Archive for September, 2013

How to Crack the Tire Code

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Tires always contain a great deal of information to identify themselves, but if you don’t know what you’re looking at, it can be a bit like reading hieroglyphics. While a lot of this information isn’t important to the typical driver, some of it can tell you whether a tire is appropriate for the season, whether it will fit on your car as a replacement and whether the tire will perform as you’d like.

When you look at a tire, the first thing you’ll notice is the name of the manufacturer and a descriptor for the tire’s model. But just what does the rest of it mean? 

close up of tires

How to read your tires

Take this tire number as an example: P235/75R15

Leading off a series of numbers, you will often see a prominent letter or pair of letters. P here means the tire is appropriate for a passenger car. T means temporary (or spare), C is for commercial tires, and LT is for light trucks.

After this, you’ll likely see three numbers (235) which indicate the tires width in millimeters. After the slash comes a two digit number (75) representing the tire’s “profile,” which is the sidewall height relative to the sidewall width as an aspect ratio. 75 means the sidewall is 75% as tall as it its wide. The industry calls this profile number the tire’s “series.” Short sidewalled tires for sports cars are lower-series, and off-road tires designed to take punishment are higher-series.

The profile is almost universally followed by an R, which means you’re looking at a radial tire. Some performance tires also include another letter, which defines the tire’s maximum speed. The last number (15) is the rim’s diameter in inches, not millimeters!

Other information included on your tire can include a tread wear rating (from 100 to 700) and a temperature rating (from A to C, with A being the most heat resistant). Another set of numbers you will see, the 10-digit TIN (tire identification number) near the rim, is mostly useless for the tire buyer. However, the last four digits represent the birth week and year of any tire made since 2000.

If you would like more information on how to read a tire’s markings, or for quality tires in Bakersfield, contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Are Your Tires Worn Out?

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The law in your state most likely defines your car tires as legally “worn” if there is 2/32 of an inch or less remaining tread. To help you determine your tread depth, tires in North America are required to mold indicators into their tread design. These indicators, which run across the tread pattern, are designed to visually warn drivers that their tires no longer meet minimum tread depth requirements.

old tire

But 2/32″ is just the minimum. Most drivers, particularly if concerned with driving in wet conditions or on gravel roads, should replace their tires at about 4/32″ tread depth. For snowy driving, you should consider replacing tires at approximately 6/32″ to maintain good mobility. The additional tread depth allows the tires to compress the snow in the grooves and release it as it rolls. With too little tread depth, snow can easily build up in your tread grooves and make breaking nearly impossible.  

Want to know how much of your tread is left but don’t have a tread gauge? Not sure if you’ve got enough tread to take on a rainstorm? Use the simple penny trick to see how close you are to a tire replacement.

penny on tails

Any US coin can be used in place of a tire tread depth gauge, particularly in the crucial last fractions of an inch. Take a penny and place it into several tread grooves. If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by rubber, your tires are not legally “worn” (below 2/32″).

To detect uneven wear caused by mechanical issues, you can check with the penny along the tire’s central circumferential groove. Significant differences in tread depth around the tire can indicate tire misalignments and other issues.

You can do the same trick with a quarter as well, though the measurement is a little different. Washington is a little further from the quarter’s edge, so when you place it in a tread groove, if any part of his head is covered by rubber you have at least 4/32″ of an inch.

For more information on how to check the tread of your tires, or for great deals on tires in Fresno, contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Tire Blowouts Are No Joke

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Experiencing a tire blowout is one of the scariest, self-inflicted situations that can happen to a person on the road. Not being prepared for it will undoubtedly send you into a sense of panic, but knowing what to do should that situation occur can help you keep your head on straight and return to safety.

worst day ever with blown tire

If you experience a tire blowout, briefly continue on the accelerator and gently counter-steer your vehicle until it is stable. Once it is stable, slowly pull over and take it from there. For more tips on what to do when dealing with a tire blowout, or for tires in Los Angeles contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Pennies Are More Valuable Than You Think

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If you think your tires may be ready for a change but are still unsure, all you need is a penny. Place the penny upside-down between several tread grooves on your tire. If you can always see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread is wearing thin and it is time for a change. However, if part of his head is covered, you are good to go.

pennies also function as tire gauges

Check frequently to make sure you are always getting the best mileage out of your car. If you would like to save some pennies on tires in Los Angeles, contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Throwing Your Weight Around – 330 Pounds of Tire!

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Exercise has long been prescribed as a restorative practice during times of grief. Something about the exertion and sweat seems to squeeze heartache out of our body (in truth it’s more like all pain is being drowned in a flood of endorphins.)

A group of friends took this principle to the extreme recently in Lincolnshire, England, holding a tire flipping contest to raise money in memory of workout buddy Mark Browne. These gents were serious too, using massive tractor tires weighing more than 330 pounds. Two teams of ten men from Lockdown MMA and Fitspace flipped the rubber over an entire mile.

flipping large tire

Browne died of cancer in the previous year and in his honor, the event raised more than 600 British pounds ($930USD) for MacMillan Cancer Cupport.

It seemed fitting that on Mark’s birthday the friends gathered to work hard in teams flipping tires the same size as their bodies. Mark was their inspiration, according to Johnson, “Mark was in the gym right up until he physically couldn’t do it because of the cancer so it felt right for us to do something like this.” With friends like these, anything is possible.

For more information on MacMillian Cancer Support or for the best tires in Los Angeles, contact Discount Tire Centers today.

Main photo by Tsar Kasim

Don’t Forget to Recycle Old Tires

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Contrary to popular belief, tires are in fact not biodegradable and must be disposed of properly after use. If they are not, they have the ability to cause a number of issues.

please recycle tires

One such issue is providing housing for mosquitoes and other “stagnant water” bugs; no one wants that sort of infestation on their hands. Old tires are recycled and turned into many useful products such as road pieces and even sandals. There are plenty of recycling centers, so there is bound to be one near you. For more information on recycling or for great deals on tires in Los Angeles, contact Discount Tire Centers today.