, the worst for passenger cars, would brake 18 meters ahead of what a vehicle with class A tires would. A distance that can make the difference between safe braking and an accident.

 

 

 

Tire noise level

The third parameter that these labels evaluate has to do with the level of noise generated by the tires during taxiing. An aspect that influences both the external noise pollution generated by the tires and the level of noise that the driver perceives when driving.

This parameter is measured directly in the laboratory and expresses the result of said measurement in decibels. Regarding the symbol that accompanies this value, it indicates the difference with respect to the limit value allowed for the corresponding type of tire. In case the generated noise is equal to or less than 3 decibels at that limit value, the icon shows two waves on the tire. If the generated noise is less than 3 decibels below the mentioned limit, the icon shows a single wave. Finally, if the noise is greater than the set limit, then the icon shows three waves.

It is important to know that the European Union already plans to ban three-wave tires, for not complying with the corresponding limits in terms of noise generation established by current legislation. However, as with the tires with higher fuel consumption, this will take time, as well as their corresponding moratorium, so that these louder tires will still be among us for a few more years.

 

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TIRE RECYCLING, KEY TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Last update: 13.11.19

 

 

Tires are essential parts for cars, trucks and other vehicles to circulate. However, when these tires stop being used they become an environmental problem. Luckily, there are currently many options with which to take advantage of those tires and avoid the pollution they generate.

 

Tires out of use are a problem for the whole society. The consumption of these car parts is considerably high, especially in vehicles such as trucks, buses and other public service vehicles, which require frequent changes. These changes, together with those we make passenger cars, total about 300,000 tons of used tires a year, which must be recycled and treated properly so that they do not become an environmental problem. Especially since there are not a few users who only care to buy the best car tires , without worrying about what happens to their old tires.

 

The Signus system

In order to recycle out-of-use tires, what is called a comprehensive management system has been established in Spain. This system is called Signus and is responsible for collecting and guaranteeing the proper treatment of these out-of-use tires in an ecologically responsible manner. A task that is not altruistic, but we all fund when buying new tires through a fee, which serves to cover the system expenses. As a reference, each new tourist tire pays a fee of 1.18 euros while one truck pays 8.80 euros.

In exchange for that rate, this manager is responsible for the collection and treatment of those tires out of use. A process that is paid both with the aforementioned rates and with the sale of those by-products that are obtained from the tire recycling process. An aspect in which technology continues to advance, in order to achieve better results and benefits. The good news is that the cost of these rates has been going down for a couple of years, which shows that the system is increasingly working better, both in its collection capacity and in the subsequent uses it obtains from the by-products it generates.

 

 

 

What are used tires for?

As proof of the growing versatility of this tire recycling process we can talk about two different phases. One of them is the reuse of the product used. In this process, tires that, due to their characteristics, can still be used are cleaned and evaluated. This creates an occasional market for those tires that still have a useful life as well as the generation of bases for retreaded tires. This process recovers the previously treated tire casing, to which it adds a new tread to manufacture a new tire, although using only 25% of the resources that the traditional process would need.

Regarding those tires that can no longer be used, they are transferred to processing plants in which their main components (steel, rubber and textile fibers) are separated for subsequent use.

The asset that has a greater versatility in this mixture is rubber, which can be used for various applications. Among them we have the creation of plates of this material, which can be found in playgrounds and other facilities. A material similar to that used for the manufacture of sports courts, the construction of artificial turf fields or equestrian tracks, among other uses. And if that were not enough, this material also serves to cover roofs or to manufacture other products such as slippers.

Another usual application of used rubber is in the construction sector. This rubber can be used in the paving of streets and roads, thus reducing the need to resort to tar and improving the properties of the final finish, which results in savings in maintenance costs. Something similar happens with its applications as an acoustic screen, to reduce noise, or for use in water distribution tasks, in which the tires serve as a coating for rafts. They are also useful for creating safer fenders for motorists or even for manufacturing parts directly in rubber, which would previously be manufactured with other more polluting materials.

Finally, it is necessary to talk about energy. Unused tires can be used as a substitute fuel for other fossil fuels such as coal or oil. In these uses, those tire remains are used to obtain electrical energy without the need to make major changes in the plant products. In addition, this system generates less harmful fumes than those of said fossil fuels as well as a smaller amount of final waste related to said combustion.

