What You Need To Know About Tires

June 12th, 2018 by

Did you know there’s an entire market for just tires? When it comes to tires, there isn’t even just a low grade and high grade; there’s a lot of different tires for every kind of vehicle. Knowing exactly what tire you should be using and the best and practice uses for your brand of tire is our main focus today. We hope to get you up to speed so you’ll be able to see and spot the difference on your current tires, what to look for, what all those numbers and letters mean and what you might want going forward when it comes to tires you’ll use. Once you’re sold on anything, we can offer you fantastic prices and with a simple appointment, help you get those specific tires on your vehicle.

That being said, the first thing you should know about tires is when to get new ones; you might not need to replace a tire with a nail as you can patch your tire. Many drivers have no idea, but tires are a large part of what makes a car safe as well as run smoothly. Paying attention to them is the first step of being a good car owner.

The Time to Replace Any Tire

This may come as a surprise to some people, but tires don’t last the life of a car. Generally, you’ll have to replace every tire on your vehicle every 30,000-80,000 miles depending on your tire, the vehicle you own and the number of miles you put on your car. Signs that require immediate attention include tire rubber bubbling or showing any metal from the steel belts wearing through, a nail in the sidewall or low tread.

Tires with low tread are more suspect and susceptible to blowing out and potentially leading to an accident. It’s best to replace a worn down tire and replace the tire on the opposite side to go along with it. So replacing one tire on the front means adding another new tire on the other side, just to keep the vehicle balanced. (You don’t want to have one tire larger than another on the same side.) We recommend an alignment with every new set of tires added as well. Alignments help ensure your tires are going to run properly and not end up wearing out in a disjointed fashion as well as giving your vehicle better handling.

Speed Rating of a Tire

Generally speaking, when noticing the speed rating letter on the tire, the higher the letter, the higher the speed. Now, for some reason, there’s the occasional random letter, like Z, that’s a lower maximum speed. The higher the performance mainly. For example, Z is a high performance tire that denotes more more than 149 mph, maximum speed.

Going over the various items: L 75 mph (generally light truck tires); M 81 mph and N 87 mph equate to temporary spare tires; Q 99 mph; R 106 mph; S 112 mph; T 118 mph are tires that are on family sedans and usually vans. Sport sedans and coupes are H 130 mph with V 149 mph is considered a tire speed rating of a sports car.

Z as noted earlier is 149+mph, W 168 mph, which ranks with the final ones listed as a sports car speed rating along with Y 186 mph and (Y) 186+ mph. The higher the rating usually also means a more expensive tire, aside from larger truck tires that can be more costly. The more premium and unique your vehicle, likely, the more expensive your tire replacements can cost.

Other Tire Info Worth Knowing

Easily locate the information sheet, knowing as the placard, on any vehicle. To find a placard, open the driver’s side door and notice the white and black sticker that lists all the information of the vehicle. Contained on that list is the proper air pressure for your tires in pounds per square inch. You don’t have to fill all the way to the maximum tire pressure, rather you can go below that number and be safe, we’d recommend looking up online for your tire brand or reaching out to us to give you details about what would be safe. Some vehicles can go lower than the recommended amount; no doubt there.

What Are Those Other Numbers on My Tires?

P is written on a tire to denote that it’s a passenger tire. Some tires, like tires used on heavy duty trucks, are listed with LT. Now, the most important thing to know when buying tires is when the tires were manufactured. You don’t want tires that are several years old, especially if you expect them to be brand new. Every tire has a Department of Transportation number on the sidewall of the tire. The last four numbers represent the week and year the tire was created. So, for example, 3617 would mean the 36th week of 2017. Those would be new tires and fine, if you see 1512, then you might want to have them replaced or switched for something much newer as an older tire is not good to buy or have added to your vehicle.

Where Can You Go For New Tires and Car Help?

We hope these tire facts will help you find the next set of tires that are right for your vehicle and if you need any help with your vehicle, look no further than University Dodge. We look forward to seeing you soon.