Knowledge Center

    1. Air Pressure
    2. Are budget tires safe? Yes!
    3. Avoiding Rubber Cracks in Your Tires
    4. Break in your new Tires
    5. Comparing Price Vs. Value When Tire Shopping
    6. Contact Patch – Where the Rubber Meets the Road
    7. Easy Ways to Measure Tread Depth
    8. Hydroplaning and Tires
    9. Identify Your Tire Size / Reading Tire Markings
    10. Installing Your Wheels and Tire Packages
    11. Is it okay to put Passenger Tires on your Truck?
    12. Load Range/ Ply Rating Identifications
    13. Low Rolling Resistance Tires
    14. Mixing Tires
    15. Mounting and Balancing
    16. Mounting New Tires on your Alloy Wheels
    17. Original Equipment (OE) Tires
    18. P-Metric and Euro Metric Tire Sizes
    19. Performance description
    20. Plus Size Tires
    21. Purchasing Used Tires
    22. Register Your Tires online on Tires-Easy
    23. Repairing a Flat Tire
    24. Run Flat Tires
    25. Selecting the Right Tires
    26. Sidewall Bubbles and Sidewall Separation
    27. Sidewall Markings
    28. So why are budget tires so cheap?
    29. Spare Tires
    30. Specific Mileage Warranties
    31. Speed Rating
    32. Speedometer Accuracy when you change your tire and wheel sizes
    33. Storing Tires
    34. Studdable Tires
    35. The Law
    36. The Life of a Tire
    37. Tire Flat Spots: Why is there a thump in my ride?
    38. Tire Age and Wear
    39. Tire Blow-outs
    40. Tire Clearance
    41. Tire Construction
    42. Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Mandate (TPMS)
    43. Tire Pressure: Effects of Altitude Change
    44. Tire Tread
    45. Tire Vibration and Balancing
    46. Tire Warranties
    47. Tires with Rim Protection
    48. Trailer Tires
    49. Ultra High Performance Tires
    50. UTQG: The Uniform Tire Quality Grading System
    51. Wheel Alignment and Balancing
    52. When Should I Replace My Tires?
    53. Why are Tires Black?
    54. Why do some people fill their tires with Nitrogen?
    55. Winter tires (also called snow tires)

      Air Pressure

      As you probably know, regularly checking your tire pressure will increase both the life of your tires and the way they perform. The immediate benefit: increased safety. The long-term benefit: they last longer and you save money.

      Over-inflation can decrease traction and may cause rapid and irregular wear.
      Under-inflation can damage the tire structure itself, and it also creates wear.

      Maintain the air pressure recommended by your vehicle manufacturer or the tire manufacturer.
      Tires are quite remarkable. They stay pliable and comfortable and grip the road for tens of thousands of miles. Proper air pressure allows the tire to function as designed.

      Are budget tires safe? Yes!

      We get a lot of questions about the budget tire lines here at tires-easy. Some are made in China, others in Indonesia, Taiwan, and Eastern Europe. Some have funny names. But these are great tires, or we wouldn´t be selling them. Budget tires are often a fantastic deal for the cost. They are generally manufactured using American or European technology, although some Asian tire manufacturers have now developed their own technology, and they´ve built state of the art factories. Even the most famous high-end U.S. and European tire manufactures make some of their tires in Asian factories. All tires we sell meet and exceed DOT standards (U.S. Department of Transportation). You can see customer reviews of their tires on the consumer tire review website:

      Avoiding Rubber Cracks in Your Tires

      Don't let your tires wear down before they have to! Protecting your tires from cracking will enhance the life longevity of your tires. Tires are some of the most vulnerable consumer products on the market. They must hold up under harsh weather conditions, extreme friction, road debris and heavy weight. Tires are designed with chemical compounds that maintain strength. Still, certain conditions cause them to wear down faster than necessary.

      Over time, tires naturally break down as they are exposed to the elements. As tires spin around and around, they stretch and pull against the road. Eventually they begin to lose some of their elasticity. They become stiff and vulnerable to rubber cracks. Small cracks will begin to develop along the sidewalls and at the base of the tire's tread. Shallow cracks are considered to be harmless; however, if the cracks begin to deepen beneath the outer layer of the rubber, it's best to have the tire replaced.

      There are preventative methods to help reduce tire rubber cracking. One of the biggest causes of premature cracking is too much exposure to the sun's heat. Keeping your vehicle parked indoors, or keeping it covered outside will definitely help prevent rubber cracks. Driving without the proper air pressure in your tires can also stretch your tires out, which causes them to age, as the rubber quickly breaks down. Excessively washing your wheels and tires with certain chemical cleaners will also dry tires out, making them vulnerable to cracks. Lastly, it's important that you USE your tires! If you leave your vehicle parked for long periods of time without use, it will diminish tire elasticity. Tires need to be used and stretched frequently in order to maintain the flexibility that keeps them from becoming stiff and cracking.

      Break in your new Tires

      You might be surprised to learn that you should take a little time to break in your new tires. It's a good idea to be extra careful for the first 500 miles. Please drive cautiously even though you might have the urge to do quite the opposite because of your new tires. No careening around turns. No jackrabbit starts.

      For two reasons:

      During the manufacturing process, a small layer of lubricant is painted on the tires so they won't stick to the tire mold. By the time you get those tires, a small amount of that lubricant will still remain, and that small amount can reduce traction until it wears off.

      Also, when your tires are new, their responsiveness will probably be a little slower than your old worn out tires. That's because new deeper tread depths compress and hold the road tighter than your old tire. That slows your tire's reaction by a small amount.

      You should always be careful behind the wheel of your car, but for the first 500 miles you should be extra cautious.. By then the lubricant should be gone, and you will be more accustomed to the way your tires respond,

      Comparing Price Vs. Value When Tire Shopping

      It's pretty typical to be in the dark when it comes to choosing tires. There are a ton of tire brands in the tires-easy shop, and most of them offer quite a range of styles and pricing. You're probably asking yourself whether or not it's worth it to spend extra money on high-end tires, or if you'd be perfectly happy going with a less expensive option. Your car or truck will likely be running on the tires you choose for a few years at least. Considering price vs. value is important in figuring out what will work best for your tire needs.

      You probably think that higher priced tires last longer than lower priced tires. This, however, isn't always the case. Scientists, for example, have designed specific microscopic compounds of ground silica that they impregnate into the tire rubber. This technology is applied to certain performance tires to increase tire performance by allowing tires to get a better grip on the road, gracefully corner at faster speeds, and hold performance integrity in both cold and warm weather. In fact, all-season tires and winter tires also have high silica content so they don't harden and get brittle in icy weather. This technology offers better performance because silica adds a soft quality to tires, which means that tires with a higher silica content can actually break down quicker then all rubber tires. For example, the highest priced tires for sports cars allow for maximum performance by really grabbing the road, but you can guess what happens if they grab the road closely. They wear out much faster. So in that case, the consumer spends much more money for a high-quality product that only lasts a short while, but believes it is worthwhile for the added performance.

      Rubber compounds alone also vary with price. Even if you're not choosing between a tire with or without silica, the rubber compounds of the tire can drastically affect tire quality and price. Higher priced tires are usually thicker, offering more durability for people who tend to be hard on their vehicles.

      With all this in mind, carefully considering your own personal vehicle needs, driving style and budget will help you select tires that are right for you vehicle.

      You can't always judge tire quality by its price. Tires-easy offers many tires at great prices because we buy overstock on the spot market at exceptional prices, and we buy high quality tires from brands that are new to the market and haven't yet spent a lot of money on advertising and publicity. When you search for a tire on the tires-easy website, make sure you read the tire description to learn more about the tire.

      Contact Patch – Where the Rubber Meets the Road

      The “contact patch” is that specific few inches of your tire where the rubber meets the road. It’s your tire’s footprint, the only part of your tire that happens to be touching the road at any given time.
      And that footprint’s shape greatly affects the way your car handles.
      A high performance tire, for example, is generally wide with a low profile, and so its contact patch tends to be a long horizontal strip on the road. That means more stability when driving, and more traction and responsive handling when cornering, especially in dry weather
      Why? Such a tire has a wider grip because that long rubber contact patch has more surface area to grab the road.
      That doesn’t mean everyone needs high performance tires. Most passenger tires are designed quite differently, with a contact patch that’s long and thin instead of wide and narrow. While that deemphasizes handling response, it increases comfort and produces quieter tires with improved wet weather traction and better driving on snowy roads.

      Easy Ways to Measure Tread Depth

      Naturally, you want the tread on your tires to be at healthy depth. Your car will drive more smoothly because your tires will do what they were designed to do: grab the road around turns, stop quickly in an emergency, and perform safely through uncompromising weather conditions. To make sure that you a have an adequate amount of remaining tread, there are two easy ways to check your tires tread depth. These two methods can both be performed at home in minutes.

      The Gauge Test:
      To obtain a tire tread depth gauge, try a car parts store or ask your local certified technician for assistance. Tread gauges are inexpensive and user friendly. Insert the gauge into different parts of your tire tread. Measure the outer and inner portions to re-assure that the tire's tread wear is even.

      When reading the results on your gauge, make sure you have at least 2/32" of tread life remaining. That's the law. Twice that much , 4/32", is a lot better. After all, why keep driving on your tires when they're at the very lowest point of what's legally allowed? The tread can only wear away further from that point, to below the legal safety limit

      The Coin Test:
      Simply place a penny in the grooves of the tire treads or pattern. Make sure the face of Abraham Lincoln faces downward into the grooves. If you can still see Abraham's face, chances are you need to replace your tires. If at least half of his face is hidden in the groove, the tires should be safe to drive.

      Perform this test on several spots on the tire's tread for a good estimation of your tires remaining tread life.