 

 

 

There is much to do

Unfortunately, despite all these good ideas, many of those tires end up in landfills without control and become an environmental and even safety problem. As proof of this, it is enough to remember the fire of what was then the largest warehouse of used tires in Europe, located in Seseña, between Madrid and Toledo. This illegal warehouse accumulated about 100,000 tons of out-of-use tires that burned some 88,000 tons during the 24 days of the fire, with the consequent security risk to residents and a very serious damage to the environment.

Something that can be repeated in one of the many out-of-use tire tanks that are made anywhere and without any control. It is enough to go through the vicinity of some industrial estates, on the outskirts of the cities or even take a look at the cliffs of beaches, in forests and fields to find deposits of these tires.

And there are few workshops and professionals that operate outside the Signus circuit that we have mentioned, despite being mandatory. This generates a considerable amount of illegal tires, as far as their subsequent treatment is concerned, that they end up being thrown anywhere. A problem that makes clear the need for greater control and firmness on the part of administrations when dealing with these environmental problems and punishing those responsible.

 

     

Despite taking some time between us, the European tire label is still unknown to many drivers. However, knowing it is fundamental, given the importance that information has for the consumption and safety of our vehicle.

 

In 2012, the European Union established the obligation for tire dealers and manufacturers to include labels on their products that contained the efficiency parameters of their products. A labeling that is also serving to eliminate those less efficient tires from the market, as it shows that in 2014 the distribution and sale of tires with worse ratings according to this standard were prohibited.

However, despite the time that has elapsed, there are still many drivers who do not know what these labels mean and what information they provide when it comes to finding the best tires for our vehicle. So for you to be informed, we will explain what data this label offers us. A label that, currently, must be attached to any tire that we find in the market, as well as be available if we are dedicated to buying tires online.

 

How is the label

The tire label has a certain resemblance to the label that accompanies the appliances we see today in any store. Specifically, in it we find three different parameters such as efficiency in fuel consumption, efficiency when braking in the wet and the level of noise or loudness of the tire. Each of these parameters is measured by different scales, which we analyze in detail below.

 

Consumption efficiency

The first parameter found on the label is the fuel efficiency of the tire, located in the upper left part of the label. This parameter is measured by a scale very similar to that of household appliances, ranging from letter A (the most efficient) to letter G (the least efficient). However, currently only tires rated A to E can be sold in the EU, with F and G tires being banned.

The fuel measurement is based on two parameters such as rolling resistance and tire deformation, which shows a loss of energy in the use of the tire. Therefore, the greater this deformation and the more rolling resistance the tire offers, the greater the fuel consumption of the tire. As a reference, the use of class A tires means an estimated saving of about 240 euros of fuel compared to the use of class E tires throughout the life of that tire. Something that also influences the fuel emissions generated by the tire in use, which are also lower in case the tire is more efficient.

 

Braking efficiency

Another important aspect of the tires, which demonstrates their safety, is their wet braking capacity. This situation is one of the most risky during driving, since wet braking implies a greater slip on the road than it would be in dry conditions, also having the risk of losing control if aquaplanning occurs.

This parameter is also measured with the alphabetical scale already mentioned, from A to F, although with the proviso that D is not used in tourism tires, being reserved for industrial vehicles. To assess the efficiency of the tire with respect to this parameter, the braking distance of a vehicle equipped with the corresponding tires that travel at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour and that performs wet braking is measured.

In this case, if the distance is 38 meters or less, the tire is rated A. From here, each letter represents an increase of 4.5 meters in that distance. Thus, class B tires brake at 42.5 meters, while class E tires do so at 51.5 meters. Regarding the difference, a class F tire, the worst for passenger cars, would brake 18 meters ahead of what a vehicle with class A tires would. A distance that can make the difference between safe braking and an accident.

 

Tire noise level

The third parameter that these labels evaluate has to do with the level of noise generated by the tires during taxiing. An aspect that influences both the external noise pollution generated by the tires and the level of noise that the driver perceives when driving.

This parameter is measured directly in the laboratory and expresses the result of said measurement in decibels. Regarding the symbol that accompanies this value, it indicates the difference with respect to the limit value allowed for the corresponding type of tire. In case the generated noise is equal to or less than 3 decibels at that limit value, the icon shows two waves on the tire. If the generated noise is less than 3 decibels below the mentioned limit, the icon shows a single wave. Finally, if the noise is greater than the set limit, then the icon shows three waves.

It is important to know that the European Union already plans to ban three-wave tires, for not complying with the corresponding limits in terms of noise generation established by current legislation. However, as with the tires with higher fuel consumption, this will take time, as well as their corresponding moratorium, so that these louder tires will still be among us for a few more years.


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