Tires 101: What You Need to Know

TPMS SENSORS

  • Stands for Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • All new vehicles are equipped with this system
  • Controlled by computer in car and can be difficult to reprogram
  • The computer and sensors are very sensitive. The sensor can break or be disrupted by the slightest of changes.
  • Sensor battery dies quick
  • The metal on the sensors tend to corrode from salt, sand, snow, and breaks very easily. Even a simple tire pressure check can break a vulnerable sensor
  • Expensive to replace

RUN FLAT TIRES

  • May be driven on while flat
  • Must keep run flats on a vehicle that came with them due to potential safety issues
  • Car with run flat tires do not come with spare tires
  • Typically seen in high end vehicles

LUG NUTS AND STUDS

  • Studs can stretch, corrode, and strip over time
    • Stretch: Metal can lose its shape, durability and stretch when it is handled over time. This is particularly true with wheel studs because they are thin and are constantly being handled due to years of pulling tires on and off for replacement or rotation.
    • Corrode: Like any metal, wheel studs can corrode or rust due to salt, sand, and wet weather conditions. This corrosion can eventually cause the stud to break.
    • Strip: Wheel studs can lose their shape and threads (similar to Stretching) from putting on and taking off lug nuts over time.
  • Because of the 3 major concerns above, it is important to re-torque your vehicle’s lug nuts after 50 miles of tire replacement or rotation to manufacturer’s specifications.

DRY ROT

  • Due to age and weather related issues, such as sun and dry heat
  • Can also be caused from not using vehicle and allowing tires to sit in the weather conditions
  • Can be dangerous if not dealt with in time

SPEED RATING

  • Tires have speed ratings to describe the top speed capabilities of the tires
  • When replacing tires (not in a set of four) you should try to match the speed rating of the tires that are staying on the car.
  • If a car has a performance package, tires will come with a v, w, y, or z speed rating and should be kept with them.
  • Higher speed rating tires offer better performance and handling to match certain vehicle needs

SNOW TIRES: 2 VS. 4

  • Should always have 4 snow tires
  • Having two may cause an accident due to lack of traction
  • Two snow tires will not perform correctly if you need to maneuver quickly
    • Only putting two tires on the front of a vehicle can cause the vehicle to fish tail if driver needed to stop or maneuver quickly
    • Only putting two tires on the rear of a vehicle can cause the vehicle to lose its steering traction.

TIRE TIPS

A & B Tire Customer Care Tips

Tire Maintenance

Tire maintenance is very important to ensure, tire longevity, tire safety and the best performance of your vehicle. Here are some good practices to make sure you are being a safe as possible.
  • Should rotate every 3,000-5,000 miles or every 6 months (if not driving a lot)
  • Should have a 4 wheel alignment once per year
  • Should maintain air pressure and check tire pressure monthly
  • Should be inspected by a tire expert if there are any concerns

Impact Breaks

Impacts break are when the tire’s inner structure or build has been broken or made weak
  • Caused from hitting curb or pothole
  • Older tires are more susceptible to get impact breaks
  • May cause a bubble, if so, the tire needs changing right away
    • Bubbles are caused when the tire’s steel belts have been broken. Air is slowly leaking into the tires construction, creating what looks like and is an air bubble
    • The bigger the air bubbles are, the more dangerous they can be. They may pop unexpectedly. Do not touch, stand close or allow children near the damaged tire. You should bring your car to an expert as soon as possible and have them inspect and replace the tire
  • May cause sidewall damage or immediate blow out
  • Most sidewall damage may be very dangerous and can never be fixed.

Importance of Tires

  • Your vehicle needs good tires for optimal traction, performance, and safety
  • Quick maneuvers such as stopping in rain can easily become dangerous without proper tires