Tire maintenance is crucial to ensuring safe driving on the road. Tires may become worn due to friction from contact with road surfaces, causing the tread of the outer tire to wear down eventually. When the tread depth becomes too shallow, tires may become uneven, lose their grip, or develop holes, which may cause unbalance, susceptibility to skidding, and flat tires. All tires should be regularly checked for substantial air pressure to ensure that they are properly inflated; under-inflated tires can lead to excess fuel usage and uneven wear, both of which decrease the life of the tire by up to 20%, a significant loss in efficient tire usage. These factors may make for dangerous conditions while driving, potentially causing road accidents, and therefore tire maintenance is extremely important. If a thumping sound, unbalanced pull while driving, or unusual vibration is experienced, please schedule a motor vehicle tire inspection.
All Season Tires:
All season tires are the most popular type of tire due to their flexibility and adaptability to weather conditions and motor vehicles. Typically, these S and T-speed rating tires are standard on sedans and minivans, designed to handle most conditions from dry and wet pavement to light and moderate snow. These tires emphasize a comfortable and quiet ride for drivers and predict a easily maintained and long tread life. All season tires are most usually the best fit for drivers in areas not susceptible for extreme weather conditions.
All season tires are also available in ultra high performance and truck versions. Ultra high performance all season tires can be available from the sub-speed W and Y ratings to the highest speed ZR rating. These tires offer high level dry and wet grip handling, but are less optimal for snowy or icy conditions. These are a good choice for sports sedans and coupes. All season truck tires are most commonly used on SUV’s, light trucks, and light duty pickups. Like normal all season tires, they offer a comfortable and quiet ride as long as long tread wear.
Winter tires have more biting edges to ensure stronger grip on the slippery conditions that snow and ice can create. Many contain a soft rubber compound that remains flexible in extremely cold temperatures. On clear roads, they may not grip as well and cause more damaging tread wear over time, having a shorter lifespan. Winter tires should be removed when weather conditions become more moderated and dry. They can be most easily identified through a snowflake or mountain symbol on the sidewall. Winter tires should be used in sets of four for balanced handling while driving.
Similarly, high performance winter tires offer the same features, but come in varying sizes and speed ratings of V and higher. Winter tires are also starting to be manufactured in various sizes created for light trucks; however, many of these do not hold the standard government assigned grades for treadwear, traction, and temperature because they are meant for very specialized conditions and should be removed when those conditions are not present. Winter tires may also utilize external studs or tire chains on the wheel to better help with traction in slippery conditions.
Off-road tires, also known as mud tires, have unique tread patterns that are specifically designed to increase traction. The tires are built to be strong, durable, and capable to handle direct damage impacts, such as one would face in rough terrains. The tires are especially built for off-road adventures like rock climbing or camping, and are even great for mud, snow, dirt, and sand. It’s common to see professionals releasing some of the pressure in their off-road tires before a trip because it will increase the surface area of the tire touching the ground, increasing traction. However, before returning to regular pavement roads, the driver should be sure to re-inflate the air pressure in the tire.
Purchasing used snow or mud tires may be especially dangerous, because these tires may lack the necessary traction and tread to be efficient for the extreme or rough conditions of the roads they will be driven on. Please avoid buying used snow or mud tires for concern of safety.
Tire sizes do not only vary on the type of tire, but within one type of mobile, but for the type of tire has well. For example, mud tires are most popularly bought in the 33 inch, 35 inch, and 37 inch sizes. However, many all-season tires are bought in the 15-22 inch range, and snow tires in the 20-25 inch range. Tire sizes may also parallel vehicle sizes, as trucks will have larger tires to balance the weight and proportions of the larger vehicle. When purchasing a tire, a customer should have the car dimensions or specific style in mind. If you don’t know how to determine which tire size you need, take a look at our simple guide.
The used tires industry has significant demand amongst customers who are looking for a less expensive alternative to replacing vehicle tires. However, a consumer must keep in mind that used tires may have extensive wear and tear upon their treads and grip, and therefore purchasing a used tire may not guarantee a prolonged extension of tire life. Like buying a car, one should not buy a used tire without have a complete and full record of the tire’s usage or a detailed inspection of the tire’s features. Used tires may also have a concealed issue which, if not identified and fix, may lead to a potentially dangerous and fatal car accident.
Used tires may also be repurposed for non-vehicle related recreational uses, such as towards building tire swings for children’s play or to create tire runs for drilling athletes. Repurposed tires can also serve as an affordable alternative building material in the construction of rammed Earth thermal mass dwellings. This usage of used tires is beneficial towards creating individually sustainable housing, as tire bale walls have the potential to protect from certain natural disasters, such as tsunamis and tidal waves. Stacked used tires may also be used to create barriers in motor racing circuits.
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McCorkle, C. R. “Signing of Instrument to Constitute Forgery and Regulating Width of Ties Used on
Improved Roads.” The Virginia Law Register 3.9 (1918): 709-10. Web.