      Hydroplaning and Tires

      Be careful not to hydroplane on the road! Hydroplaning, also called aquaplaning, is often the cause of serious road accidents. As a driver, it's important to take every precaution to avoid losing control of your vehicle in the rain.

      Hydroplaning happens when layers of water gather between the rubber tires of your vehicle and the road's surface. No more traction. No more brakes, steering and acceleration. Suddenly, your car is now water skiing! As you can imagine, hydroplaning at high speeds can leave you completely out of control and in great danger to yourself and others.

      The perfect storm leading to hydroplaning is a deadly mix of vehicle speed, water depth, vehicle weight, tire width and tire tread. Slowing down your vehicle and avoiding large puddles helps to keep you safe. Having the right tires helps prevent hydroplaning as well.

      The best tires intended to prevent hydroplaning have a carefully designed tread known as directional tread design. On these tires, multiple tread grooves connect with a repetitive "V" shape. This "V" shape is used to push water out from underneath the tire, maintaining the tire tread to road contact. The "V" design forces water forward and out to the sides of the tire. This is especially effective when used on wider tires.

      Identify Your Tire Size / Reading Tire Markings

      You will find your tire size on your tire's sidewall. If you don't have a special wheel package on your car, you can also find it on our website,
      Choose Search by car model and click on the drop-down menu.

      Each of our tires are listed with a string of numbers and letters.
      Here's an example: 205/55R16 82H

      205 The tire width in millimeters
      55 The aspect ratio (height of a sidewall section divided by the tire's width)
      R The tire's construction type - in this case it's a radial
      16 Rim diameter in inches
      82 Load Index
      H Speed Rating


      You will find further information on Load Index and Speed Ratings, UTQG ratings, Winter Tires, and D.O.T. certification in other sections of the tires-easy Knowledge Center.

      The Aspect Ratio

      The aspect ratio is the relationship of a tire's sidewall section to its width. The larger the aspect ratio, the taller the sidewall. The smaller the aspect ratio, the shorter the sidewall.

      But there's more to it than just looks.

      When the aspect ratio is higher, the tire deflects more weight and the ride is softer. When the aspect ratio is lower, tires are less flexible and not quite so comfortable, but they provide quicker response.

      Vehicle Class

      Sometimes you will find vehicle class markings on the tires as well, which indicate the intended use of the tire:

      Vehicle Class Marking Explanation
      P P-metric Passenger Car tire
      LT Light Truck tire
      ST Special Trailer tire - not for use on passenger vehicles.

      Installing Your Wheels and Tire Packages

      Installing tires and wheels correctly on your vehicle, will make your every drive a pleasant and safe one. Be it directional or asymmetric tire, make sure you check and position the tire the right way. We recommend setting every wheel and tire around your vehicle, so as to avoid mistakes. You should always install the new pair tires on the rear, and move the worn ones to the front, to keep stability on wet roads. Take into consideration the advice of a fitter, in case your vehicle requires different sizes.
      Directional tires are designed to rotate in one direction only. The direction is indicated by the rotation arrow. Asymmetric tires can be used in any position on the vehicle by following wording such as 'inside' and 'outside' on the tire's sidewall.
      Directional and asymmetric tire carry markings on the sidewall which show the correct direction of rotation and identify the side facing outwards. Before installing the tires, test fit each wheel in its final position! The owner's manual must provide you with the information for tire and wheel removal. We recommend the use of a four-way wrench or a socket on a breaker bar when removing lug nuts or bolts. Take into consideration the following:

      • Always check the state of the vehicle's lug studs or wheel bolts, while loosening them, before reinstalling the wheels.
      • Wheels have to fit flat against the vehicle's hubs.
      • Do eliminate any devices such as stud clips, any rust and dirt from the hubs of brake rotors and drums. The large bolds holding Hyundai rotors need no removal!
      • Make sure the last wheel's hub centering rings have been removed from the hubs, in case aftermarket wheels have been first used on the vehicle.
      • If having drum brakes on the vehicle, verify that the wheel seats on the hub are not against the drum's outer flange or balance weights.

      Is it okay to put Passenger Tires on your Truck?

      The simple answer is no.

      It is unsafe to mount passenger tires on a light truck. Furthermore, you will find that your truck performs better with the right tires. Light truck tires are built to carry the extra weight of a loaded truck, with rigid sidewalls and heavier construction than passenger car tires. They tolerate the extra pressures on the road, when carrying a load or towing another vehicle, and they give you, the driver, far more control.

      Passenger tires are designed for comfort, lower noise, and better fuel economy. And sometimes for their looks. But they are not safe on your truck because they are not rated for the extra weight and not built for the extra stress.

      That's the simple answer, and it's a safe rule of thumb to follow.
      But there are some complications:

      Many minivans, some truck-based SUVs, and some crossover vehicles come with OE P-metric tires that were chosen by the manufacturer because they had strong enough characteristics to meet the requirements of those cars. In such cases, you have a choice when you replace your original tires: 1) you can replace them with the identical original equipment tire that was chosen by the manufacturer, or 2) you can replace them with tires that are designated light truck tires.

      There are also people who don't use their trucks as trucks. They don't haul anything. They don't tow anything. They just use their trucks for transportation. Is it okay to put passenger tires on those vehicles?

      We don't recommend it.

      If you have a truck, it is very likely that sometimes it really will be used as a truck, and you will load it with cargo. When that happens, you need the correct tires for safety.

      Load Range/ Ply Rating Identifications

      "Load range" is a term that is synonymous with the term "ply rating" and is gradually replacing it. It relates to the actual load carrying capacity of the tire. The term refers to a specific tire with its maximum load as used in specific ways. Basically it is an index of tire strength and is expressed as a letter. The higher along the alphabet (A, B, C and up), the higher its load rating will be:

      Load Range Ply Rating / Load Pressure
      B 4/35
      C 6/50
      D 8/65
      E 10/80
      F 12/95

      The load-index figures imprinted on the sidewall of the tire denote the maximum load capacity of a tire when driven at a maximum speed. The list of load indices and corresponding maximum speeds are listed below:

      Li kg Li kg
      65 290 94 670
      66 300 95 690
      67 307 96 710
      68 315 97 730
      69 325 98 750
      70 335 99 775
      71 345 100 800
      72 355 101 825
      73 365 102 850
      74 375 103 875
      75 387 104 900
      76 400 105 925
      77 412 106 950
      78 425 107 975
      79 237 108 1000
      80 450 135 1030
      81 462 110 1060
      82 475 111 1350
      83 487 112 1120
      84 500 113 1150
      85 515 114 1180
      86 530 115 1215
      87 545 116 1250
      88 560 117 1285
      89 580 118 1320
      90 600 119 1360
      91 615
      92 630
      93 650

      Low Rolling Resistance Tires

      What is Low Rolling Resistance (LRR)?

      Tires with low rolling resistance require less energy than standard tires, which increases fuel efficiency.
      The easier it is for your tires to roll, the less gas you need.

      How much gasoline will I save?

      It depends upon how you drive.
      It takes more power to push a tire from stop to go in downtown traffic than it takes to keep it going at high speeds once it is already moving. LRR tires save the most fuel on slower streets.

      Overall, you should save somewhere between 1.5% - 4.5% per gallon.
      That might not sound like much, but take a look at these figures:

      In April, 2011, the AAA auto club announced that it takes $9,000.00 worth of gasoline for the average car in America to drive $15,000 miles. They calculated gasoline at $2.88 per gallon.

      The average driver will save 3% overall on gas. At $2.88 per gallon, that is $270.00 per year.

      Chances are, however, you're not the perfect average driver. LRR saving calculations take into consideration what kind of car you drive, what kind of driving you do, and where you do it.

      Will I see a sudden increase in gas mileage when I put new LRR tires on my car?

      You will see fuel savings over time.

      Some people don't see much initial change if the tires they replace were old, bald and worn out.
      LLR tires are designed to roll easily, but they also meet all safety standards.

      LRR tires will decrease fuel consumption over time, and they meet all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety standards.

      Mixing Tires

      It is advisable not to mix different tire sizes or brand tires on the same axle, if not indicated by the tire or vehicle manufacturer, but use identical ones so as to keep the stability and safety of your vehicle.
      The mixing of snow tires with summer, all season tires, of run-flat tires with non-run-flat tires on the same vehicle is not recommended under any circumstances.

      If all tires of your vehicle get worn simultaneously, a new set of tires is required.  This is important in order to keep the handling balance that is engineered into the vehicle, while restoring poor weather fraction. You can purchase the exact same set proposed by you vehicle manufacturer, or a similar alternative. The tire size, tread pattern, compound of the tire, and the performance category should be identical as the original tires.

      Mounting and Balancing

      If you have decided to install new tires by yourself, read the below advices and have a look at "Tire &Wheel Package Installation" and "Proper Lug Nuts or Lug Bolts" for further information. The following recommendations are to be observed when mounting tires and wheels:

      • Ask a professional to carry out the installing and balancing job!
      • The wheel should have the right form and not be damaged.
      • The tire beads must be securely mounted.
      • No dirt between the hub and the wheel is allowed.
      • The lugs must be correctly torqued.
      • Make sure the wheel is securely seated on the hub.

      Balancing means the distribution of the mass of the tire around the axle when mounted on its wheel and the car's axle. Balanced tires can determine the quality of a driving experience. An out-of-balance tire can shorten the tires' durability, the life of bearings, shocks, and other suspension components. A vibration appearing at 40-45 mph increasing speed, is most likely related to speed or the fact that the tire and wheel assembly is not completely round. If this happens, contact the specialist to see, whether rebalancing will fix it.
      Only specialists should mount tires, so as to ensure safe operation. The tires should never exceed 40 psi (275 Kpa) and should be mounted only on designed diameter rims.

