Many drivers may not realize the importance of choosing the right tires for your vehicle. There are so many things that affect the way your car drives, rides, handles, and wears, and your tires are one of the primary determining factors in this equation. The right tires will improve the way your car handles and the control you have over your vehicle in different road conditions, as well as different weather conditions. If you live in the Cincinnati area, be sure to check out McCluskey Chevy for all your tire needs. Until then, here are some of the most important factors of choosing the right tires in Cincinnati.
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Anatomy of a Tire
It’s all-too-easy to disregard the importance of quality tires (arguably, one of the most important and overlooked safety features in your car, truck or SUV) or to criticize the cost associated. As alluded to above, the overall composition and design of tires are diminished by the common misconception that they’re little more than rubber and air, largely indistinguishable from one another in terms of brand. Let’s set that latter point aside for now, and focus on what makes a tire suitable for its intended application.
Put into straightforward terms, a tire consists of a series of layers all built from different materials, each one possessing unique properties and performing a unique role to ensure both reliability and safety.
In terms of materials, the breakdown of a tire’s composition differs based on the vehicle it’s designed to accommodate. Most tires for light passenger vehicles consist of (19%) natural rubber (24%) synthetic polymers (26%) fillers (14%) antioxidants, antiozonants and curing systems (12%) steel and (4%) textiles. The breakdown for a truck (or heavier weight vehicle) however, is likely to consist of significantly more natural rubber and steel.
Now that’s all fine and well, but those are some pretty vague terms. Even recognizable verbiage like ‘natural rubber’ and ‘steel’ require more elaboration to understand the context in which they’re used. That said, let’s see if we can explore each one a little deeper.
- Natural Rubber – the primary component of any tire, the elastic nature of rubber provides pliability, is resilient against tearing and resistant to cracking.
- Synthetic Polymers – designed to simulate and supplement the characteristics of natural rubber, synthetic polymers like halogenated polyisobutylene rubber, butadiene rubber (and its styrene variant) round out what is nearly the first half of any tire’s composition. Offering resilience, their combined impermeability also helps to maintain a tire’s inflation.
- Fillers – arguably the vaguest among the components listed, a filler might best be described as any component used in manufacturing to reinforce and strengthen the material. In the case of tire manufacturing, carbon black and amorphous precipitated silica are utilized to enhance both tear and tensile strength (a material’s ability to prove resilient when pulled in either direction) as well resistance to abrasion. Considering the intense conditions under which a tire interacts with various terrain conditions, it’s easy to see why this is so important. Rolling resistance, wear performance and traction are also significantly enhanced through the use of these fillers.
- Antioxidants – a word that you’ve likely heard in regard to nutrition and dietary supplements, antioxidant exist throughout nature and are designed to slow the effects of natural biochemical breakdown in the presence of oxygen. Synthetic antioxidants are also everywhere and, in the case of tires, help to strengthen the tire against the natural effects of temperature and oxygen exposure.
- Antiozonants – similar in function, these are designed to strengthen the tire against the effects of ozone.
- Curing Systems – vulcanization (or ‘curing’) is the process by which liquefied rubber composites are formed and hardened into their semi-permanent form. Components such as sulfur and zinc oxide help to speed up this process, and make it more efficient.
- Textiles – within the construction of tires are various fabric cords that add dimensional support and aid in supporting a vehicle’s weight. Polyester, rayon, nylon and aramid core are the primary materials used in the construction of a tire’s plies (which we’ll get back to later on). They also serve as the primary reinforcement for the tire casing. And finally…
- Steel – used in the composition of a tire’s belts, beads, and plies, steel components serve to (i) make its casing stiffer enhancing its performance and handling and (ii) lock the tire onto the wheel itself.
So with a better understanding of the materials used in the creation of a tire, and their respective characteristics, let’s see if we can add some context.
An innermost layer of a tire is the composite rubber inner liner. This is the first line of protection in terms of a tire’s ability to retain its inflation. That interlinear is then reinforced by at least two layers of body ply, establishing the shape and structure of the tire, strengthening it to retain air pressure and resist outward force. The plies also serve to keep the tire bead in position, ensuring that the tire can be secured to the wheel. Atop these layers the sidewall, a more expansive layer that protects the sides of the tires from curb and road damage. That is covered by at least two layers of a belt, narrower steps that reinforce the tire tread, and the outward facing rubber compound tread. Simple enough?
Understanding Common Tire Types
As mentioned, every vehicle requires a different type of tire in order to offer the drivability it was designed for. But another important distinction in terms of performance comes in the form of climate/seasonality and terrain conditions.
A modest subcompact designed for urban commute, for example, will require a different tire and than a trail-rated jeep. A super-duty pickup will require a different tire than a supercar. And these distinctions are in large part to the conditions they’re most likely to be driven in. So with that in mind, let’s look at a few of the most common tire types.
While there are certainly individual nuances worth learning more about, these kinds of tire account for those most commonly used on coupe, subcompact and sedan models due to their general year-round capabilities. Passenger Tires offer certain economies, while Touring Tires aspire to offer a satisfying ride quality. All-Season Tires, of course, are designed to offer all of the above, with additional assurances of suitability for use in inclement weather.
Popular among the sport and performance sedan crowd, Summer Tires are designed for responsiveness in more temperate conditions (be they wet or dry). For recreational driving, they also serve to improve, speed, agility, cornering, and braking.
For many drivers, all-season tires are ‘good enough’ to equip their vehicles for the rigors or snow, ice and frost heaves. Other opt for (or even require) studless, studded, or performance winter (or snow) tires to ensure they can get from Point A to Point B.
