Last-minute tyre fitting for the Renault Avantime in anticipation for the trip to Paris. Okay, I’d put on a cheap set of fronts just after I bought the car in order to keep things safe and legal for our trip to France last November. But in reality, I was saving up for a set of Michelin Primacy 3s for the car, thanks to plenty of excellent experience with these over the years – and I know it’s silly, but French tyres on a French car really seems to be the way to go.
And on Christmas Eve my set of 225/50 WR17s turned up at the office. At £160 each (fitted), they’re not the cheap option, but I know from my experience on various Citroens over the years, as well as the longevity we’ve had from the Michelins on our MINI First, I think it’s a case of getting what you pay for.
Sadly Christmas got in the way of fitting them straight away, so it wasn’t until this morning, and with a trip to Paris looming, that I finally managed to get them fitted by the Peterborough branch of Brake and Service World. It took a while to get the new rubber fitted to the Renault alloys, thanks to surface corrosion on the inside faces of the wheels (maybe I should be concerned about that enough to book it in for a wheel refurb).
But once out of the fitters, and the tyre releasing agent had burned off on the first roundabout (oops), the difference between old and new was as astounding as it always it. There was more feel through the steering wheel, the ride felt more compliant, and the first puddle I hit didn’t have me closing my eyes and clenching in fear.
Tyres: black, round, and a trifle dull. My my goodness, they make a difference!
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.