      Mounting New Tires on your Alloy Wheels

      Custom alloy wheels can add a lot of flash to your car, but like most beautiful things, they require extra care. That doesn't just mean cleaning and polishing, extra care should be taken during the mounting process as well.

      Any wheels that are painted, chromed, or machined are far more susceptible to scratches and scrapes than regular steel wheels. Not to mention that these wheels are made with metals that are much softer than steel, so they bend more easily.

      Some automobile tires now feature a ridge that helps shield expensive wheels from scraping against the curb. Likewise, modern mounting machines are padded to avoid scratching the wheels during the mounting process. Similarly, proper mounting machinery is specially designed to apply pressure equally to both sides of the tire at the same time to avoid unbalanced pressure that can warp the wheel.

      Find a tire mechanic with know-how and experience. For instance, it is essential that the tire beads are properly lubricated during the mounting process. If the tire beads don’t seat on the wheel at 40 psi, the tire mechanic must stop the process and re-lubricate the beads.

      Always choose a tire installation shop with experienced mechanics and an up-to-date shop.

      Original Equipment (OE) Tires

      Your new car came with tires specifically chosen by the automobile manufacturer. Those tires weren't picked just because they were the right size and a familiar brand. The manufacturer weighed the attributes of various tires and chose the best fit for your car's performance profile.

       If you have a high performance car, your tires were chosen for speed and handling. Certain touring cars are built for comfort, and the manufacturer called for tires that provide a smooth ride. Some energy efficient vehicles need special tires designed for less road resistance and better gas mileage.

      Tires are designed with various combinations of already mentioned and other attributes. When your tires need to be replaced, many people believe, it makes sense to replace them with original equipment, to give you the ride and the performance that the automobile manufacturer intended.

      Note: When you replace your tires, it is always best to put 4 new tires on your car. It is best to rotate your tires according to the manufacturer's schedule, otherwise, your tires probably won't wear at the same rate. If that's the case, it's okay to replace just the two in the front or the two in the back. For maximum safety, if you replace just two of the tires, it's best to purchase the same tires that are already on your vehicle.

      P-Metric and Euro Metric Tire Sizes

      P-Metric sized tires always have "P" at the beginning of their size description, such as P225/40 R18, while the Euro Metric tires just leave that out. Euro Metric tires are the older method for measuring tires, and began by using metric measurements for the tire's width. P-Metric tires were introduced to the United States in the late 70s for passenger cars and light trucks, and use an engineering formula to calculate the tire load capacity. This helps car manufacturers design new vehicles with tire standards.

      Euro Metric and P-Metric tires are identical in their dimensions, and have just small differences in the inflation pressure and load capacity designations. Therefore, if two tires have the same measurements, the same speed rating, and the same performance category, the two are considered the same, if used in pairings, or sets of four. Just follow your car maker's inflation pressure recommendations.

      Performance description

      This is a designation at the end of a tire size that combines the load index followed by a single letter referring to the speed rating. Using 25/40 R18 92W as an example, 92W is the Performance description, with:

      • 92 as the Load index
        • The load indices of tires for passenger cars and light trucks are typically between 70 and 110
        • An index of 80 can carry 992 pounds, 90 can carry 1323 pounds etc.
      • W as the speed rating
        • This rating is designated by a letter from M up to Z, and applies ONLY to undamaged and properly maintained and inflated tires.
        • M is for a maximum speed of 81mph.
        • S & T rated tires are for maximum speeds of 112 and 118 mph respectively, and are often used on tires for family sedans and minivans
        • V if for a maximum speed of 140 mph and can be seen often with Sports sedans and coupes
        • W & Y ratings are for more exotic sports cars and carry maximum speeds of  168 and 186 mph respectively
        • Z speed ratings is an older designation and means the tires is rated for speeds over 149 mph

      "Load range" is a term that is synonymous with the term "ply rating" and is gradually replacing it. It relates to the actual load carrying capacity of the tire. The term refers to a specific tire with its maximum load as used in specific ways. Basically it is an index of tire strength and is expressed as a letter. The higher along the alphabet (A, B, C and up), the higher its load rating will be:

      Load Range Ply Rating/Load Pressure
      B 4/35
      C 6/50
      D 8/65
      E 10/80


      The load-index figures imprinted on the sidewall of the tire denote the maximum load capacity of a tire when driven at a maximum speed. The list of load indices and corresponding maximum speeds are listed below:

      Li kg Li kg
      65 290 94 670
      66 300 95 690
      67 307 96 710
      68 315 97 730
      69 325 98 750
      70 335 99 775
      71 345 100 800
      72 355 101 825
      73 365 102 850
      74 375 103 875
      75 387 104 900
      76 400 105 925
      77 412 106 950
      78 425 107 975
      79 237 108 1000
      80 450 135 1030
      81 462 110 1060
      82 475 111 1350
      83 487 112 1120
      84 500 113 1150
      85 515 114 1180
      86 530 115 1215
      87 545 116 1250
      88 560 117 1285
      89 580 118 1320
      90 600 119 1360
      91 615
      92 630
      93 650

      The speed rating is designated by a letter from M up to Z, and applies ONLY to undamaged and properly maintained and inflated tires:

        • M is for a maximum speed of 81mph.
        • S & T rated tires are for maximum speeds of 112 and 118 mph respectively, and are often used on tires for family sedans and minivans
        • V if for a maximum speed of 140 mph abd can be seen often with Sports sedans and coupes
        • W & Y ratings are for more exotic sports cars and carry maximum speeds of  168 and 186 mph respectively
        • Z speed ratings is an older designation and means the tires is rated for speeds over 149 mph

      Speed Symbol
      Max Speed km/h
      Max Speed Mph
      N 140 87
      P 150 93
      Q 160 99
      R 170 106
      S 180 112
      T 190 118
      H 210 130
      V 240 149
      W 270 168
      Y 300 186
      ZR 240 149

      Plus Size Tires

      Why upgrade to plus-size tires and wheels?
      Two great answers: Great looks. Great handling.

      Great looks because your car shows a lot of shiny wheel and a modern, low profile tire.
      Great handling because you get a wider tire with a stronger grip on the road.

      Plus-sizing involves combining larger wheels with shorter, wider tires. For example, if your car or truck usually requires a 17" wheel, you would increase it by an inch and purchase an 18" wheel. What this means is that the tire you purchase to match must have a shorter sidewall and wider tread to support the same load and tire diameter.

      Many experts say that plus-sizing your tires can increase traction and handling. If you think about it, it makes sense that a wider tire would have a better hold on the road. Increasing by one inch is thought to provide the most benefit for the cost.

      Some people go further, and want to plus-size their wheels an extra two or three inches. Or even more. That can be dangerous.

      It's safest to stay within one inch when you plus-size. When tires are too wide, they tend to graze or float on snowy roads rather than grip, which inevitably leads to slippage. You also end up with a much shorter tire sidewall, which gives less cushion, so it makes the wheel more vulnerable to damage when driving over ordinary potholes.

      An important thing to note is that your tire's load rating must meet the minimum of your factory-specified tire. To achieve this with plus-sized tires, you may be able to change the pressure.

      Purchasing Used Tires

      Because of current economic worries, sales of used tires are booming. Unfortunately, some of those tires "boom" as well.

      The big draw, of course, is is saving mone. Buyers usually hope to find a great deal on barely worn tires. Unfortunately, the complications involved often make the experience much more trouble than expected.

      The used tire industry is largely unregulated. It's very unlikely that you'll get a warranty when you purchase a used tire. There are no real standards for selling used tires, and you could well end up with a product that is unsafe. Many used tires are repaired, repainted or patched up in a way that is undetectable to the naked eye. This makes it hard to notice if the tire is safe to drive on. Many of the used tire shops "self-regulate" leading to low standards for resale.

      Rules and regulations for the sale of used tires are in the works. Eventually there will be a certified tire system to better guarantee the safety and longevity of used tires. These inspections will combine visual and internal reviews of each tire. Currently, visual reviews are the only way to gauge a tires wear and tear. And this isn't enough to know whether or not a tire is safe.

      Millions of tires sold annually are retreaded tires. This means that tires are remade from used tire rubber. These tires are much more legitimate that most used tires. They are regulated, tested and given a brand new serial number. These tires are as close as you can get to new; still they maintain a level of environmental sustainability by reusing old tire rubber.

      If you're in the market for tires. The easiest way to be sure that you're making a safe purchase is to buy new ones. They'll last longer, perform better, and you won't be risking your life to save a few dollars.

      If you're looking to save money on new tires, try . More brands and amazing deals!

      Register Your Tires online on Tires-Easy

      Now you can register online right here, simply by clicking Register.

      Why you should register your tires?

      Once you register, the manufacturer will be able to locate you if your tire is recalled.

      Registration requires the DOT number for each tire, which can be found on the sidewall of your tire.

      Repairing a Flat Tire

      First off, don't try it yourself. Bring your punctired tire to a professional. Tire repair service is inexpensive, but it has to be done right. (Your life may depend upon it.)

      There are a few different ways to repair a flat tire. Most commonly, tires are repaired with a patch or plug. Run-flat tire actually repair themselves using a self-sealing method. (See Run-flat tires.)

      Automotive repair shops often use patches to fix tires. Usually a mechanic will take a look at the tire to first determine whether or not it's worth repairing. If the tire tread is too worn down, the mechanic will suggest purchasing a new tire. Additionally, there are other things the mechanic will consider when deciding to patch a tire. For example, is the new puncture too close to an old patch? Are there more than two patches already sealing the tire? Will the new patch be too close to the sidewall of the tire? A yes answer to any of these questions likely means that your tire is too worn down for repair, and that you would be better off purchasing a new tire all together.

