This is a summation of tire information for those not familiar with their rubber.
In here you will find information regarding tire wear, proper inflation, repairs,
and general information about tires including tips to look for when researching and finalizing a purchase.
While there are many types of tires I will concentrate my focus on performance tires,
since most of us are looking to get the most out of our cars handling.
Just like restaurants, there are good and bad tires.
Some grip more than others, and perform better while
cornering and different temperature ranges.
When looking into tire sizes there are three numbers to consider.
3. Rim size
These numbers are very important when it comes to picking a tire.
small of a width and you'll stretch the tire across the rim,
too wide and it will stick out past the lip of the rim.
Both stretching and fattening a tire can increase the likely hood of losing the bead.
ex. of a stretched tire
the numbers will appear in the same order every time. ex:
width: 245 mm
height: 45 mm
rim size: 18"
Lables look similar to this:
Load Index & Speed Rating
**Section borrowed from discounttire.com**
Load Index - "92"
The load index indicates the maximum amount of weight a tire can safely carry.
Load index ranges from 0 to 279 and corresponds with the load-carrying capacity of a tire.
Passenger car tire load indices typically range from 75 to 105.
It is very important to maintain the proper load index for your vehicle when replacing your tires.
Speed Rating - "H"
A tire receives its speed rating from the U.S. Government by meeting minimum standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed.
In general, a higher speed rating will result in better vehicle handling.
See Discount Tire's speed rating page for more information and a list of the various speed ratings.
: tires have ratings to tell you the expected tread life,
traction, and temperature performance of the tire.
on the label of the tire you will see these
**info borrowed from discounttire.com**
Treadwear - "520"
The treadwear rating is a measurement of the tire's durability, but not the projected tread life.
It is important to remember that road surfaces, driving habits, and other factors determine actual tread life.
Each tire manufacturer independently determines treadwear through their own tests.
Treadwear is not based on any one industry or government standard.
Traction - "A"
The traction rating is a measurement of a tire's ability to stop on a straight, wet surface under controlled conditions.
It does not indicate the tire's cornering ability on a wet surface or its traction on ice or snow.
Traction grades include AA, A, B, and C, with AA being the highest grade available.
Temperature - "A"
The temperature rating is a measurement of a tire's resistance to heat generation under normal operating conditions at recommended inflation pressures.
Temperature grades range from A to C, with A being highest rated and therefore most resistant to heat generation.
Occasionally an object in the road will puncture the tire. In the event of this there are a few options you can take.
Depending on where the puncture occurs a patch can be installed and the tire can be driven like normal.
Sidewall and shoulder punctures cannot be safely repaired and usually result in a 'total loss' of the tire, also known as a dead. This section CANNOT be properly patched because it flexes so much. Any patch applied in this region will leak and not be safe for use
Refer to the diagram to see acceptable repair areas.
If the tire is not repairable then it must be replaced or a spare tire installed until a new tire can be mounted in place of the old. The RMA (Rubber Manufacturers Association) sets guidelines as to what is considered a safe zone for repairs, and what should not be patched.
Most performance tires are directional, a tire designed to rotate a specific way. Directional tires usually have an arrow shaped tread and can only be rotated front to rear.
Directional tires will also have an indicator such as a stamp or an arrow on
the sidewall of the tire to let the driver know which direction the tire is to point.
Like directional tires, Asymetrical Tires have a specific way to be mounted on the rim.
These tires can rotate any direction, but they have a specific inside and outside sidewall.
Like the others, there will be an indicator stamp to let the installer and driver know which side faces inward and which goes out.
Asymetrical tires allow you to use standard rotations and give a better tread wear.
Some tires come with a stiffer sidewall that allow for a tire to be driven without any air pressure inside the tire.
These tires have reinforced sidewalls, some containing carbon fiber to help stiffen and prevent running on the rim.
Run flat tires will usually have a stamp on the sidewall that lets the driver know the tire is a runflat.
can't find a picture of a stamp but it usually says "RTF"
When looking for a strong performance tire a RFT is the way to go.
The stiffer sidewall will help maintain even tread contact and provide better cornering under high speeds.
The cons to RFT's are higher prices and a slightly rougher ride.
But remember you get what you pay for and a quality tire always makes a difference.
There are a few ways to go about rotating your tires.
The chart is pretty self explanatory.
Rotations are suggested every 4,000 - 6,000 miles, or when the first signs of uneven wear occur.
Proper maintenance helps to increase the life of your tire.
Proper inflation is the most important factor for tire life.
This link goes into detail of tire pressures and how it affects tire wear and gas mileage.
A properly inflated tire will maintain fuel efficiency and promote even tire wear.
examples of wear:
not only is pressure essential to gas mileage but where you fill your tires up is super important. Places like fill stations often don't drain the condensated moisture from their compressor tanks and all that ends up in your tires. As the pump sucks in air it pulls all the moisture with it. The moisture will condense because you cannot compress a liquid and settles at the bottom of the tank. Then when you put in your quarter and fill your tires that water escapes the tank and goes into your tires.
Moisture in tires can cause blow outs, rusting of the rim, and even erode the rubber of the tire. Not only that you can have uneven wear of your tire because the PSI will have a high deviance and the tire will inflate/deflate as you drive more or less. best solution dont use fill stations air on your car.
A large number of people spend the money on a quality tire and don't get an alignment afterwords...bad idea.
A miss-aligned vehicle will cause the tires to pull the vehicle left and right, affect braking, and cause premature wear.
Be patient when shopping for tires. Start looking before you need them,
and you may come across a deal to good to pass up.
Check online for rebates from manutactures and retailers to help you save money.
Replacement certificates are a wonderful way to insure the expensive performance tires you just bought.
They, in a case where the tire is damaged and not repairable, allot the customer a free tire replacement.
I highly recommend replacement certificates.
Also know your driving style. Buy a tire that fits your needs,
and don't settle for something less than what you expected.
If your an avid driver looking for a tire that won't break loose in a turn,
then get something that suites your needs.