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CAR FACTS
Tires/Wheels

Different types of rubber are used in the manufacture of tires. Softer rubber is used for summer or when the tires need better traction, for example, in auto racing.  Tires made out of harder rubbers are made for long lasting performance. Tires come in different sizes and have different tread patterns.

Each tire is marked with 3 numbers; for example, 225/60R16. The first number is the width in millimeters of the tire at the widest point when it is mounted and inflated. The second number is the sidewall (side of the tire) height as a ratio or percentage of the width. The last number is the wheel diameter in inches.

Example:

Tire size: 225/60R16   

Tire width = 225mm

Sidewall height = 135mm (225 * .60 = 135)

Wheel diameter = 16 inches

Tire Maintenance

Make a habit of checking the air pressure in your tires when you stop for gas. You'll need to know the proper air pressure required and have a tire gauge. You can find the tire pressure information in your owner's manual or on the side edge of your car door.

Check the pressure several times to ensure you're getting an accurate reading. Checking to be sure your tires are properly inflated can help to prolong their life, especially since they tend to gradually deflate over time. When your tires are properly inflated, tread wear will be minimized and tire life extended. Proper tire inflation can also help improve your gas mileage.

However, keeping your tires inflated correctly isn't the only thing you need to do.  You should also rotate your tires on a regular basis.  Be sure to check the owner's manual for proper rotation patterns as improperly rotating your tires can damage them. And, since potholes can do some serious damage to the alignment of your wheels, regular wheel alignments are recommended as well.

Tire Damage

Most tires today do not have a tube inside of them. There are grooves in the wheel that allow the tire to be mounted into place and hold air pressure.  Getting a leak in a tire is a fairly common occurrence.  The most common cause is a hole from a nail or screw. This can usually be fixed by patching the inside of the tire so that it can hold air again. However, if the hole is close to or in the side of tire, it cannot be patched. This is because the sides of the tire flex to support the weight of your vehicle as it moves. A patch would not be able to handle that stress.

Damaged wheels can also cause tire problems as a crack in your wheel will not allow the tire to hold air.  If you suspect that your wheel may have sustained damage in an accident or from hitting or sliding into a curb, have it checked.

Tires need to be changed after the tread has worn away. Driving on worn tires is very dangerous. It can lead to loss of control or blowouts.  Don’t risk your safety or that of others!  When the time comes to replace your vehicle’s original tires, try to select replacement tires that are the same size.

Portions retrieved from "http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire"

 

 


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