      To repair a tire using a patch, the tire must be removed from its wheel. The mechanic will then mark the spot where the tire is punctured. The puncture is removed and the surface is prepared using an angle grinder. Rubber cement is applied, followed by the patch itself. Once the tire is patched up and placed back on its wheel, you must re-balance the tire!

      Using a plug alone is an easier repair method because you don't have to actually remove the tire from its wheel. Once the puncture is removed, a rubber cement coated plug is inserted into the small opening. Plugs are slightly less reliable than patches; however, they're more effective than tire sealant. How to get around that? There are products available that combine the plug with a patch.

      Run Flat Tires

      Tires have always occupied a major place in giving a vehicle's convenience and safety.
      The tire manufacturers' constant engagement in research have upgraded tire durableness and lately have succeeded in designing tires which are able, for a limited time, to maintain vehicle mobility by using standard Original Equipment and aftermarket wheels. The run flat tires offer the driver the chance in deciding where to have tire repairs made.

      It's not the tires carrying the weight of the vehicle but the air inside them. The load capacity of a tire is determined by the following aspects: the size of the air chamber between the tire and wheel, the tire's construction to hold air pressure, the amount of air pressure in the tire.

      There are three basic technologies currently available to keep vehicle's mobility when a tire is deflated: self-sealing, self-supporting and auxiliary -supported tires.

      Self supporting tires are created with a stiffer internal construction that can temporarily bear the weight of the vehicle even when the pressure within the tire is greatly reduced. So as to provide self-supporting capacity, the tires attach rubber inserts next to or between layers of heat-resistant cord to prevent the breaking of reinforcing cords in case of loss of air pressure. The bead around the edge of the tire is also specialized to grip the wheel rim such as to avoid becoming detached from the rim. Besides, they feature beads that allow the tire to strongly grip current Original Equipment and aftermarket wheels even in the event of air loss. Self supporting tires require a tire pressure monitoring system to alert the driver that they have lost air pressure so as to avoid further tire damage by failing to inflate or repair the tire. Generally, self-supporting tires provide for the vehicle to drive for 50 miles at around 50 miles per hour

      Self-Sealing tires are built to permanently fix most tread punctures. The tires contain an extra lining within the tire that self-seals in the event of a small hole due to a nail, bolts or screw up to 3/16 of inch in diameter. They provide a seal around the object when the tire is punctured and then fill out the small hole in the tread when the object is removed. This way, the loss of air is prevented from the outset such that the tire is either permanently self-repairing or at least loses air very slowly. Self-sealing tires do not require a low air pressure warning system.

      Auxiliary Supported Systems combine special wheels and tires used for Original Equipment vehicle applications. In the auxiliary supported systems, the flat tires tread rests on a support ring attached to the wheel when the tire loses pressure this type of system offers the advantage of placing most of the mechanical task, thus providing run flat capability on the wheel and minimizes the responsibility of the tire. These systems generally offer better ride quality because of their sidewall's stiffness, which can be equivalent to a standard tire, but the requirement to have both unique wheels and special tires and limit them from widespread use. Example: Michelin's PAX System wheels and tires

      Selecting the Right Tires

      It is crucial to choose an appropriate type of tires for your vehicle. Below are listed several recommendations that will help you make a good selection or tires suitable for your car:

      • All the tires on your car should be as similar as possible, so as to avoid handling problems and maintain the performance of your vehicle. For example, one end of your vehicle may not respond as fast as the other one does, thus making the vehicle more difficult to control.
      • If one tire needs replacement, it should be changed with a tire that perfectly matches the others as far as the brand, line, size and speed rating are concerned.
      • When changing two tires because of damage or worn out, the replacements must be placed on the rear axle. Choose some tires that best suit the current ones. Identical new tires would be the best choice, but others of the same type, size can fit well.
      • When it comes about replacing all four tires, you can freely make a choice from another tire category. For longer lasting tires providing a smoother ride, optimized performance, you should search for a category description that meets your expectations. If you like and wish to stick to the original type, just replace them.

      (a) The right size for your vehicle

      Switching to tires of a different size than the original equipment may have serious implications, and is not recommended.
      The most important feature of the tire you select is the ability to carry the weight of the car. NEVER undersize!
      The other thing to be considered is the overall tire diameter. A 3% diameter change is preferable for cars and vans. Sport utility vehicles and pick-ups are generally designed to handle up to a 15% oversize tire. By checking "Calculating the Tire Dimension" you can find information on how to calculate your tire dimension. A 3% diameter increase or decrease in tire diameter may look like limiting, but in many of the cases, it permits about a 3/4" change in diameter.
      We have created the Plus Sizing System for your convenience, so as to help you selecting the appropriate tire width that ensures adequate load capacity, by taking into account the diameters of the available tires and wheels.

      (b) Summer, Winter or All-season tires?

      Different driving conditions require different types of tires. To fully and successfully meet each of the driving conditions requirements - be it sunny, rainy, or snowy weather - you should decide based on a performance category. If you are going to use summer tires in the summer and snow tires in the winter, you can choose those that best meet your expectations. When selecting one set of tires for all year round, you will likely get a high quality drive all year around, however, your vehicle's capacity will be compromised under the worst weather conditions.
      For short trips, almost any tire is acceptable. If you drive your vehicle in the city or in the freeways, you will be pleased with tires that are sensitive and highly responsive. If you drive mostly on interstate highways, you will need long-lasting, quiet, and smooth tires. For fast driving on twisting roads, you should select a tire that features good handling. If you drive on autocross events, you will desire the best competition tires.
      Always balance the requirements of your driving conditions. If you get snow infrequently, you may want to select an all-season tire. If you often drive under worse weather conditions, or ones different than those you are familiar with, you should think about selecting two sets of tires. Each set will be designed to meet the particular weather conditions, and thereby fulfill your expectations under any weather conditions.

      (c) Price versus Value

      You may wonder why the price of tires exceeds the cost of fuel for your vehicle. When purchasing tires for your vehicle, you should think about the purchase as a long term investment in the quality of your drive, and evaluating the cost in terms of "tire per mile". Why? By systematically tracing our total cost, we found that the total fuel costs of 10-20 thousand miles surpass an average tire price.  In this context, it should be emphasized that the quality of your drive is very closely connected with the performance of your tires. In fact, the correlation between the overall quality of your drive and the performance of your tires is much greater, than the one between the quality of your drive and the type of fuel that you use.

      Sidewall Bubbles and Sidewall Separation

      The inner structure of pneumatic tires is complex and involves a combination of rubber, plastic, metals and adhesives to give hold its shape. When something goes wrong with that structure, you might see bubbles in your tires or you'll see that there is separation from the sidewall.

      There are three causes for this.

      1) It could a manufacturing defect, something that was done incorrectly during the manufacturing process that made the tire weaker and less stable than it should be.

      2) It could be the result of a road hazard encounter, something that the tire scraped or bumped, which put it under sudden stress.

      3) It's often caused by mistreatment of the tire from their owners, who might drive on the tires when they are underinflated, or they carry too much weight.

      Most bubbles develop over time , and they may not be as noticeable at the beginning stages. It may take up to 6 months after a bubble is born to get big enough to be noticed on your sidewall.

      Remember to inspect your vehicle's tires to prevent any further damage to take pace. Replace your tire immediately if you notice any tire deformations before operating your vehicle.

      You can also protect your tires with the tires-easy Road Hazard Policy.
      In most cases, you will be offered the chance to add Road Hazard Insurance to your order when you purchase tires from

      Sidewall Markings

      The manufacturer provides us with a lot of information on the tires' sidewalls, most related to the their basic dimensions, identifying the week of production, the materials used to strengthen the rubber, the load, and tire's maximum inflation pressures. Some other information confirms that the tires meet diverse industry standards and government regulations of the nations, in which they are used.

      The List of Used Sidewalk Markings is provided below:

      Marking display on tires-easy
      BCS Black Circumferencial Serration
      BL Blackwall
      BSL Black Serrated Letters
      BSW Blackwall
      RBT Raised Black Letters
      BSS Blackwall
      BLK Blackwall
      BSB Borken Serrated Band
      DSB Diagonal Serrated Band
      XNW Extra Narrow White
      ENWL Extra Narrow White Letters
      OWT Outlined White Letters
      OBL Outlined Black Letters
      OGL Outlined Gold Letters
      ORBL Outlined Raised Black Letters
      ORWL Outlined Raised White Letters
      OWLS Outlined White Letters
      OWL Outlined White Letters
      RBL Raised Black Letters
      BLT Raised Black Letters
      ROBL Raised Outlined Black Letters
      ROWL Raised Outlined White Letters
      RSB Raised Serrated Band
      RWL Raised White Letters
      RRBL Recessed Raised Black Letters
      SBL Serrated Black Letters
      SRBL Serrated Raised Black Letters
      SOWL Slanted Outlined White Letters
      SVSB Slanted Vertical Serrated Band
      VSB Vertical Serrated Band
      WLT White Letters
      WL White Letters
      WSW White Wall
      WSS White Wall
      WS White Stripe
      WW White Wall

      So why are budget tires so cheap?

      Of course, it´s less costly to manufacture a tire in a place where labor is cheaper. That´s one reason. But there are other factors as well:

      • The major tire brands spend a fortune on advertising and branding. You don´t have to pay for that when you buy a budget tire.
      • The major brands employ an army of salespeople, accountants, managers, telephone representatives, and every other job category that you imagine. You don´t pay for that either, since the budget brands don´t do that.
      • That said, many new brands start out cheap, but as the name becomes more familiar, the prices go up.
      There are of course all kinds of differences between low-end tires and high-end tires. If you are looking for a less expensive tire, take into consideration that the Asian brands are generally the result of leaner, more efficient operations, which partly explains their better price.

