If you’ve ever felt your car “get away from you” on wet pavement, even for an instant, chances are you experienced hydroplaning. It’s scary at best, and can be downright lethal at worst.
Hydroplaning is what happens when your tires are overwhelmed by more water than they can scatter or channel away. The water pressure at the leading edge of the tire’s contact patch pushes water under the tire, and eventually enough water builds up that the tire loses contact with the road surface. The thin film of water between the rubber and road means a loss of braking, traction and steering control.
The first ten minutes of a light rain are actually the worst in terms of hydroplaning. In that ten minutes, the oil and rubber residue on the surface doesn’t have time to wash away, and inst ...[more]Read More
You’ve got a big set of mud tires on your truck or SUV, you should be able to go anywhere and do anything with those chunky, meaty treads, shouldn’t you? Not necessarily.
Mud tires can present several different problems when driving on snow or ice. The deep voids and chunky lugs of mud tires are designed to self-clean, meaning they eject soft mud, dirt and bits of gravel from their voids, just by centrifugal force. As tires self-clean, they have a fresh surface to bite into mud with every revolution. Think for a minute, though, about the consistency of snow that’s easy to pack into a snowball – that deep, powdery snow can easily pack its way into the voids and lugs of your mud tires and stay there, drastically cutting down on traction. When that happ ...[more]Read More
- Winter tires are designed with a rubber formulation that stays flexible in sub-freezing temperatures. That flexibility is important to traction in snow and slush, as a summer tire would stiffen and harden below freezing and compromise traction.
- Winter tires have a more aggressive tread pattern, with deeper voids to help evacuate slush and snow from the tread. They also often feature circumferential grooves to move slush and water away from the tire’s contact patch to avoid hydroplaning.
- Most tires now feature sipes, a network of tiny cuts in the tread that provide additional biting edges for tract ...[more]
We all have a toolbox in the garage or inside the house, but what about in the trunk of the car? What if you're on the road and you get a flat tire? Do you have everything you need to take care of it from the road?
It's even more important to keep some tools in the car when you're traveling a long distance because you never know what could happen along the way. Check out our list of essential tire tools to have with you at all times and you'll have a little more piece of mind every time you travel. All of these tools can be stored in the trunk or spare tire area of your vehicle.
If you need to remove nails and other foreign objects from a tire, pliers are your best friend. They also come in handy for grabbing small objects in a pinch. ...[more]Read More
A big reason why SUVs have become so popular is their versatility, especially in cold climates – even if your SUV never leaves the pavement, it’s pretty handy to have that traction when things get snowy. There are plenty of all-season tire options out there for SUVs, but we took the time to pull together some of our favorites for you:
· Michelin LTX M/S2 – Michelin’s LTX M/S2 is designed with Michelin’s long-wearing, all-season silica-enhanced tread compound, with Michelin’s MaxTouch construction. The rubber compound is molded into a symmetric tread design with stable independent tread blocks and high-density 3-D Active Sipes for all-season traction. Four wide channels, multiple lateral grooves and open slots at the shoulders help move water away from the tire’s contact patch. Internally, the LTX M/S2 features ...[more]Read More
Tread depth is crucial to your safety! Once the tires on your car get below a certain minimum tread depth, your steering, handling and traction are compromised seriously enough that your car is considered unsafe to drive. Most states cite 2/32” as a minimum tread depth, but the truth is that your traction in wet weather or snow can be treacherous long before the tread makes it to 2/32”.
Most tire brands have “wear bars” embedded in the tread grooves, at a right angle to the tread. Once the wear bars start to show through, it’s definitely time to replace the tires.
The oldest rule-of-thumb test is the “Lincoln head penny” test – insert a penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If the tread doesn’t come to the top ...[more]Read More
You may be wondering when you should get new tires…they are a big investment and you don’t want to jump the gun, right? You also don’t want to push your luck with tires that are worn-out and running on borrowed time. Here are some tips:
- Run your hands along the surface of the tires. Feel for any irregularities like unevenly-worn spots or a rippled edge to the tread (also called “feathering”). These are indicators of suspension or steering issues that can contribute to tire wear, or an indicator of tires that haven’t been rotated frequently enough. Feel for any tread separation or possible bulges or cracks in the tread surface. If you detect problems like that, the tire is in imminent danger of failure and needs to be replaced right awa ...[more]
Too much of the time, tires just don’t get a lot of thought…but they’re your sole connection between your car and the road. At no time is that connection more important than when wet weather hits. You can argue that most tires are essentially the same…polyester fabric, steel belts, compound of rubber, silica and carbon black…but there’s much more to it than that. Things like tread pattern, tread design and grooves all make a huge difference in wet-weather driving, and can improve your car’s traction and margin of safety. The enemy, of course, is hydroplaning – a film of water between your tread and pavement that can actually break contact with the road and send your car out of control.
An excellent choice for control and traction on wet pavement is the Michelin Pilot Sport A-S +, with aggressive direction ...[more]Read More
Driving a car is a calculated risk. Your car can be dependable and well-maintained with great tires and mechanicals, you can be safety-minded and have your head in the game, but you are still in control of a couple of tons of plastic, steel, rubber and glass traveling at about 80 feet per second. Chances are nothing is going to happen, and obviously you hope it won’t – most people put in their entire years behind the wheel without a serious incident. But if something does happen, you should be ready to handle an emergency. We’re not even talking about something catastrophic like a collision…it could just be a dead battery, a minor mechanical problem or a failed tire. Better to have your car safety supplies and not need them, than to need them and not have them.
- Jump Starters – Nothing’s more disheartening than getting behind the wheel, turning the key and hearing the engine turn too slowly to start (or worse yet, the dreade ...[more]
SimpleTire.com, and online tire distributor, has been taking a proactive approach to inform customers of the latest tire recalls. Recently, both BF Goodrich and Uniroyal released recall notices on some of their tire lines. SimpleTire.com has been working with customers to get the recalled tires removed from the vehicle and replaced with a similar product.
BFGoodrich Tires is recalling the LT235/85R16 120Q LRE Commercial TA A/S and the LT245/75R16 120Q LRE Commercial TA A/S. They are recalling tires with a DOT fo BF0RJD11; for the LT235 in periods inclusive of 13th week of 2012 to 29th week of 2012. And a DOT of BE11JD11 and BF11JD11 for the LT245 in periods inclusive of the 13th week of 2012 to the 3rd week of 2012 and the 13th week of 2011 to the 52nd week of 2012.Read More