Tires are a car’s best friend, and as such, we need to learn how to respect them and their importance. Some may look at tires and think of them as nothing compared to the complex mechanical systems that a vehicle, but tires are everything to a car and can be the difference between having control of your vehicle and losing it. So, it is about time you learn everything you never thought you would need to learn about tires in Cincinnati and more.
Why are Tires so Important?
Just to state the obvious, yes, tires are important because without them a car won’t move. That being said, there is so much more to them than that. Here are just a few ways tires play a vital role in the health and performance of your automotive.
The tires on a vehicle function as a support, an absorber, and a navigator while on the road. Clearly, each and every one of these is an essential function that keeps the car safe and at peak performance, so tires must be in the best condition possible if you expect a smooth, safe ride.
What are the Types of Tires?
There are tires for every type of vehicle and road condition. Here is a look at the basic types of tires you will see on the everyday vehicles you drive:
All-season tires are made for versatility while maintaining a comfortable ride. This will be the tires that you will generally find on your everyday street vehicles in regions that undergo drastic season changes.
Winter tires are best for climates with a lot of snow and icy roads.
Summer tires are ideal for hot days and dry streets, but many summer tires also offer a fair amount of wet resistance just in case though.
Passenger based tires are more about getting from point A to point B than they are about being able to handle power.
Truck tires must be able to handle massive loads and provide plenty of support and braking force.
Off-road tires will be able to perform on even the toughest trails that contain deep mud, loose soil, slippery rocks, or any other force of nature.
A spare tire is not an end solution, but they are essential to have in case of emergencies as a fill-in that is good enough to drive on for a couple of days until you find a permanent replacement.
When to Get New Tires
Tires can least a good three to four years for the average driver, but sometimes we need a more exact way to know when to get new tires. Here are just three common ways you will be able to figure out if it really is time or not.
Exterior Wear is Visible
Cracks on the side wall, bumps and blisters on the surface, and unusual tread wear patterns are all visible signs that a tire is on its last leg. Some of these will be clear as day, but others will be difficult if you are not trained on what to look for. Treadwear patterns in particular can be difficult without a guide.
Excessive Vibrations or Bumping
Vehicles will vibrate to a certain degree while in motion, but when that vibrating becomes strange or excessive, especially when traveling over 50 mph, can be a sign of tire issues. This is also a possible sign of misalignment, an issue with shock absorbers or tie rods.
It Doesn’t Pass the Penny Test
The penny test is one of the most simple and efficient ways to check the well-being of your tire treads. All you have to do is take a penny with the head of good ‘ol honest Abe upside down and facing you, put it right between the tread blocks, those little groves, of the tire. Look at it at eye level, if you can’t see the top of Abe’s head then congrats because your tire still has some life in it, but if you can see it then that means they are worn down, and it’s time to go get them replaced.
How to Change a Tire
Picture this; you are driving home late one night from a work conference that took place a hefty distance away from your normal commute. You are cruising down the highway with not another car in sight when suddenly you feel bumping and immediately pull off to the side. You notice your tire is flat as a pancake and that are in the middle of nowhere in a strange area at night. You hurry to call someone, but the phone is out of service and about to die. Tired and scared you panic as you have no idea how to get yourself out of this situation.
Please do not let this be your fate by making sure you are always prepared with the right knowledge and equipment to change your own tire. You will need to always be sure you have a working spare and jack in your vehicle at all times, and then you can easily get started on changing a tire if the unfortunate ever happens. Here is the easy 10 step process:
- Check your owner’s manual for any helpful and relevant information
- Locate the position to mount your jack, typically this is between the tire and the door on the underside of the car
- Crank the jack so that is just barely touching your car, but do not start to lift the car up yet
- Head over to the tire, locate the lug nuts, and remove the hub cap
- Begin to loosen the lug nuts, but do not completely remove them with a lug wrench which should be in your car (a socket wrench will also work if you have one)
- Now you may begin cranking the jack so that it lifts the car
- Completely remove the lug nuts, followed by the tire
- Carefully align your spare tire and fasten one lug nut to hold the tire place
- Finish fastening the resting of the lug nuts in place
- Lower your car and tighten the lug nuts once again.
The spare tire will last you a couple of days but you should head over to your local tire provider and get a new one as soon as possible.
Everyone needs a little help now and then, and who doesn’t love a good list of fun and easy tips. So, if you’re looking for tires, here you go:
- Always buy all four tires at once if you can to prevent confusion and save some money down the road. (At the very least buy tires in pairs of 2)
- Never be cheap with the tires you choose, just make sure you buy the right ones
- Sometimes the original tires are not the best tires for the job, so don’t just assume and do some research on your specific vehicle and location needs
- Performance-based tires will wear out faster
- Comfort-based tires are less agile
- Consider buying two sets of tires in order to give your all-season tires a break for at least one season
- Tires are not as maintenance free as they seem, and even new tires should be carefully monitored for tire pressure loss at least once a month.
Now that you know the basics of tires, you can finally feel secure as a more aware driver. Everyone needs tires eventually, and if you are looking for tires in Cincinnati or anywhere else, you should now feel proud knowing that you are well educated on the subject. The wheel is the greatest invention in the history of mankind, but we are finally beginning to perfect that concept.