      Spare Tires

      Always carry a spare tire in your car! A flat tire can leave you stranded, especially if you're on a long drive or road trip outside city limits. Most vehicles come equipped with a spare tire and wheel. But knowing how to use your spare tire is crucial. Some spare tires are not meant to last for long distances, and some even have a maximum speed capacity. Be familiar with the limits of your spare tire.

      • A full-size spare tire and wheel is just like any of your other tires. Most people don't carry a full-size spare tire because it takes up a lot of vehicle storage space. These tires are, however, very versatile. Using a full-size spare tire allows you to operate your vehicle just as you would with your original full set of tires. You can even throw the spare tire into your rotation sequence, which helps keep all the tires lasting longer. When you go to replace your tires, you can purchase in a set of five, keeping one tire at a time stored in the vehicle in case of emergency. Full-size spare tires allow you to drive as far, fast and for as long as you like.
      • Another option is a full-size temporary spare tire. These tires accurately match the original tire dimensions, but they're usually made out of lightweight materials that won't hold up over long distances. These tires are intended for use only in emergencies as a temporary replacement.
      • The most common spare tires are compact temporary spares. They usually come from the manufacturer at the time the vehicle is purchased. These tires are specially designed to fit the vehicle they accompany. Never attempt to use a compact temporary spare on another vehicle. It could be dangerous and might damage the vehicle. The smaller dimensions of these tires require them to inflate at a higher air pressure than the rest of your tires. Compact temporary spares are meant to get you from the side of the road to a tire dealer that can replace or fix your flat tire.
      Helpful Tips

      Learn how to change your tire before you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat. Store your spare tire tool kit in your vehicle next to your properly inflated spare tire. Being prepared for an emergency is the best way to ensure a safe and easy drive.

      Specific Mileage Warranties

      Tread-wear warranties seem have a limited warranty, and the consumer has to fulfill maintenance requirements to keep them in force. The tread-wear warranty applies to the original owner and the original vehicle only. The consumer is asked for the proof of purchase and the original installation date, as well as documentation that the tires were correctly inflated, rotated, and aligned, and that worn suspension components were replaced. If the tires' worn appearance shows that they were not kept in proper condition, the tire manufacturer will reject the Tread-wear warranty.
      How do consumers receive their value, if the tires were properly maintained?

      Today, the majority mileage tread-wear warranties vary from a low of 30,000 miles to a high of 80,000 miles. If the tread depth was worn down to 2/32 of an inch in 30,000 miles on a tire with a 40,000 mile tread-wear warranty, the consumers would be offered a new set of tires of the same brand that would be discounted from their current retail price by 25% (prorating the 10,000 of the 40,000 miles of wear they did not receive). The consumer is then required to pay the difference between the warranted mileage and the mileage actually received as they purchase their replacement tires.

      If the tires wear out within 3 years from the date of purchase, the consumer is required to pay 50% of the current retail price for Bridgestone and Goodyear tires, and a proportional cost based on the number of months of actual service received vs. the 72 months (6 years) warranted by Michelin.

      Another issue some consumers may raise regarding the mileage warranties is that the tires must be worn down to the tread-wear indicators before replacement under the warranty. The tires must be at or near the 2/32 inch of remaining tread depth which is the minimum allowable legal tread depth, as when tires are "worn out." The problem the consumer may deal with is the treadwear warranty against traction.

      Speed Rating

      This rating is designated by a letter from M up to Z, and applies ONLY to undamaged and properly maintained and inflated tires:

        • M is for a maximum speed of 81mph.
        • S & T rated tires are for maximum speeds of 112 and 118 mph respectively, and are often used on tires for family sedans and minivans
        • V if for a maximum speed of 140 mph abd can be seen often with Sports sedans and coupes
        • W & Y ratings are for more exotic sports cars and carry maximum speeds of  168 and 186 mph respectively
        • Z speed ratings is an older designation and means the tires is rated for speeds over 149 mph

      Speed Symbol M Max Speed km/h Max Speed Mph
      M 140 81
      N 140 87
      P 150 93
      Q 160 99
      R 170 106
      S 180 112
      T 190 118
      H 210 130
      V 240 149
      W 270 168
      Y 300 186
      ZR 240 149

      Speedometer Accuracy when you change your tire and wheel sizes

      When you upgrade your car with larger tires and wheels, your speedometer will give an inaccurate reading.

      The speedometer was calibrated by the factory, which took into consideration the original size of the tires recommended for the vehicle. If you change new tires are now taller, their circumferences are longer. So one turn of the wheel will take you further on your new tires than on your old tires. Of course, if nobody informed the speedometer, it will register a slower speed than you are really going. Which can get you into trouble.

      You can run an easy road test to see if your speedometer is correct.

      Most freeways have mile markers that indicate the length of each mile you are traveling. The safest and most accurate way to execute this test is to have a passenger in the car with a stopwatch. Set your cruise control at 60 mph, and set your stopwatch to 00:00, when you anticipate the upcoming mile marker. Start the stopwatch simultaneously upon passing the mile marker. It should take you 60 seconds to travel the full length of that mile.

      Repeat the test for 3-5 times to be safe. If your average time is off by 5 seconds or more, your speedometer is not accurately calibrated with the tires on your car. We advise you to visit your local certified technician to recalibrate your speedometer.

      Don't forget that if your speedometer calibration is off, your odometer is off as well.

      Storing Tires

      To correctly store tires that will not be used continuously, we recommend the following:

      • Never store a vehicle with weight on its tires for long periods of time.
      • Avoid direct sunlight on tires whenever possible.
      • Clean each tire from brake dust, dirt and grime, before storing.
      • Do not apply tire dressings on them.
      • Avoid any moisture and remove as much air as practical, and place each tire in its airtight plastic bag for storing to help reduce oil evaporation and then cover the sealed bag with a Tire Tote.
      • Store white-to-white and black-to-black tires to prevent staining the white rubber, if not kept in plastic bags.
      • Stack all tires white sidewall up to allow the oils from each tire's black sidewall to migrate into the white rubber of the tire below it.
      • Keep the tires in a cool, dry places preferably in a dry basement or climate-controlled workshop to avoid hot and cold temperatures, as well as seasonal precipitation and humidity.
      • Store the tires away from sources of ozone, devices such as motors, furnace, sump pump
      • Do not store the tires near sources of ozone. Keep your tires away from the furnace, sump pump, etc.

      While tires will age somewhat regardless of what precautions are taken, these procedures will help slow the process compared to taking no precautions at all.

      Studdable Tires

      If you drive through ice and snow, you should consider studdable winter tires. Studdable tires can be driven safely and effectively with or without the studs. Even without the studs, studdable tires give great traction.

      Warning: Once you drive on studdable tires without the studs, you will no longer be able to put studs on that tire.

      Studded tires were introduced in the 1960s to allow for more traction on slick ice. They come equipped with metal holes molded into the tires. If the driver chooses, metal studs can be screwed into the holes for to cut into the ice and into the road.

      The weight of the vehicle presses the studs into the icy road for greater stability. The problem with studs is that when the road is not snowy or icy, they can cause damage by digging into the actual surface of the road. Also, because the metal studs aren't soft like rubber compound, there is less contact with the road, so it can take longer to stop with studded tires on a normal dry road.

      For this reason, many states have banned studded tires except during peak winter season. You can actually get a traffic ticket for driving studded tires during the off-season, so be careful! Always check the rules of your state.

      The Law

      1. Tires on cars, light vans (not exceeding gross weight) and light trailers must have a tread depth of at least 1.6 millimeters across the central three-quarters of the breadth and in a continuous band around the entire circumference of the tire.
      2. Tires must be suitable (i.e. of the correct specification and size) for the intended use of the vehicle.  Additionally, tires must be inflated to the manufacturers' recommended pressures.
      3. Tires of different types must not be fitted to opposite wheels of the vehicle (for example, radial-ply tires must not be fitted to a wheel on the same axle as wheels already fitted with cross-ply tires and vice versa. A two-axle vehicle must not have radial ply tires on the front axle if cross ply tires are fitted to the rear axle.)
      4. No tire must have a break in its fabric or a cut deep enough to reach the body cords. No cut must be more than 25 millimeters or 10% of the tire's section width, whichever is greater.
      5. There must be no lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial fracture of its structure, neither must any portion of the ply or cord structure be exposed.

      The Life of a Tire

      It is quite simple to establish when a tire was manufactured, by following the Tire Identification Number, which is the batch code marked on the tire sidewall referring to the week and the year of manufacture.

      As per the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requirements, the Tire Identification Numbers combines the letters DOT, and a grouping of numbers and letters with up to 12 digits, designating the location of production, tire size and manufacturer's code, date of manufacturing.

      Ever since 2000 and up to now, the last four digits of the Tire Identification Number have indicated the week and year the tire was built (2 digits indentifying the week, the other 2 the year). The complete Tire Identification Number has been generally requested to be marked on one sidewall, but according to the current regulations, the DOT and the first digits of the Tire Identification Number must be molded on the opposite sidewall as well.

      For tires manufactured before the year 2000, a three-digit code was used (first two numbers indicate the week, while the last number, the year). Tires manufactured in the 1990s may carry a little triangle (Δ) that should be found after the DOT code and identifies the decade.

      Tire Flat Spots: Why is there a thump in my ride?

      Ever wonder what happens to your tires when they just sit there, parked all day with a 3000 lb car pressing down on them?

      Flat spots happen.

      When you drive, your tires warm up, and they get more flexible. Then, when you stop and park for an extended period, the weight of the car puts a lot of pressure on the contact point, and causes those warm flexible tires to mold to the ground.

