What’s your favorite thing about driving? Is it the feeling of freedom when you’re cruising down the highway, or is it the sense of accomplishment you get from negotiating a tricky turn on a winding mountain road? Whatever it may be, there’s one thing that we can all agree upon: tires are important. Without them, cars wouldn’t move at all!
Tires create traction and help provide stability for your car as well as its occupants. It’s worth taking some time to learn more about how they work and what to look out for during their lifespan so that you’ll know when it’s time for new ones. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything so that we can make sure our tires are in good shape for the long haul and tire choices you can make if you’re buying new ones.
How Long Does a Tire Last?
Although some people assume that they should replace their tires once every six years, manufacturers don’t recommend this at all! You should change them out before they reach the 6/32nds-of-an inch wear mark, which indicates when a tire is so worn out that it may be unsafe to drive.
If you keep up on your tire maintenance, the treads will last even longer. You should always rotate them every 5,000 miles and keep your car in alignment to reduce excessive wear.
Your tires also won’t have as much traction if you have a flat, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for any bulges or cracks. If you spot them on your tires then bring them to your auto mechanic in Edmonton or tire store for an inspection.
Different Tire Types
The tires designed for the particular class of vehicles are generally engineered to deliver a smooth and quiet ride, reliable all-season traction, and long tread life. Thus, tires for trucks and SUVs differ significantly from those used on family sedans.
Different tire manufacturers develop different technologies to make the best use of available real estate within a tire’s sidewall. For example, one company may develop a solution that utilizes space more effectively for improved fuel economy, whereas another may prioritize all-seasons traction for improved ride quality.
Here are a few of the different types of tires you’ll find on today’s cars:
These have low pressure and don’t actually need air to drive, but you can only use them for limited distances.
All-season tire /snow tires
Made from a softer rubber compound, these provide a better grip in all kinds of weather. However, season tire won’t last as long or handle as well. All-season tire are a good choice for most people.
Made for speed, these tires provide a smooth and quiet ride but will wear down faster.
You’ll find these on tractors, heavy machinery, and similar large vehicles. These tires are made from a solid rubber or plastic material.
Tires are designed to be used on any type of road, but they’re specialized for off-road use. These tires have larger tread blocks and more voids between the blocks compared with all-season tires.
Terrain tires are usually made from a softer rubber compound than winter tires that enhance grip over sharp rocks and other rugged terrains.
These are made from a hard rubber compound that wears out more quickly than winter tires. Tires with lower tread should not be used in extremely cold temperatures as they offer less grip – that’s why it’s important to have the right amount of traction!
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How to Check Your Tire Pressure
The best way to know if your tires are in good condition is to check the pressure with a tire gauge. You want to make sure that all four tires are at the right level, but some tires will naturally lose air over time. It’s important to keep an eye on their levels so that you don’t get caught off guard by a low tire.
The maximum amount of tire pressure allowed will be listed on a sticker inside the driver’s side door jam. You’ll also want to check if your car is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) – these systems detect when there’s a problem and alert the driver.
Here is a Step by Step Guide to checking your Tire Pressure
Step 1: Raise your car’s hood or trunk and locate your tires’ valve stems.
Step 2: Use a tire pressure gauge to check the PSI (pounds per square inch) of each tire. You should use the same pressure for all four tires, but you can always adjust the front and rear tires separately if you’d like.
Step 3: If one tire is under-inflated, add air until it reaches the recommended pressure according to its size (as indicated on a label inside its doorjamb). The taller the wheel rim, the higher you’ll want to set your psi; lower rims require less pressure. Never exceed 40 psi in any of your wheels—this could lead to blowouts!
Step 4: Check your tires’ tread depth and look for signs of uneven wear. When half of the tire’s grooves are worn away, it’s time to get new ones.
If you’re in doubt, take your car to a mechanic or an automotive store for a proper inspection.
Every car tire is more than just a rubber bracelet that you wrap around the rim. Each one holds a wealth of information that you should decode before you buy.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important parts of a tire sticker.
Tire Size and Rim Diameter
The size refers to the diameter, width, and aspect ratio of your tire (with aspect being how tall it is). So if you have an 18-inch by 6-inch tire with a 45-series sidewall, the tire aspect ratio would be 45.
Tire Load Index and Speed Rating
The speed rating tells you how fast a tire can go safely up to its maximum load capacity. This should always be higher than your vehicle’s top speed (the normal highway limit is 130 mph). The load index indicates how much weight a tire can bear without risk of damage or failure. It’s important for both safety reasons and simply because replacing 4 tires can be costly.
Construction Type, Tread Type, and Tread Width
Some tires are built with reinforced sidewalls to carry more weight and/or perform better in certain weather conditions. Other tires are designed for purely aesthetic purposes. In fact, some new cars have extra-wide tires equipped to make them look tough off the assembly line.
Sidewall Construction, Maximum Inflation Pressure, and Size Designation
The sidewalls of your tire present an important set of information. Some may be reinforced or double-lined for extra strength; others are made from a special rubber compound that can resist high temperatures. The maximum inflation pressure is usually listed in bar/psi, but you can easily convert it by dividing by 14.7 (the number of pounds per square inch in one atmosphere).
Safety Standards Compliance and Manufacturer’s Information
New cars need to meet certain safety standards when they’re sold in North America. Tires with small letterings, such as “P” or “DOT,” have passed these tests. If you see an “M+S” (mud and snow) on your tire, it means that the rubber has been designed to resist certain road elements.
Additional tire information is present in the form of percentages
- 60% – indicates how much of the tire is made from synthetic fibers vs. natural ones (for example, cotton)
- 90% plus – states how much of the tires’ tread is new material after a wear test was performed during manufacturing
Finally, look for any signs or stickers left by a manufacturer or vendor which may indicate additional quality certifications or warnings such as low-pressure recommendations.
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