As the only contact point with the road, your tires are one of the most important parts of your car. It is vital for safety and efficiency that they are properly maintained and regularly checked for damage.
It is a legal requirement for tires to be in safe driving condition and to be replaced once worn down. Changing tires can be expensive, but with tire payment plans from reputable companies like Tire Agent, this can be overcome.
Knowing how to tell when tires are ready to be replaced is vital for any driver. Some damage is obvious and requires immediate attention, but general wear can be more subtle.
There is also some more key information that every driver should know about their tires. Knowing this will help ensure replacements are correct and allow driving to be as safe and efficient as possible.
Need to know tire facts
- Tread depth
The most vital detail any driver should know about tires is the safe and legally mandated minimum tread depth. As tires wear, this should be regularly checked in order for driving safety to be preserved.
Tread on tires should be a minimum of 1.6mm (2/32 of an inch) at all road contact points. The width of a coin is a simple guide for when the tread is too worn and replacement is due.
Each tire has a recommended level of inflation or, to use the technical term, maximum PSI (pounds per square inch). For average road cars, this is likely to be a number between 30 and 50, though there are exceptions.
Tires should always be inflated to, and maintained at, a pressure as close to this number as possible. Over-inflation causes uneven wear, poor road contact, and reduced grip; under-inflation reduces fuel efficiency, increases wear, and lowers control.
In order to purchase correct replacements, drivers need to know the specifications of their car’s tires. This information also helps prevent overloading a vehicle or traveling at speeds that might jeopardize tire safety or efficiency.
This information comes in the form of a tire code similar to P 215 / 65 R 15 89 H. P means “passenger vehicle”, 215 represents the width of the tire in millimeters, and 65 is the aspect ratio.
R shows the tire is of a radial construction type, and 15 is the wheel diameter measured in inches. 89 and H refer to standard charts which show the maximum recommended load and speed for the tire.
With this information, every driver can understand how to check, maintain, and replace tires for maximum safety and driving efficiency.
There are also some other interesting facts it might be useful, or fun, to know about tires.
- Carbon black
The natural color of rubber is white, so most car tires were originally much lighter than they are today. Tires only turned black after a stronger and more durable compound called “carbon black” was added in the early 1900s.
- Dress for success
Tires are not called tires because they were invented by Mr. Tire, their name comes from a more linguistic root. Tire is actually a shortened form of “attire” meaning dress, to add a tire is to dress a wheel.
- The biggest
Believe it or not, the largest tire in the world is around 80 feet long and weighs 12 tons. While not in service on a vehicle, it is currently in use as a Ferris wheel at Allen Park, Michigan.
- Life after service
Around 6.8 million tires are produced every single day around the world, which is a lot of rubber. Fortunately, after their use on cars, most tires can be repurposed to help make fuel, roads, shoes, and playgrounds.
Tires are, quite literally, one of the most important things for keeping our daily lives running. Knowing just a few important things about them will help keep every road journey safer and more efficient.
At regular intervals, and before every long drive, always check your tires are safe and properly inflated. Then, when it is time to replace, always make sure you purchase the correct tires from a reputable tire supplier.