      The flat-spotting effect is stronger in low temperatures, when your tires get stiffer the longer they sit. It's also stronger on UHP and other high speed tires, which are often made with special compound and nylon reinforcement for flexibility. Low profile tires have less sidewall to support the tire and protect it against heavy loads.

      When you resume driving on your tires after the car has been sitting for a long time, especially on a winter day, you may notice a thump in your ride as the flat spot rotates with the wheel. After a short period of driving time, usually about 15 minutes, your tires will usually soften up and become round again and your ride smooth.

      What's the best way to avoid flat spots on my tires?

      Keep your tire at the correct inflation level. Most tire flat spots occur in tires that are not inflated properly.

      Don't keep your vehicle heavily loaded when parked for a long period of time.

      In unusually severe situations, you might consider jacking up the chassis of your vehicle to relieve the pressure on your tires.

      Does flatspotting ever cause permanent damage?

      In most cases, flat spots are not a long-term problem, and will go away after you drive for about 15 minutes or so.

      In some cases, especially with heavy loads, damage to the tire can be permanent.

      Tire Age and Wear

      Over the years, it has become clear that tires can" age out" as well as they wear out. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and tire manufacturers are currently studying the many variables on how long will tires last before aging out. Environmental conditions like exposure to sunlight and coastal climates, as well as poor storage and infrequent use, accelerate the aging process, but the issue of how to confirm and quantify the aging still remains.

      As a general rule, most street tires' useful life is between six to ten years. Compounds containing anti-oxidizing chemicals are used to slow down the natural aging process of rubber, so a tire that has been correctly stored for long periods should still meet the specifications and performance characteristics of a new tire. But those ten years include storage time before the tire is mounted on a car. In practice, you can generally use your new tire for one to five years, depending upon how you drive and whether the tire is properly stored when not in use. There are other factors. Some tires are designed with a more aggressive road-hugging compound, and these have shorter lives. Tire mileage, or how much you use your tire each year, is obviously a major factor as well. ??Tires that are warehoused correctly are still considered new, even after several years, and it is normal practice in the United States for both the tire manufacturers and tire dealers to sell new tires that were manufactured during the last few years. It is not until they are subjected to sunlight and heat and pressure from the environment that they really begin to degrade. In fact, after they are manufactured, if tires are correctly stored, they improve with age for a while as the rubber compound has a chance to harden further before being exposed to the rigors of the road. However, we now believe that there are limits to how long a tire can sit in storage before small molecular changes cause the rubber compound to begin to degrade. The NHTSA is studying this phenomenon, but they have not yet reached a conclusion.

      Your tire’s age can be identified by the “DOT” date code on the sidewall which tells you not only the year the tire was manufactured but also in which calendar week within that year.

      Tire Blow-outs

      At some point or another, you may have experienced a blow-out , or maybe you've watched helplessly as another vehicle pops a tire, losing all its air pressure and veering off the road. The term "blow-out" generally refers to a tire that bursts, losing all of its air pressure. People often assume that this happens when there is too much air pressure pressing against the internal walls of a tire. This; however, is not usually the case. Tires typically blow-out when air pressure is low. The low air pressure in the tire creates too much elasticity. Eventually the rubber overheats and loses its bond to the tire's internal structure.

      Prevent yourself from experiencing a blow-out! You don't need that bit of excitement. Most blowouts occur when a vehicle is overloaded, involved in a collision or when tires are punctured. Even a slight puncture can create a slow leak over time, which reduces air pressure and can lead to a blow-out. Avoid putting more weight in your vehicle then your owner's manual recommentds tom keep a safe level of elasticity. Obviously, you should avoid accidents. Drive defensively, not offensively! Be careful to keep an eye out for potholes and road debris.

      It's important to react appropriately, should the unexpected tire blowout occur. Most people tend to hit the brakes and turn off to the side of the road. That, in fact, can be a deadly reaction that could lead to loss of vehicle control because your tire is no longer bearing its portion of the car's weight. When you hear the loud noise and feel the steering wheel lunge to the side during a tire blowout, don't hityopur brakes immediately, it's important to keep your forward motion to give your vehicle some power to continue going straight ahead. This will help you to stay in your lane and maintain control long enmough to get a feel about how the blown out tire is trying to pull you off to the side, so can compensate and steer safely to the side of the road.

      Tire Clearance

      Before you upgrade your vehicle with aftermarket tires and wheels, you need to know its limits. Knowledge of your clearance dimensions is crucial. You don't want your beautiful new tires rubbing or grinding against the body of your vehicle.

      Vertical Clearance: That's the distance from the top of the tire treads and the ceiling of the wheel well directly above it.
      Here's the tricky part: The clearance between the two fluctuates when the car is in motion, because the tires move up and down. A device called the "axle stop" limits that activity, to control the space between the chassis and the axle, but be careful.

      Front Clearance: That's the distance between your tires and the vehicle when the tires are in the steering lock position. With both wheels adjacent and aligned, turn the wheel fully left to the lock position and full right to the lock position. At the closest point between the tire and the car body, make sure there is no chance of rubbing.

      Tip: when applying tire chains - make sure there is at least two inches of extra space between your tires and wheel well of vehicle. That's what you need to keep from grinding your new chains into the wheel well.

      Tire Construction

      Have you ever given much thought to how your tires are made? You probably think of tires as a simple product, easily manufactured for public consumption. Tires are in fact quite complex. They are sophisticated products that require a great amount of durability and strength. They must contain high-pressure air while simultaneously enduring the weight of a heavy car filled with passengers and their belongings. They also need to be strong enough to hold up under both the blistering heat of a hot desert road and the freezing temperatures of a n icy winter. Research and development for tires can take years. And the process of actually making each tire is very involved.

      In order to construct a radial tire, the manufacturer first starts by combining raw chemicals including sulfur, carbon black and solvents with both natural and synthetic rubber. A machine called a banbury mixes the chemicals together. The banbury also heats the rubber into a malleable form. At this stage the product becomes a long, flat band of rubber.

      Several machines work the rubber until it forms different components of the tire. These components include the tread, ply, belts, beads, sidewalls and inner liner. Once these six components are complete, the tire-building machine assembles them into an uncured tire in two separate stages.

      The bones of the tire - the beads, plies, sidewalls and liner - are constructed on one side of the tire-building machine. The tread and belts are assembled on the other side. The two sections of the tire are then combined to create a green tire. This doesn't actually mean the color green, but rather the raw form of the tire in its soft rubber form.

      The process of vulcanization is initiated next. In this phase of production, the soft rubber is changed into the tough, durable tires we're used to seeing as the finished product. This happens when the green tire is submerged into a curing mold followed by exposure to intense pressure and high heat. At the same time, the tire's tread pattern in sealed onto the rubber. After a final finish and inspection, the tire is ready to hit the market.

      Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Mandate (TPMS)

      You have probably experienced walking to your own car only to notice that one of your tires seems to be bulging out more than the others. You wonder to yourself whether or not the tire is low on air, but you can’t quite tell. Because the low tire pressure isn’t obvious, you get in your car and go on with your day, forgetting about your tire in a matter of minutes. Don’t forget! In this situation, the slight inconvenience of filling your tire with the correct air pressure could save you from an accident, or from getting a full-blown flat tire on the road.

      Most of the time people don’t even notice when their tires are running low on air. This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has implemented a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requiring all vehicles to install a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which alerts the driver when tire pressure is low

      Tires are somewhat delicate to the environment around them. If a tire is active on low air pressure, the rubber stretches past its natural elastic limit. Once the rubber and the steel reinforcement cords begin to give way, the tire becomes weakened. Eventually it gives out completely. It’s important to note that a tire running on low air pressure will definitely weaken over time. Once this happens, the tire will never return to its original strength. If a tire runs flat for a period of time, it should be replaced in order to avoid a future accident. Using TPMS is a fantastic way to prolong the life of your tires. It also helps keep you safe, avoiding accidents and unexpected blow-out tires

      Driving on tires with too little air pressure is common. A big problem with this is that your vehicle doesn’t drive as efficiently when air pressure is low. Driving on tires with low air pressure reduces tire durability and diminishes your vehicle’s fuel economy. This means that you wind up using more gasoline to drive a shorter distance. This, in addition to safety concerns, is why the U.S. government initiated legislation mandating tire pressure monitoring systems.

      Tire Pressure: Effects of Altitude Change

      When you drive from the sea to the mountains (or from the mountains to the sea), the change in altitude affects your tire pressure.
      What can you do to remedy that? It’s not brain surgery. Carry a good tire gauge, and check your tires when you change elevation.
      When altitude increases, pressure from the atmosphere decreases. That causes your tire pressure to increase.
      That’s because your tire is a closed flexible container, so it holds the same number of air molecules regardless of its elevation and the change of outside air pressure. At higher elevation, the ambient air pressure is lower. Those air molecules can then press harder against the tire wall because they aren’t being pushed back as hard by the atmosphere. So your tire pressure goes up.
      Atmospheric pressure at sea level is about 14.7 psi (pounds per square inch). But at 5000 feet, say, in Denver, Colorado, the atmospheric pressure drops to only 12.2 psi. If you drive your tires from the sea to those mountains, your tire gauge will show that your tire pressure increases by 2-3 psi.
      That said, you won’t always get such strong results, depending upon the time of year, because ambient temperature also plays a part in tire pressure. Tire pressures change about 1 psi for every ambient temperature change of 10° F. The colder the air, the higher the psi.
      If you’re jumping from one climactic zone to another, we remind you to check your tire pressure when you get there.

