Snow Tires VS Studded Tires
Remember studded tires? Tires with noisy metal studs driven into the tread? They’re pretty hard to beat for traction in really extreme winter conditions. If your area regularly gets ice and heavy snow, if you live on a hill or out in the country where roads are seldom plowed, or if you have no choice but to put in a lot of miles in winter driving conditions, studded tires (or “studdable”) may be the thing you’re looking for. Remember, though, that studded tires aren’t legal in some states, so do your homework before making that decision.
But let’s talk about “snow tires,” or winter tires. They’ve come a long way in the last few decades…the old truck-style snow tir ...[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
Tires are something that many drivers take for granted…but they shouldn’t. Tires are as big a part of your car’s overall safety as anything else. These are all things to keep in mind when it comes to tire safety:
- Proper inflation – Underinflated tires will cost you money in premature tread wear and increased rolling resistance (which means a hit on your gas mileage). Worse than that, though, underinflated tires will compromise your vehicle’s handling and steering, and can dangerously overheat on hot days or long trips. Modern radial tires won’t begin to show signs of deforming until they are at least 30% low on pressure, so just eyeballing a tire won’t tell you if it’s underinflated. Rubber is porous and even brand-new tires lose air, so make a poi ...[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]
Tire inflation is something that is neglected by many drivers, and it’s easy to understand why. Modern radial tires deform very little until they are drastically low on air pressure. A tire can be as much as 30% underinflated and still look completely normal. But why is proper inflation so important?
- Underinflated tires have increased rolling resistance, which can affect fuel economy.
- Increased rolling resistance will also lead to overheating, which can be downright dangerous and possibly cause tire failure on a long highway trip.
- Underinflated tires will affect your car’s steering, drivability, ride and handling. If your car’s steering seems heavy and clumsy, or if your vehicle is pulling to one side ...[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]
Article by Wil Yeo
Car enthusiasts often replace the factory supplied standard wheel and tire set of their car to look different or sportier from the standard factory model.
If you want to give your car a new look and you are considering changing your tires, you need to decide first what kind of look you want for your car as well as their suitability. In addition, you will also need to decide the wheel size that you want to put on your car.
Do you want a different wheel size or the same wheel size? Do you want a wider or a taller wheel size, noting that wider wheel rims cater to wider tires for your car. Bigger tire means having better acceleration and cornering ability on dry pavement. Taller rim fits with a lower profile tire enabling you to retain the same overall tire diameter.
The next thing that you need to consider is the style that you want for your car’s wheels. In this aspect, your decision is purely subjective. You can ...[more]Read More
Tires are part of the backbone of a car, truck, piece of construction equipment or bicycle. Tires add traction, braking, steering and load support to vehicles while also absorbing shock and creating a smooth and comfortable ride. They are o-shaped parts that can be pneumatic or solid and fit around the wheels of the vehicle to protect the wheels and add to their effect. A solid tire consists of rubber, metals and plastic parts.
In the past tires have been made of steel and sometimes even iron and were placed on wooden wheels. They were used for carts and wagons. The steel or iron was melted in a fire so it could be easily molded onto the wooden wheel of the cart or wagon. As time has gone on the advancement of tires has done the same, becoming more developed and safer.
There are tons of different types of tires, all of them bringing different features to the table. There is the all-season, all-terrain, spare, run-flat, off-the-road and mud and road tires. Al ...[more]Read More
A regular health check is essential to maintain the safety of your car, and spot any problems that may arise from time to time. It is highly advisable that you run a standard test of various vital mechanical elements of your car periodically. Also, it ensures the best chance of your survival in an accident. Regular health checks can spot problems as soon as they become apparent. They also help you save on the mechanic’s bill.
Periodical health checks also ensure that your car is in top roadworthy condition. They minimize the chance of mechanical failure whilst you are driving. The most basic check you should conduct is a break test. Before testing the brakes ensure that you are safely ahead of any cars behind. Then apply relatively firm pressure to the breaks. This would help you get a feel of the responsiveness of the break pads. If you find that breaking is getting slightly sluggish, there can be considerable erosion of the break pads. In this case, it ...[more]
Check your battery. Cold weather is tough on your car’s battery. The chemical reactions required to generate power in a car battery slow down in extremely cold temperatures. At 5 degrees F, a fully charged lead-acid battery has only half its rated amp-hour capacity. On top of that, during cold weather, your engine requires more current from the battery in order to get the engine started. Combine less power output with more power requirements and you get a car that won’t start on a cold winter morning. So have a mechanic run a battery load test to see if you need to replace the battery. Even if you don’t, he’ll check for and clean up any corrosion he finds on your posts and connections. The mechanic might also fill your battery with distilled water if needed.
Change your wiper blades and refill your wiper fluid. You need to see the road to drive safely, but the build-up of winter precipitation and salt on your windshield can greatly reduce visibi ...[more]Read More