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The importance of the tires on your vehicle truly cannot be overstated. It is vital that you have the right tires on your car and that they are in proper condition. While you don't need to understand every last detail of tire design and construction, the more you know, the better equipped you are to care for your vehicle and keep it running beautifully. It is just as important, however, that you choose the right tire shop and trust your tires, as well as the rest of your vehicle, to people that are properly trained and experienced.
Here at McCluskey Chevrolet in Cincinnati, OH, we are not only interested in making sure you have a vehicle that you love, but in knowing you continue to be happy and safe on the road. That is why our service department is here for you to provide you with everything you need, seven days a week. In fact, we are open until 3 a.m. four days a week, so even if you have a critical issue at a bad time, we can help and get you back on the road as soon as possible. Visit our tire shop at McCluskey Chevrolet today to learn more and get the right tires for your vehicle. But before you do, here is some information about tires to help you understand their role in your vehicle’s performance.
Although people joke about not “reinventing the wheel,” tires have had a lot of time and energy poured into them over the last century. Modern tires are the result of a tremendous amount of research, development, and ingenuity, creating a tire that offers the best performance and durability possible. Much of that comes from how tires are designed and assembled, which all comes down to what is inside them.
Tires consist of numerous layers that each serve an important function and purpose. If you were to cut a tire in half, to see a cross-section of it, you would be able to see these layers. Starting from the very inside is the radial plies layer. The inner part of the tire is made of polyester and rubber cords that form the overall shape and structure of the tires. Modern tires use radial plies that run perpendicular to the direction the tire travels, increasing durability.
On top of the radial plies in your tires, you will find steel belts (modern tires are often called “steel-belted radials”), which provide additional stability and strength to your tires. There can be multiple layers of these belts for added durability. The cap plies are then layered on top of the belts to help keep your tires the proper shape and form, adding additional overall structure to the tire. Finally, the tread area is what you see when looking at the top of your tires; it is the surface that actually meets the road that you drive on.
The tread itself is made of a few different parts, which are worth recognizing separately. The tread on tires consists of:
But beyond the interior of a tire and its tread, other crucial pieces help make up a tire. Along the side of a tire, you will find:
All of these different parts and areas come together to make the tires on your car, truck, or SUV.
There are a lot of different types of tires available, especially when you start looking at the wide range of specialty tires that manufacturers offer. To keep things simple, however, here are some of the most common types of tires you will find and why you may want to choose one over another.
All-season tires are great, general use tires that a lot of people choose for their vehicle. It works well in pretty much all kinds of weather, with plenty of tread and deep grooves that are perfect for rain and both warm and cold conditions.
Next, there are summer tires, which work quite well in both dry and wet conditions, as you would expect from summer months. However, they are best in warmer climates. These are very good tires for areas that see rain but do not have snow and ice to deal with. On the other hand, winter tires are perfect for cold weather, particularly for dealing with snow, slush, and some ice. They have large grooves that move slush and snow through them and away from the tire, maximizing grip and performance in the cold.
Performance tires are specifically made for vehicles that put serious demands on their tires, like sports cars and similar models. They work well in both dry and wet conditions and tend to have high-speed ratings to handle powerful cars. And lastly, there are all-terrain tires. The tread and grooves on all-terrain tires are designed with large and aggressive shapes, making them perfect not only on standard roads but off-road too. These tires are great if you tend to encounter gravel and dirt roads or like to hit the trail.
Choosing the right tire is incredibly important since it will impact your vehicle’s performance and safety on the road. If you are not sure which type of tire is right for you, we will be happy to help you choose the proper one.
Although you will eventually need to visit your tire shop for new tires, no matter how well you care for your vehicle, there are some things you can do to make your tires last as long as possible. Proper tire care and maintenance not only help your tires last longer but also can maintain a high level of performance for your vehicle and keep you safer on the road. Best of all, these are pretty simple things you can do, so you do not even need a high level of mechanical expertise to take care of your tires.
For starters, visually inspect your tires on a regular basis. Every time you get into or out of your vehicle, take a moment to glance at your tires and make sure you do not notice any severe damage or under-inflation to them. Once a month, take a moment to look at them more closely and ensure they still look good.
You should also regularly check the tread depth of your tires. Deep grooves in the tread of your tires ensure the best performance on rough or wet roads. Every month or so, insert a penny or quarter, with the top of the President’s head pointed down, into the grooves of your tires. You should not be able to see the top of his head – if you can, you need new tires.
Additionally, make sure to check the tire pressure of your tires regularly. Once a month, check the pressure in your tires with a gauge – they are inexpensive and easy to use. If your tires are getting low, be sure to fill them back up right away. If you notice your tires are low on a regular basis, then you might have a leak.
As far as maintenance goes, you should have your tires rotated on a regular basis. Due to the way you drive, the roads you are usually on, and other factors, your tires will typically wear down unevenly. By having your tire shop rotate the position of your tires on your vehicle, you can even this out and keep your tires in good shape longer.
And lastly, of course, replace your tires when necessary. Even if you have no damage to your tires and they look good, the rubber in them will still naturally breakdown over time. You need to replace old tires at a certain point, no matter how good they look. Otherwise, you are at higher risk for a blowout or similar tire failure. So make sure to take care of and replace your tires when needed.
Proper care and tire maintenance mean getting ahead of potential problems so you can tackle them when they are still minor. One of the best ways to do this is to be aware of what sorts of things can be a warning sign that one of your tires is bad or failing. By recognizing these signs, you can replace your tires before you have a blowout.
Some common warning signs of bad or failing tires include:
No matter what the warning sign, it is crucial that you have the issue fixed or get a new tire for your vehicle.
If you look at your tire, along the sidewall, you will notice different numbers and letters. Along with the name of the manufacturer that made it and other information, there is a code that describes your tires. It is important that you understand this code and what code you should look for in order to get the right tires for your vehicle.
This code is made up of a few different parts that indicate the size and other details of your tire. The code typically looks something like “P 215/65R15 95H,” which means:
Depending on your tires, the specific letters and numbers might be different, but they are always present in this order and indicate this information. Check the owner’s manual for your car to see which type of tires you should be using.
Here at McCluskey Chevrolet, our tire shop is only one part of our overall service center, which is here for you with everything you need to keep your vehicle safe and on the road. Whether you need new tires, an oil change, or transmission work, we are ready to help. Our service center is open seven days a week, with various hours to fit your schedule. No matter what you need, our trained technicians and experts can help and get you back on the road again as soon as possible.