      Tire Tread

      Getting familiar with tire tread styles will help you to better understand your tires. It may even give you some savvy comparison-shopping skills when it comes to your next tire purchase. Tire tread patterns are made up of continuous ribs, tread blocks, lateral grooves and thin sipes that are used to help with noise control and traction. Tread patterns are designed and selected in a way that best fits the intended use of the tire.

      Symmetric tread patterns have either continuous ribs or independent tread blocks across the entire face. This allows for both the inboard and outboard halves to feature the same pattern. Most tires are designed with symmetric tread patterns. These tires perform best in dry weather and when driven at faster speeds.

      Asymmetric tread patterns are intended for dry grip, water dispersal and snow traction. Along the face of the tire, the pattern changes and is less consistent compared to a symmetric tire. Tread ribs are usually larger, which gives greater cornering stability. The inboard side usually features smaller tread blocks. These tires are designed for use in harsh weather conditions such as rain or snow.

      Directional tread patterns were created to resist hydroplaning. Their tread patterns are designed to push water out from underneath the tire. These tires are meant to roll in one direction only. Lateral grooves along the tire's center point in the same direction creating a V shape. Be careful when rotating these tires! The V shape must only go in one direction. It's fine to rotate your front tire to the back on the same side of your vehicle, but rotating tires to the opposite side won't allow the tire to perform with the tread pattern moving forward.

      Lastly, some tires feature tire tread patterns that are both asymmetric and directional. What this means is that they still have the V-shaped tread, but the pattern is then altered to create even more road grip. These tires are meant to provide heavy-duty traction.

      Tire Vibration and Balancing

      If your steering wheel begins to vibrate when you reach 45 mph or more, have your tires checked. There's a good chance they need to be rebalanced. And that would be a good thing. A cheap fix. It doesn't cost much to balance a tire.

      Tires may carry you tens of thousands of miles without a problem and stay flexible in all kinds of weather, but they aren't perfect. There are heavy spots in the tire rubber, so tires have to balanced by adding lead weights to the lighter areas.

      Bring your car to a tire mechanic if your tires need rebalancing.

      To check older tires yourself, run your hands over the surface area of the tire and feel for uneven or inconsistent tread pattern. Try using a coin to measure how the tread depth differs at several difference spots on wheel.

      Here's a tip:
      Push a penny into your tire tread groove, with Abraham Lincoln's head facing downward. Make sure that at least part of Abe's head is covered by the tread, which means you have at least 2/32" of tire tread left, the amount that most states require for tire safety.

      Here's a better tip:
      Push a quarter into your tire groove instead, with George Washington's head facing downward. If part of George's head is at least partly covered by the tread, you have 4/32" of tire tread left. That's a better mark because it's a lot safer than being right on the edge of the 2/32" legal line.

      4/32" is a lot safer in wet conditions, because rain water needs enough room in those deep tire grooves to escape from under your tire to avoid hydroplaning.

      If you're driving in snow, you need even more tread. Your tires should be replaced when there's 6/32" inches remaining, because snow requires even deeper grooves than water needs to keep traction on winter roads.

      Tire Warranties

      Each manufacturer establishes the period of time they repair or replace defective products due to materials and workmanship. Tires are typically backed by their manufacturer's limited warranties for a period of 4 to 6 years from the date of purchase or until the tread wears out.

      The duration of the tires' limited warranty is specified by each manufacturer. Tire warranties begin at the time of delivery for new vehicles, and at the time of purchase for replacements. As a result, a new vehicle's registration certificate or the replacement tire's sales invoice will establish proof of ownership and the tire's in-service date. If no proof of purchase is available, the week and year the tire was manufactured will be used.

      When the tire's original tread is worn down to 2/32nds of an inch (1.6 mm) of remaining tread, tire warranties also expire.

      Tread-life Warranties

      Due to the variety of driving surfaces and conditions and geographic influences in the United States, not all consumers receive the warranted treadlife mileage. As the vehicle manufacturers decide not to purchase the original equipment from the tire manufacturers, treadlife/mileage warranties do not apply to tires fitted as Original Equipment on new vehicles. Treadlife warranties on replacement tires only hold for the original owner and vehicle upon which the set of tires was initially mounted.

      Uniformity Warranty

      Tire balance and internal forces are measured during a tire's final inspection at the factory. Therefore, remember that none of the tire manufacturers accepts the idea that all four tires from the same vehicle are out-of-round or responsible for a vibration.

      If a new tire contributes to a vehicle ride disturbance because of materials or workmanship, it will be corrected as soon as possible and replaced before the first 1/32- to 2/32-inch of treadwear or during the first year of service.

      Ride disturbances that occur after this initial period are connected to road hazard damage or irregular wear stemming from the vehicle's mechanical condition and/or lack of routine maintenance.

      Workmanship & Materials Warranty

      In the first year of ownership or 25% of the tire's treadwear, the tire will be exchanged free of charge for the customer, excluding freight. For the rest of the tire's warranty period, the cost of replacement is prorated by crediting the owner for the percentage of service not received.

      Manufacturer Road Hazard Warranty

      No tire is indestructible, thereof while road hazard injuries or impact damage caused by potholes, curbs or other objects in the road, the tire damage they inflict is not within the control of the tire manufacturer and is not typically covered by their limited tire warranties. Only some tires remain backed by a tire manufacturer road hazard warranty, such as Michelin's ZP Assurance Plan covering Michelin Self-Supporting Zero Pressure (ZP) run flat tires. But because many drivers desire the financial security that a road hazard program provides, tires-easy offers an economically priced, optional Tire Road Hazard Service Program to our retail customers.

      Manufacturer Special Warranty - 15 days Test Drives/Trials

      A retail customer can return the unwanted tires within 30 days of purchase for a full refund or exchange. (Freight excluded). Proof of purchase is requested.

      The 15 days Test Drives/Trials do not cover the tires received as original equipment on new vehicles.

      Tires with Rim Protection

      Your tires and rims can be scraped, marked, smashed and disfigured in many ways. You damage your wheel with a bad turn into the curb. You bang your wheels through debris when driving. You scrape your tires along rocks on the shoulder of the road. Over time this will hinder the overall performance of both your tire and wheel. This is why manufacturers build tire and rim protectors into some of their tires.

      There are different rim protection designs to protect your tires. Sometimes manufacturers build a protruding ring of rubber that runs alongside the bead of the tire where it connects with the wheel. Sometimes the tire is designed so the wheel is sits further back into the tire, causing an enhanced sidewall itself to protect the edge of the wheel. There are different designs for different kinds of tires and vehicles.

      You can find tires with rim protection on

      Trailer Tires

      Trailer tires are built to carry heavier loads than automobile tires, but they are specifically built for trailers. Don't mount them on your car!

      Trailers are more susceptible to sway, so they tend to swerve and destabilize while on the road. In large part, this is because of the less sophisticated suspension systems designed for trailers, but it also has to do with the heavier weight that trailer tires endure. Trailer tires must be built especially strong to manage much heavier loads than typical passenger or light truck tires. The requirements for trailer tires are unique, and their bias ply construction is specifically designed for strength.

      Your car uses radial tires, which are built to hold steady traction in all sorts of driving and weather conditions. For cars, the sidewalls must be very flexible so your tires can maintain a good grip on the road. Automotive radial tires are great for your car, but because the sidewalls aren't stiff, they can't carry really heavy loads.

      Trailers on the other hand, do not have any driving torque applied to their axles. They don't careen around turns or weave in and out of traffic. Trailer tires only need to maintain traction when the driver brakes to stop or slow down.

      In this case a stronger, bias ply tire is more necessary than a flexible, radial tire. Flexible sidewalls would create even more trailer sway and instability. Bias ply tires are constructed with cords woven across the tire from bead to bead. They also have consistent ply at the tread and sidewalls. This construction technique creates stiffer and stronger sidewalls, giving trailers the robust support needed to keep from swaying and destabilizing on the road.

      Ultra High Performance Tires

      Ultra High Performance tires, known as UHP tires, will dress up your car and bring a new driving experience.

      These are the low profile tires that make your custom wheels look so great, and because there is less cushion than with traditional tires, they allow the driver to really feel the road. If you are a Sunday driver that only cares about a cushy ride, UHP tires aren't for you. UHP tires are for those who love to drive, and want a more tactile driving experience.

      UHP tires are designed for fast speeds, and are meant to accompany a sporty driving style. Their soft rubber compound gives improved traction. This works especially well for maintaining control when taking turns and corners at higher speeds. As with all high-speed tires, the soft rubber doesn't as hold a long tread life as other tires, which means that UHP tires need to be replaced more frequently.

      Some UHP tires have shallow water channels because the tread is designed to touch more of the road's surface, providing a better grip when roads are dry. Because of this, if you're in the market for high performance tires, it is important to remember that it is a good idea to purchase separate tire sets to match seasonal changes.

      High Performance Summer Tires

      Ultra high performance summer tires are made for sporty driving enthusiasts. They are for drivers who want the best performance on dry roads. Don't forget to take these tires off your vehicle before winter! These tires do very poorly in snow and ice, and could actually be quite dangerous if left on your vehicle during peak winter months.

      High Performance All-Season Tires

      During the colder months, if you want to avoid the sticky grip of a standard winter tire, but need the traction for rain, snow and ice, you may want to consider getting a set of UHP all-season tires. With these tires, you get all-season versatility, although not the heavy-duty traction that would be provided by a winter tire. This is why, depending on the weather conditions where you live, it's important to consider your own seasonal needs. With current tire construction capabilities, it's simply impossible to get an ultra high performance, fast road tire that also acts as a heavy-duty snow tire. But with the merging of high performance and traction, high performance all-season tires come the closest.

