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
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]
Get a look at your tire sidewall and you’ll see information molded into the rubber, in the form of raised letters and numbers. We’d like to explain to you what that information means, so let’s break it down:
- Load Index – The load index is a reflection of the maximum weight that is safe for a tire to carry. The load index numbers range from 0 to 279; passenger car tires are usually in the 75-105 range. When it’s time to replace your tires you’ll want to pay close attention to those numbers.
- Speed Rating – Speed rating designations are assigned by the U.S. government, and are an indicator of minimum standards for accelerating to and holding a certain specific speed. The higher the speed rating number on a tire, the better a v ...[more]
Those of us who live in cold climates often need tires specifically for winter driving, which then need to come off the vehicle in the warmer months. Did you know there are requirements for storing winter tires? Here are some do’s and don’ts to prolong their life:
· If a vehicle is in storage for months on end, don’t leave the weight on the tires for lengthy periods. Either put the vehicle on jack stands or take it out and drive it once a week or so to flex the tires and disperse the inner chemicals and oil within the rubber compound.
· Avoid commercial “tire dressing” products. Tire compounds are designed to resist dry rot, ozone cracks or weather checks ...[more]Read More
Although picking out new tires can be a daunting endeavor, there are two important pieces of information you can identify that will greatly ease the process. First, you must recognize exactly what it is that you need most from your tires. This means that before you even begin to establish a list of criterion that make up the perfect tire for you, you must be aware of exactly what kind of road issues and driving conditions your tires will be faced with. Be it varying road surfaces, a majority of city driving, high speed driving or other high performance requirements, identifying this need is a definite necessity. Second, you must find a reputable or trustworthy source to purchase your tires from. If you have had a bad experience at a particular shop, you are better off trying a new one than returning to the old one and giving them repeat business. If you suspect that a tire dealer may be placing his bottom line ahead of your best interests then you should feel free to shop around ...[more]Read More