10 Things Every Car Owner Needs to Know About Car Tires

Tires are a vital part of a vehicle as without these, people cannot go to any place they wish. Tires make the vehicle go. However, tires need proper care and maintenance as they deteriorate over a period of time. Without proper maintenance, lives can be put at stake when using dilapidated tires.

What do you need to know about car tires?

With almost everyone owning cars, they make sure to take care of them very well. Car maintenance prolongs the life of the car as well as improve performance. Tires make sure the vehicle moves, especially if it’s on the road already. When tires function well, they prevent road accidents and ensure the safety of the passengers.

car tiresRead through this article as The Auto Warehouse shares 10 things that every car owner needs to know about their tires.

How to know its size?

Most cars provide handbooks that contain vital information about the vehicle. At times, car manufacturers put a sticker on the driver’s door that shares some car details like the tire size. Owners may try looking at the door opening or the glove box to find this piece of information. Otherwise, check the tires attached to the vehicle to know their size.

Deciphering the details

Some tires use a combination of letters and numbers to signify their size. Fortunately, here’s what every car owner needs to know in order to decipher them.

P210/60R15 87S

  • The letter at the beginning of the combination, “P,” refers to the tire as a passenger-car tire.
  • Following it, the three (3) numbers tell the width of the tire.
    • In this case, it’s 210 millimeters wide or 210mm.
  • After the width, the next two (2) numbers tell the height of the sidewall. However, most of the time it’s shown as a percentage of the width. Most call it as the aspect ratio.
    • Here, 60 means 60% of 215. Hence, the sidewall is 126mm high.
  • The letter right after the height indicates the manner of the tire construction. With this tire, R means that the tire consists of several layers or rubber layered radially.
  • After the letter, it’s followed by “15” which signifies the measurement of the rim diameter. It could either be inches or centimeters.
    • In this example, 15 means 15 inches.
  • The last two numbers indicate the load index which refers to how heavy a tire can carry.
    • Above, 87 means the tire can carry around 1200 pounds.
  • Lastly, the “S” means speed rating. For this tire, it has a top speed of 112 mph.

Different types of car tires

There are different types of vehicles for people to choose from, such as light trucks, sports utility vehicles, crossovers, and sedans. The same goes for tires. Different tires exist for different types of weather, terrain, and even depending on what the car owner needs.

Here are the following types of car tires:

All season

All season tires give its users a smooth and calm ride for different kinds of weather. Their primary material consists of rubber which stays flexible even when the weather is hot or cold. This type of tire gives enough traction when driving through light snow. However, owners may need to use a different kind of tire for more snow accumulation – at least one (1) inch or more.

Hence, for those who reside in places with heavy snow during winter, it’s best to use snow tires rather than all season tires.

All terrain

For car owners who drive on rocky roads, choosing all-terrain tires is a good option. These tires produce more noise than the other tire types while driving on well-paved roads, however, they give more traction than all-season tires. They function best on sandy roads, dry roads, wet roads, and even snowy roads.

Driving through the woods becomes easy with all-terrain tires as they grip well on dirt paths. However, these may not work well with muddy roads. Car owners may need to choose mud tires for those kinds of roads.

Snow

Snow tires handle more inches of snow than all-season tires. The tires have bigger spaces between the tread blocks, extra siping, and softer rubber that makes the tires grip stronger on roads. Moreover, snow tires can be used not only during winter but also during fall and spring.

However, a tire using soft rubber wears down quickly, especially with temperatures above 45 degrees. Traction gets affected. Other car owners put rubber or metal studs in the tread to help acquire more traction. In some states, metal studs are considered to be illegal.

Mud

Adventurous drivers go to different kinds of places. Some go to rocky and mountainous areas while others wrestle with the sand dunes. Others go to muddy places. Before reaching any destination, most drive to a drop-off point first.

Mud tires and all-terrain tires have a poor grip on pavement, make loud noises, and wear out faster. Also, car owners must not use them on snowy roads and icy surfaces as it may cause accidents.

Performance

Performance tires, sometimes known as summer tires, give better traction in both kinds of weather, dry and wet. They work better than all-season tires, however, they stiffen when it’s cold. These, too, are prone to accidents during snowy conditions and wear out faster than other tires. Also, they get damaged by bumpy and rocky roads.

LT

Vehicle owners who transport heavy equipment and cargo need light truck (LT) tires. These use thicker rubber that manages extra weight well even when driving through bumpy roads and potholes.

Overinflated tires vs Underinflated tires vs Uneven tires

 

Overinflated Underinflated Uneven
Results in blowouts faster Destroy tires inside-out Accident prone
Reduced traction on the road Decrease in fuel efficiency Steering problem
Bumpy car ride Prone to flat tire Suspension problem

 

Car tires form a vital part of the car. Without proper care, these deteriorate easily. On the other hand, when car owners choose the right kind of tires, their tires last longer. The Auto Warehouse continues to share these tips and offer their services to all car owners out there!

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