Tire Myths and Truths


A lot of myths persist about automotive maintenance and repair, and some of the biggest myths revolve around tires. Yet tires are some of the most important components of your vehicle, so it is important that you get through the misconceptions to understand the truth. With facts on your side, you can choose the best tires for your vehicle and ensure that those tires get the best maintenance.

Whether you are looking for specialty tires or just good, cheap tires at tire dealers Cincinnati residents know to shop McCluskey Chevrolet for the best deals.

Use this information on tire myths and truths to help you make the best selection and to give your new tires the best care:

Myth: Your tires are in danger of exploding if you fill them up beyond the “max pressure” listed on the sidewall.

Truth: The maximum pressure listed on the sidewall is not the threshold for the tire bursting. The max pressure refers to the top pressure that the tire needs to be to carry the maximum weight the car can handle.

You can fill the tire many times past the max pressure before it bursts. However, if the tire is inflated far beyond the max pressure, it may be at greater risk of failure if it hits a pothole or another obstacle.

Myth: The max pressure is the proper pressure to inflate your tire.

Truth: The tire manufacturer does not determine the right pressure for your tire — your car manufacturer does. You can find the recommended air pressure for your tires on a placard on the inside of your driver’s side door jamb. Some older vehicles house the placard in the glove box.

Myth: All-season tires can be driven in place of snow tires.

Truth: Depending on the climate where you live, some all-season tires may be sufficient to get you through the winter. However, if you live in a place that gets heavy snow and ice during the winter, like Cincinnati, you should upgrade to snow tires. These tires feature a thicker and deeper tread that is specially designed to cut through heavy snow and ice, providing more traction on the road and helping you to get out of tight spots.

Myth: You can improve handling by putting low-profile tires on wheels with a large diameter.

Truth: This myth got started because low-profile tires provide better steering response. The larger diameter of the wheel also provides more room for bigger brakes, which can provide better stopping response. However, the combination with large-diameter wheels does nothing but make the tires look cool. There is nothing special about the combination to enhance performance.

Myth: Uneven wear is a sign of a defective tire.

Truth: Many things can cause your tires to wear down unevenly. Failing to rotate your tires on schedule, letting your car fall out of alignment, go over potholes and other obstacles in the road, failing to keep your tires properly inflated and more can all contribute to uneven wear patterns. The construction of the tire is rarely the cause for uneven wear.

Myth: Healthy tread is a sign of healthy tires.

Truth: Tread is one sign of the health of a tire, but it is not the only one. Even tires that have healthy tread left on them can be breaking down on the inside. Heat and UV rays can cause the rubber to break down over time, weakening the whole tire. Older tires are especially susceptible to this kind of intrinsic damage. When buying used tires, you need to look beyond the tread. Any signs of brittle rubber, like cracking, should be inspected with caution.

Myth: Filling tires with nitrogen will increase fuel economy.

Truth: Nitrogen does not leak as quickly as oxygen, and tires that maintain the proper air pressure will improve fuel economy. However, to get the benefits, you have to fill the tires with only nitrogen, not a mix of oxygen and nitrogen.

Many other factors also influence your fuel economy, ranging from your driving habits to the efficiency of your engine. Switching from oxygen to nitrogen or vice versa won’t be the singular influencing factor.

Myth: All-season tires offer more traction when driving on wet roads.

Truth: Specialty tires are always better in special situations. Just like with snow tires, summer tires offer better performance for the conditions for which they were designed. Summer tires will cut through wet roads better than all-season tires, providing more grip and improving your safety. While all-season tires provide generally good performance, investing in seasonal tires will give you the best results.

Myth:  Your tire-pressuring monitoring system will tell you when your tires need to be inflated.

Truth: The tire-pressure monitoring system on most cars only tells you when the pressure in your tires falls about 25 percent below the level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Once it reaches that level, your tires have been underinflated for some time, compromising your performance and bringing down your fuel efficiency.

It is important that you routinely check the air pressure in your tires yourself, rather than rely on the monitoring system.

Myth: Vibrations or other disturbances while driving are caused by your tires.

Truth: Many things can cause your vehicle to shake while you are driving. Some potential culprits are your alignment, a loose belt, or problems with the brake rotors, CV joints, tie rods, drive shafts, brake drums or ball joints. Of course, problems with the tires can also cause vibration. For example, the tread could be coming off, or there could be bulges in the sidewall.

If you notice any vibrations while driving, inspect your tires for any signs of wear or damage. If you see none, bring your car in for an inspection to get to the bottom of what’s causing the problem.

With the real facts in hand, it’s time to shop for best tires at the best prices. For quality cheap tires, Cincinnati residents trust McCluskey Chevrolet. We offer the best deals on the best selection of quality tires in the area. Visit us today to find the right tires for your vehicle.