Does your driving style affect how your tires wear and hold up? You better believe it does.
If you put a lot of interstate miles on your car, that’s about the easiest thing you can do for the tires and your car’s drivetrain both. Tires and engines both love maintaining steady speeds for hours on end (provided the tires are at the correct inflation).
Here are some things that are likely to compromise your tires’ life, though:
- Frequently hauling heavy loads (especially for pickup truck tires)
- Frequently pulling a trailer
- Hard cornering
- Hard acceleration
- Taking potholes, railroad tracks and bumps at high speeds
It’s not surprising that heavy loads or trailer use would wear out tires prema ...[more]Read More
Soooo…it’s time to replace the tires on your late-model car. Maybe you weren’t that crazy about the original equipment (OE) tires, or you just want to try something different. Well, here are some things to consider.
The engineers and design teams that worked on your make and model of car selected a specific brand and model of tire for it. All of their formulations for ride comfort, handling, steering response, traction, noise and vibration isolation, roughness and overall performance used that specific tire as a benchmark (of course, the bid process for tires entered into it as well). A luxury car might have been designed around a grand touring tire with a quiet ride, an eco-friendly hybrid might use a low-rolling-resistance tire, ...[more]Read More
Rubber is a porous substance, and tires will inevitably lose some air over time due to seepage. Tire pressure is something that’s neglected by many drivers, as an “out of sight – out of mind” sort of condition. Low tire pressure, however, costs money in terms of increased rolling resistance and poorer gas mileage. Tires that are habitually run low on air also wear out prematurely, due to heat buildup and an uneven wear pattern.
The good news is that it’s an easy problem to fix.
For 100 years, tires have used the same valve design (known as a Schrade valve), identical to the valves on bicycle tires. They’re still the same design because the Schrade valve does its job well and there has never been a need to improve on it.
- Don’t rely on the ...[more]
You’ll notice that the stamp on your tire’s sidewall specifies inflation for HOT tires. Why is that?
Pretty simple physics, really. Gases expand with heat, meaning both the temperature of a friction-heated tire and ambient temperature of outside air. A rule of thumb is that for about for about every ten degrees Fahrenheit change in air temperature, your tire’s inflation will fluctuate by about one PSI. In most parts of the United States, the difference between winter and summer temperatures can be as much as a 50-degree spread, meaning a potential fluctuation of five PSI. That’s not even thinking about the 20-degree spread between hot afternoon temperatures and cooler nighttime or early morning temperatures in summer.
Tires that are low by 5 psi will hurt traction, steering re ...[more]Read More
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
For most drivers, all-season tires are exactly what they need, with an internal design, rubber formulation and tread design that maximizes traction and performance in either dry or wet conditions. All-season tires are year-round, without the need to change tires in winter or summer, making them a logical choice for drivers worldwide. Here are some of our picks for great-performing all-season tires:
- Michelin Primacy MXV4 – Michelin’s Primacy MXV4 has a 60,000 mile treadwear warranty and is designed to Michelin’s Green-X standards for low rolling resistance and environmental friendliness. The Primacy MXV4 uses Michelin’s MaxTouch Construction™ design for even weight distribution across the tire footprint ...[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
Mud terrain tires have to do more than just look tough – they have to get you into the rough places and get you back out again. Mud terrain tires typically have an aggressive tread and deep lugs with self-cleaning bars to eject mud and stones. They also usually feature a rubber compound that’s suitable for off-road or on a dry highway, and extra layers of steel belts and nylon reinforcement in the tread and sidewall to resist punctures and cuts from rocks and other obstacles. In other words…mud terrain tires are just tough tires that mean business once you get off-road!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
“What kind of tire do I need?” We hear this question pretty often, and there’s no pat, easy answer for it. We can help you go in the right direction, though.
Obviously, you want tires that are going to get the best traction in dry, wet or wintry conditions, for starters. Chances are you’ll also want good ride comfort, treadwear and noise control. Those factors will will drive some of your decision just by itself (and we will get into that in a minute). You may have a vehicle with lots of miles on it or a vehicle you may not want to hang onto for much longer, so you might decide for a less-expensive set of tires or ones with less of a treadwear warranty.
What kind of vehicle do you drive? Sedan, sports coupe, light truck, minivan, SUV? What’s ...[more]Read More