With winter approaching fast, it’s a good idea to talk about tires and what you need to know about them. We here at Trojan Auto Care understand that you probably know most of what we’re going to talk about, but it all bears repeating as we head into cold weather and slick roads. Your vehicle’s tires are a crucial safety feature, and if there is something wrong with them, you could easily lose control of your car during one of Troy, OH’s famous winter storms. Tire 101 class is officially in session!
Tire Materials, Ratings, and Indexes
Modern automobile tires are made of natural and synthetic rubber, fabric, wire, and chemical compounds, including carbon black. Tire tread consists of rows, valleys, and sipes. These three things help vehicle tires funnel water through the grooves and cut through ice and snow. This is what keeps the tires’ grips on the roadways in any weather, warm and dry or cold and wet.
Compressed air is used to inflate automobile tires, and each tire is assigned a specific psi or pounds-per-square-inch. The different automobile makes, models, and types also take different tire sizes, anywhere from 14 inches to 22 inches on average. When shopping for new tires, consumers should take the tire size into account – it’s not wise to put the wrong sized tires on your vehicle – as well as the following
- Load Index: This tells you how much weight the tire can carry.
- Speed Rating: This tells you how much speed the tire can handle.
- Tire Type: This lets you select the best tire for your driving conditions.
To discuss the latter bulleted point further, tires come in several types to give drivers a selection based on their preferences. For example, those looking for a more comfortable ride and all-season traction might select touring tires, whereas those looking for high-performance in wet weather and when driving fast might select a performance tire. It depends on what you expect out of your tires.
Another important aspect of tires is air pressure. Underinflated or overinflated tires not only wear down unevenly but also make driving difficult. Keeping the recommended air pressure for your vehicle in the tires is important to extend their lifespan and prevent tire tread damage. Maintaining your tires is also crucial to your safety and their lifespan. Preventative tire maintenance includes
- Checking the air pressure every other gas fill-up
- Rotating the tires every 6,000 miles
- Balancing the wheels every 6,000 miles
- Aligning the wheels every two years
All of these things help you get the most out of your tires and keep you safe when driving on any road but especially on slick and icy winter roads. Stop by Trojan Auto Care today if you need your tires inspected. Our shop is located in Troy, OH, and you can schedule an appointment.