Let’s face it, as drivers we’re all guilty of this. We take our car tyres for granted, assuming they’re fine and giving little thought to them. You’re not the only one. Until the day we need to replace them, tyres are very easy to overlook.
And when the day comes, the vast majority of people have little or no idea of which tyres to buy or why. There’s a vast array of tyres to choose from, with so many confusing price points and usually unthathomable jargon to contend with. There’s no doubt that it can be bewildering. So what’s the best way to go about buying tyres?
One option is to choose the same tyres that came with your car when it was new. In our latest tyre advice article, we introduce you to “Original Equipment”, what it is, and why it can help you make the right tyre choice.
Okay, so what exactly is “Original Equipment”?
We promise that this is the only bit of jargon you’ll read in this article. Put simply, Original Equipment – OE – are the tyres selected by a car manufacturer for a specific vehicle, and which are fitted to the vehicle when it’s purchased new.
OE tyres have to meet very strict performance and safety criteria, all of which are set by the car maker. All tyre manufacturers compete for OE status, because they want their tyres to be the Original Equipment on new cars when they roll off the production line and into the dealerships. This is fantastic for drivers, since the competition to be chosen drives tyre innovation and tyre safety.
Undoubtedly the leading provider of Original Equipment Continental Tyres. Automotive manufacturers prefer their premium tyres so much that one in every three new cars that roll off the production line in Europe are then sold fitted with their OE.
It’s not surprising really, considering their unrivalled wealth of tyre manufacturing experience and expertise. Continental invest vast sums of money year after year into research and development (R&D). As a result it’s a tyre brand that’s highly trusted by car makers.
What makes OE so special?
In an incredibly painstaking process that can take anything up to four years to complete, tyre manufacturers like Continental work hand in hand with the world’s leading car makers to produce precisely the right tyre for a specific vehicle model. Typically, this process involves around one hundred different attributes which are determined by the key characteristics of the car and are unique to each vehicle model.
Think about all that variation! For instance, there’s a world of difference between the performance specifications and expectations of a Skoda Fabia and a Porsche Cayenne. Undoubtedly both are excellent vehicles, but each has its own distinctly different set of characteristics and attributes. For example, one requires tyres to enhance fuel efficiency and comfort, while the other needs them to support ultra-fast acceleration. We’ll leave you to figure out which is which… hee hee.
Joking aside, while OE tyres are all developed with safety as the paramount consideration, they’re also designed to bring out the variety of characteristics you’ll find amongst the wide array of different vehicle types currently available on the market. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the tyres on a brand new car aren’t there by random accident.
This is why when it comes to replacing your tyres, at Asda Tyres we recommend doing so with those that your car came with in the first place. Why? Because you’ll have peace of mind knowing that they will continue to bring out the best characteristics in your car; That they’re the safest option; And that you simply can’t go wrong with the vehicle manufacturer’s original choice.
Okay, sounds good, but how can I tell if my tyres are OE?
Alongside the brand name (e.g. Continental) and the product name (e.g. “ContiPremiumContact 5”), there is more information that’s provided in code, some of which tells you which car make and model your tyre is specifically made for. Have a look at this table to help identify your vehicle manufacturer.
Manufacturer OE Key
Audi A0, A01
Audi quattro RO1, RO2, R03
BMW / Mercedes *MO
BMW / Mercedes Runflat *MOE
Land Rover LR
Mercedes-Benz MO, MO1
Mercedes-Benz Runflat MOE
Porsche NO, N1, N2
Simply put, if your tyres have one of these codes you know it’s Original Equipment, designed in collaboration with – and approved by – the vehicle maker.
Unsure about OE? Seek professionals advice
At Asda Tyres we know from experience that purchasing OE tyres is a sensible choice, but ultimately the tyres you choose to buy will depend on the vehicle you have, how much you drive, and where and how you drive. With this in mind, it makes sense to get expert tyre advice if you’re unsure. Our tyre professionals can offer you impartial, expert advice. Click here to live chat to one of our experts, or find you nearest fitting station.