      UTQG: The Uniform Tire Quality Grading System

      To help consumers evaluate their tires, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System (UTQG). The UTQG rates tires are rated on their tread-wear, traction performance, and temperature resistance. The grade for each of these can be found on the sidewall of your tire (except for winter tires and certain light truck tires).


      The UTQG tread-wear grade indicates how long your tire tread will last in relation to other tires. For instance, a tire with a grade of 400 will last twice as long as a tire with a grade of 200, according to how it performed in the tread-wear test.  Note: Actual tire performance can differ greatly for many reasons, including driving style, climate, tire inflation and vehicle weight.


      The UTQG traction grade rates the ability of your tire to stop on wet pavement. Traction performance is assigned one of the following grades, which you will find on the sidewall of your tire:
      AA, A, B, C. Tires with an AA grade stop the fastest on wet pavement,  C graded tires the slowest.
      CAUTION: The UTQG traction tests do not test tires for cornering, acceleration, driving at high speed or driving on dry roads. Tires are tested with straight ahead braking only.


      The UTQG temperature grade indicates the ability of your tire to dissipate the heat generated by driving. Over time, heat can cause damage to your tires. Temperature resistance is given one of A, B or C grade, which you can locate on the sidewall of your tire. All tires sold in the United States must have at least a C rating.
      CAUTION: The tires in UTQG tests were inflated properly and the vehicles were not overloaded. Excessive heat can be produced by under-inflation of your tires, driving at high speed, driving an overloaded vehicle, and certain road and weather conditions.

      Wheel Alignment and Balancing

      A major cause of rapid tread wear is improper wheel alignment and balancing. Abnormal noise, vibration and harshness of steering are a signal that alignment and balancing may be improper.

      When Should I Replace My Tires?

      The U.S. law for most states holds that tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32" of remaining tread depth. It is important to acknowledge that when tire wears out its capacity to perform in the rain and snow will diminish. At 2/32" of remaining tread depth, resistance to hydroplaning in wet conditions has been reduced, and traction in snow has been removed.

      If driving on rain and wet roads, you should think about changing your tires when they reach approximately 4/32" of remaining tread depth. You need enough tread depth to disperse water through the tire's grooves. Otherwise the vehicle's tires will lose traction.

      When driving in snow, you should consider changing the tires when they reach approximately 6/32" of remaining tread depth, in order to maintain a good stability. More tread depth is needed in snow, as the tires need to compress it in their grooves and release it while rolling. If not enough tread depth is remaining, the traction will be substantially diminished.

      Tread depth is an important element for snow traction, thus winter tires are equipped with tread depths deeper than standard all-season or summer tires. Some winter tires even have a series of wear bars molded in their tread pattern indicating approximately 6/32" remaining tread depth.

      The usual method of determining when it's the right time to get new tires is the Lincoln penny tread depth test. If your tread gets below 2/32 'your tires' ability to grip the road in unfavorable conditions is greatly reduced.

      The traction between the tires and the road provides the driver the ability to have a control over the vehicle. Tires do not need tread designs or much tread depth to create traction on dry roads but do require tread designs to channel water and slush from between the tire and the road, as well as provide edges with good grip on snow.

      While driving at high speeds, the air the tires encounter can easily be compressed and moved out, but not the same thing applies to the liquids. The tires' tread designs and tread depths as well as the adverse rainy conditions depths decide if the tires are forced to hydroplane and how quickly they can stop a vehicle.

      A general passenger car tire begins with about 1/3" of tread depth and a footprint surface of around twenty inches the most of it being composed of rubber that grasps the road and grooves that create the tread design. The tire tread will slowly wear away and the amount of grooves reduce without even observing until the point the car will not stop on wet short distance roads.

      You should think about replacing your tires when they reach about 4/32" of remaining tread depth in case of rain and wet roads, and change them when they get to about 6/32" of remaining tread depth in case of snowy roads for the good tire adhesion performance and good mobility of your vehicle.

      Always replace the tires before the legal limit so as not to compromise your safety and save the money you would loose for repairing!

      Why are Tires Black?

      The really surprising thing about this question is how often it's asked. Apparently, a lot of people wish they could buy orange tires, or lime green ones, or baby blue to go with their shoes.

      In fact, you can buy colored tires. For your bicycle. Or your motorcycle.
      Or for your forklift if you need white tires for you "clean room.

      If you race, you can buy Ecsta SPT Colored Smoke tires from the reknowned Korean tire manufacturer, Kumho. As the color rubs off the tires during a race, "colored smoke" fills the air behind the vehicle.

      But regular automobile tires are black because one of the key ingredients in rubber tire compound is carbon black, which makes tires durable. Carbon black is tiny dust-like particles of jet black carbon

      The carbon black catches the sunlight's ultraviolet rays, would otherwise quickly degrade the tire, and turns those rays into heat, easily dispersed on the road. And it makes your tires black.

      Tires stay black for a long time. As they age, after many years of bombardment with ultraviolet rays, they turn a bit brown. Time for some new tires.

      Why do some people fill their tires with Nitrogen?

      Your tires are basically doughnut shaped containers that are designed to hold compressed air. When you're sailing down the street on a smooth ride, you're riding on air. No air, no smooth ride.

      And low air? You damage your tires and increase the chance for a blowout. And an accident.

      The air we breathe is about 21% oxygen, 1% water vapor and other gases, 78% nitrogen. That's great for human beings, but it could be a bit better for tires.

      It's mostly the fault of the oxygen. There are two problems with oxygen, at least from a tire's point of view. Oxygen interacts with tire materials and causes deterioration from the inside. And since oxygen is made up of rather small molecules, it seeps through the rubber and out of the tire and reduces air pressure at the rate of about 1.5 psi (pounds per square inch) every 3 or 4 weeks.

      Oxygenized air also allows water vapor top mix with it, which also works to deteriorate your tires and also the wheels. Oxygen is just too interactive.

      That's where nitrogen comes in.

      Nitrogen molecules are bigger, so nitrogen don't seep out of your tires as quickly. And nitrogen is an inert gas, so it doesn't interact with anything, and it won't corrode the inside of your tires the way oxygen does.

      Nitrogen advantages:

      1) Longer Tire Life
      Nitrogen is an inert gas, so it doesn't corrode the inside of your tires the way oxygen does.
      2) Prolonged tire pressure
      Your tire pressure will last a lot longer if your tires are filled with nitrogen. That also adds to tire life.
      3) Won't fuel a fire
      Because it's inert, it is safer for automobile racecars to fill their tires with nitrogen.

      Nitrogen disadvantage:

      1) It costs more than regular compressed air.

      Winter tires (also called snow tires)

      Most winter tires now display the snowflake symbol on the sidewall. That snowflake is an industry certification that means your tires will attain a higher level of traction in ice and packed snow than conventional tires.

      Some winter tires do not yet carry the snowflake symbol.

      Winter tires perform better in winter conditions for two reasons:
      First, winter tread patterns are designed to bite into snow and ice for a better grip.
      Second, winter tires are generally made from special rubber compounds with microporous silicon which enables them to stay soft and pliable even in sub-zero conditions. Tires made from traditional tire compound become hard and brittle in the snow.

      We strongly recommend that you drive with winter tires if you must go out in extreme conditions. If your tires can't grab the road, it makes no difference that you have all wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, or electronic stability control. Safety begins with your tires.

      Winter Tire questions and answers
      a) Can I mount just two winter tires on my car?

      Absolutely not. It is dangerous to put snow tires on just the drive wheels of your car.

      The whole point of winter tires is to make sure your tires can grab the road. If you have front wheel drive and put winter tires on just the front wheels, they will pull the car forward, but your back wheels won't have as much traction. That means that if you brake or corner, your car is much more likely to spin out.

      On the other hand, if you have rear wheel drive, and put winter tires only on your rear wheels, you might turn your steering wheel to corner only to find your car continuing to shoot forward! That's because your front wheels can't grip the road and just skid forward.

      Always put winter tires on all four wheels!

      b) Can I safely use my all-season tires in snow and ice?

      No. All-Season tires are not designed for snow and ice.

      All-season tires are designed to grip both wet and dry roads around turns, and to expel water to resist hydroplaning. But they are not made with the high-silicon rubber compound necessary for winter conditions.

      Therefore, all-season tires get harder and less pliable in low temperatures. They can't hold the road like winter tires, which are softer.

      c) Can I use my M+S (mud and snow) tires in winter?

      There is no official definition for M+S tires, although they generally have deep knobby tread patterns to help dig their way through mush. Tire manufacturers add the M+S designation to such tires to better market them. This is an old-fashioned design, and can help when driving over snow. However, for true winter performance, make sure the tire is also considered a winter tire, engineered to stay pliable and non-brittle in extreme cold.

      Note: The various tire manufacturers use slightly different mud and snow designations on their sidewalls: M+S, M&S, MS etc.

      d) Can I drive with my winter tires all year round?

      Yes, but we don't recommend it.

      For one thing, winter tires are noisy because of their toothy tread patterns. More important, they are softer, as described above, and will wear down faster than regular tires, especially on hot summer roads.

      You need that deep tread to be effective in winter, to bite into the ice and snow.

      e) Should I use studded tires in winter?

      The answer depends upon the specific winter conditions where you live. Studded tires can be helpful in some conditions, but they can decrease safety in others.

      Studded tires might give you extra traction on ice and snow, but less traction on wet and dry roads. That's because the studs can reduce the surface area where the rubber tire tread contacts the road, which means you would need a longer stopping distance on wet or dry roads than with non-studded tires.

      Studded tires are also noisy, and they cause more damage to the road surface.

      Make sure you check that studded tires are legal to use in your area before purchasing them. Several states forbid the use of studded tires, and others only allow them to be used during certain months.

© 1999-2017 by Gigatires Tires LLC / 11/19/2017 12:09