Learning About Tires And Rims
About Me
Learning About Tires And Rims

Hi there, my name is Wesley. I created this site about tires and rims to help you properly equip your vehicle with the right combination. The tires and rims you install on your car directly influence its overall appearance and stance. Furthermore, drivability issues are usually caused by the wrong combination of tires and rims. I will talk about the methods you can use to make sure you are buying the right items for your car with every upgrade. I hope you will visit my site often to learn all you can about this fascinating and important auto subject. Thank you for coming by.


Learning About Tires And Rims

Your Tires Determine Your Safety

Cindy Harvey

Only four small patches of rubber are between your car and the road. These small patches are what keep you safe while driving at high speeds on the highway. Here is how your tires were built to do this job and how to know when you have a tire safety problem.

Safety is in the Tread

Layers of rubber, fiberglass and metal make up the typical automobile tire. This gives tires their shape and allows them to bend and flex with the various stresses encountered on the road. The design of the outside part of your tire, the tread, continues to evolve to improve its gripping of the road. Your tire tread is made up of four important elements including:

  • Lugs - As they say, this is where the rubber meets the road. The lug is the part of the tire that actually touches the road surface. This is the part that wears down as you drive. When the lug wears down too much, your tires are unsafe to drive on.
  • Voids - This is the space between the lugs. The lugs flex and twist as you drive, grabbing the surface to keep the tire securely on the road.
  • Grooves - These open channels across the tire route water away from the bottom of the tire. Instead of riding on top of the water (hydroplaning), the tire pushes the water out of the way.
  • Sipes - These look like small cuts made across the tire and are additional channels for moving water out of the way. They are helpful in rainy climates and are often done at your request at the tire shop.

Tire Design and Safety

All of the four tire components work together to keep you safe. When the lug wears down beyond a minimum level, the tire can no longer grip the road effectively. You have a higher risk of slipping on the road surface. As the lug continues to wear down to the bottom of the grooves, you'll end up with a bald tire that has little gripping power and a high risk of hydroplaning on water. Check your tires often so you know how much tread you have working for you. Here are the major ways to inspect the tread:

  • Wear bars - Your tires have a small rubber strip extending across the tire that indicates the minimum lug you need to be safe. If your lug has worn down to the level of the wear bar, it's time for new tires. Don't let your tire wear down further because the wear bar will wear down with the lug so you won't be able to tell what the minimum safe level is.
  • Copper penny test - If you have a penny handy, put it into the groove so Lincoln's head is down. You'll be able to see the top of his head if the tire has worn down beyond the safe limit.
  • Wear gauges - Tire shops have different gauges they can use to test your tire safety. Most shops will do a free tire inspection for you.

Check your tire tread monthly, or whenever you fill up with gas, so you'll always know just how much tread your tire has, and how safe you will be while driving your car. If you have specific questions about your tires, talk with someone at a shop like Dial-A-Tire Inc to learn if it's time to replace them.