Certain vehicles are built to embrace the joy of driving, so it’s important to equip them with the proper tires. As with Summer Tires, they are designed to improve speed, agility, cornering, and braking so that you can get the most out of your driving experience.
And while some aim to simulate competitive track driving, others look to get off the beaten path… And they’ll need bigger, more durable tires to do so. From mudding to rock-crawling, there are a variety of conditions that your trail-rated vehicle might encounter. And of course, you have options when it comes to selecting the tires that will help you to tackle even the toughest of terrain.
And with a more substantial footprint than passenger cars, common sense tells us that SUV and truck tires will be larger. But as mentioned earlier in this piece, there is also a difference in construction designed to support more weight and increase the tire’s overall durability.
What to Consider When Choosing Tires?
The actual makeup of a tire has much to do with your car, truck, or SUVs performance on the road. Ever feel the difference in how smooth your ride is and how much better your vehicle handles when you hop in behind the wheel of your vehicle after getting a new set of tires installed? Here’s why. Each part of a tire’s makeup affects your driving, riding, and handling situation and experience on the road. Currently, tires are made from either synthetic or natural rubber, a combination of fabric and wire, carbon black, and multiple combinations of chemicals mixed together to complete the end product of the tire you ride around on.
Why are all of these things important? As with anything you purchase, especially things that are vehicle-related, you get what you pay for. When you buy quality tires from your local Cincinnati dealer, like McCluskey Chevy, you can be sure that you will be getting tires made from the best materials that are crafted from designs that are made to handle the specifics of your particular car, truck, or SUV as well as any weather or road conditions you can throw at them. This is especially important for drivers who frequent various terrains and drive in a variety of weather conditions.
So, what are the most important things to consider when you are buying tires in Cincinnati? There are important factors all drivers should consider when it’s time to purchase your tires in Cincinnati. From knowing when it’s time to replace your tires to getting the right size, here are a few of these considerations.
New Tires Vs. Used Tires
This may be one of the first decisions you encounter when you are in a situation where you need to purchase new tires for your car, truck, or SUV. The answer to this question lies in a combination of factors, such as your budget, the type of vehicle you are buying tires for, and what you need your tire purchase to be able to let your vehicle accomplish.
Consider Your Conditions
This is one of the most important considerations you need to address when you are buying tires for your vehicle. Whether you are buying new or used tires in Cincinnati you need to consider a few very important factors before you purchase tires for your vehicle. Do you live in a northern climate where you know you will be getting a significant amount of snow and ice that you will have to drive through each winter, which may last for a much more extended period than other places in the country? Do you live in a more southern area where there is no snow, but instead hotter conditions? In this case, summer tires that are made of a tougher rubber to withstand hotter pavement and highway temperatures would give your new tire purchase in Cincinnati more sense behind it. Overall, be sure that you are purchasing tires that best fit the conditions your vehicle will be driving in.
Know When it’s Time to Buy New Tires
Many times, people will notice that their vehicle is either not handling well or is not holding well in certain road conditions, performance situations, or weather. However, most often drivers will not immediately think of tires as the root of the issues they are experiencing with their cars, when in fact tires can be the cause of many handling and performance issues that drivers may experience, especially in rough road or weather conditions.
Have a Discussion About Size
When you begin your search for your new tires in Cincinnati, most dealerships and sales teams will inquire about the make, model, and year of your vehicle. To get the most out of your Cincinnati tire purchase, ask about and shop around different size tires, you may find that a particular tire gives you a leg up when it comes to handling, road conditions, performance, or the aesthetic look of your car, truck, or SUV. When purchasing tires with McCluskey Chevy, our helpful staff will assist you in choosing the right size for your vehicle and answer any questions that you may have.
Run the Numbers
Before you purchase tires in Cincinnati, be sure you are working with a reputable dealership or sales team, like McCluskey Chevy. Why does this matter? When you buy a tire in Cincinnati, there are so many considerations and aspects that you will be looking at. Indeed no factors will be more important to consider than the safety of the tire you choose for your car, truck, or SUV. You’ll want to shop for your tires in Cincinnati with a reputable dealer so you can be sure they check essential things like the tires car load rating, as well as the recommended speed rating.
Why Should I Invest in Quality Tires for My Car, Truck, Or SUV?
If you’ve read this far, you are probably interested in continuing learning about the importance of investing in great tires for your vehicle. New or used, winter or summer, large or standard, the tire you choose will greatly affect the appearance and performance of your vehicle, making it a very good investment. For a vehicle purchase, tires rank among the most important upgrades or replacements on the market, that is how greatly they affect so many aspects of your car, truck, or SUV.
Choose McCluskey Chevy for Your Tires in Cincinnati
When you are ready to purchase new tires in Cincinnati, look no further than McCluskey Chevy. We’ve got the biggest inventory of tires around, so you can be assured you will have the best selection to choose from. Our customer service team, as well as our team of expert service professionals, will help you select the right tires for the vehicle, the performance, and the weather and road conditions you need them for. McCluskey Chevy has been around for many, many years and is a proud member of our Cincinnati community. We love to give back in a variety of ways, and we show our appreciation to our loyal customers, as well as new and future customers by always striving to provide the utmost in customer service and by providing the highest quality tires at the best value around. At McCluskey Chevy, our team will help you select the very best tire choice for your particular budget, road condition considerations, weather issues, as well as a tire that perfectly fits your specific car, truck or SUV.