• Ambre Guterl

5 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Tires

Updated: 8 hours ago

5 Facts You Didn't Know About Tires

How much do you really know about tires? They seem pretty straightforward to most. You get a tire, then you slap it on the car, and you're all set, right? Well, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Specific vehicles have guidelines when it comes to replacing tires. Like all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles for example, when you replace one tire you have to replace them all. With this in mind, let's dive into 5 facts that you probably didn't know about tires. Let's go!

What are Tires made of?

Worn Out Tire No Tread

Let's start with what tires are made of. Did you know that there are 200 different materials in a tire? Yes, it seems crazy but materials like polyester, steel, carbon, silica, and oil, are all used to make a tire. All 200 of these materials make up 7 components of a tire, the bead, bead filler, belts, body ply, inner liner, sidewall, and tread. These components work together to secure the tire to the wheel, hold air and withstand air pressure, resist abrasion and weathering, while providing grip and handling for the driver.

Does the age of tires matter?

Uneven Tire Tread Wear

YES! The age of tires matters. When a tire is manufactured it starts to break down immediately at a slow rate. Usually, tires are less than a year old when they arrive at a tire shop, but shouldn't be over 18 months old when sold. Here at Quality Automotive, we prefer not to sell a tire over a year old. To prolong the life of your tires, we recommend checking your tire pressure regularly, rotating your tires consistently, and receiving an alignment at least once a year or every 15, 000 miles. Checking for dry rot, cracks, and uneven wear is also helpful in preventing more inconvenient issues like blowouts and flat tires.

How do you read DOT numbers?

DOT, Size, and Manufacturer Information on a Tire

All tires in the United States are made with a DOT number which indicates when, where and who the tire was manufactured by. The letters "DOT" are followed up by thirteen to fourteen letters and numbers, sometimes a little of both. Take the pictured tire for example. The first letters and digits stand for the Plant code and tire size. The next three letters stand for the specific brand characteristic and the numbers on the end stand for the week and year the tire was manufactured. So for example, the pictured tire was manufactured on the 26th week of the year 2008.

What is the number one way to find out if you need new tires?

Tire Tread Penny Test

Needing new tires isn't always obvious. So, other than getting a flat tire, how would you test to see if you're in need of new ones. Your auto shop has a special tool to check the depth of your tire's tread. How can you check without that tool? Try placing a quarter, with the Washington side facing you and upside down, between the grooves of the tire tread. You can measure the amount of tread you have by checking if the top of Washington's head is covered or if it's completely visible. If you can clearly see Washington's head then it's time for new tires. If the top of his head is cut off by tire tread then you're ok for now, but should continue to keep a close eye on the wear of your tires. Other ways to determine if your tires are going bad are