Tires are among the most important part of your vehicle and, we hope anyway, the only part of your automobile that touches the road with any regularity. So it’s important for drivers to have an understanding of what tires are and, just as importantly, what they aren’t. Here are six widespread myths about tires every driver should know:
Myth #1: Only got enough money for two new tires? Put them in the front
Replacing only two tires on your vehicle? Without exception, the new tires must go on the REAR of the automobile. Why? Because the rear tires provide stability, and if you have a set of new tires up front, in wet weather they’ll easily disperse water while the back tires sit on the top of the water. This is can lead to hydroplaning. So in order to prevent your car from fish tailing or spinning completely out of control in wet weather, the tires with the most tread (i.e, the newest tires) should be in the back and NOT the front.
Myth #2: My Tire Pressure Monitoring System will always tell me when my tires are under-inflated
Ahh, technology! It makes our lives easier, if not simpler. Or it seems to anyway. But sometimes we get carried away and become over-dependent on our new tech. If your car has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, it might be tempting to think you never need to check your tire pressure yourself, but the fact is most TPMS systems won’t warn you until your tires are 25% underinflated, which can already be well in the range of unsafe driving. So don’t think of this system as a free pass when it comes to tire pressure, just a handy backup to your reasonable diligence.
Myth #3: My tire will burst if I fill it past the tire’s “max press” number
False! The “Max Press” number on the tire wall doesn’t tell you anything about burst pressure. Max Press (short for max pressure), along with “Max Load,” let you know how much the tire will carry. This doesn’t mean you should fill the tire past this pressure, just that most tires won’t burst at even twice Max Press.
Myth #4: Max Press = Maximum Cornering Grip
Also false! Oh, Max Press, it’s just not your day. No, that Max Press has anything to do with the maximum cornering grip of a tire is another myth.
Myth #5: Low Profile Tires + Large Wheels = Handling Heaven
Yes, low profile tires provide extra response when you first turn the wheel, but that’s where the benefit ends, at which point the tread compound – or how sticky the rubber is – determines grip and thus handling.
Myth #6: Tires with the Same Designations are the Same Size
One might think that a tire marked 225/35 suggests the sidewalls are precisely 35% the width of the tire, but this isn’t always true. Manufacturers’ standards vary and tire companies might scrimp on a little bit of rubber here or there to improve their margin. The only way to know for sure what your tires’ size is, to the centimeter, is to measure it yourself.
Looking for tires in Canyon Country? Visit Discount Tire Centers! What do you know about tires? How do you keep yours in good shape? Leave us a comment and let us know!Main image courtesy of Miroslav Petrasko