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What to Look for in Your Tires

If the tread on your tires is dwindling, it’s certainly time for a replacement set. Much like how there are a variety of car types, makes and models, there is a world of different tire types and sizes to appropriately match the vehicles they’re intended to support.

You know that a Jeep Wrangler and a Toyota Corolla are going to require different tire types, but when it comes to your specific vehicle, do you know what to look for to determine its needs?

The following information will help you find the answers to many of your tire-based questions. Read on, then schedule an appointment to come down to our tire replacement and auto detailing shop servicing Morrisville, PA.

Glossary

Sizing: Proper tire size, speed and weight rating are crucial to your car performing safely and efficiently. When determining yours, find the numbers that look something like this: P215/65R15 95H. Find this number in your owner’s manual or on your current tires themselves.

Tire Width: The width of the tire measured in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. The first three-digit number in the tire size refers to the tire width. For instance, in a size P215/65 R15 tire, the width is 215 millimeters.

Aspect Ratio: The ratio of the height of a tire’s cross-section to its width. The two-digit number after the slash mark in a tire size is the aspect ratio. For example, in a size P215/65 R15 tire, the 65 means that the height is equal to 65% of the tire’s width. The higher the aspect ratio, the higher the tire’s sidewall will be.

Wheel Diameter: The size of the wheel measured from one end to the other. It tells us the size of the wheel that the tire is intended to fit. A size P215/65 R15 tire is made for a wheel with a 15″ diameter.

Load Index: Indicates the maximum load that the tire can support when properly inflated. You can find the maximum load on your tire’s sidewall, in both pounds and kilograms.

Speed Rating: Tells you the maximum speed capability of a tire. Often, speed ratings are matched to the top speed capability of the vehicle to which it’s attached. For example, a tire with an H-speed rating has a maximum speed capability of 130 mph or 210 km/h.

Other Information

PSI Determination: The recommended PSI is generally based on the vehicle, rather than the tire itself. The PSI listed on your tires will indicate the maximum amount, and is never recommended. The recommended PSI is listed on a sticker on the inside edge of the driver’s door.

Modern Monitors: Today’s cars no longer have simple rubber valve stems. Rather, they’re mostly equipped with monitors that allow vehicles to display tire pressures and low tire warnings on the dash board. Unfortunately, when these fail they can be expensive to replace. Most tire pressure lights and warnings will automatically reset themselves once the proper pressure is put into the tire by driving the vehicle. In some instances, the tire pressure lights must be manually reset with an automotive computer.

Rotations: Appropriately scheduled rotations can dramatically increase the life of your tires, due to the front tires generally wearing faster than their rear counterparts.

Alignments: To get the most life out of your tires, regular alignments are important. When a tire is out of alignment the tire will not wear evenly, usually wearing prematurely on the inside or outside edge.

Noise: Are your tires making a lot of noise? Many times, the cause of this is a symptom referred to as cupping. Cupping is what happens when a tire forms low and high spots in the tread. This is usually caused by alignment or suspension issues.

Tread: New tires start with 10/32” to 12/32” of tread depth. The minimum amount of tread needed to pass a safety inspection in Pennsylvania is 2/32”.

Why Choose Big Oak?

  • We don’t stock tires on-premises, but we can get most tires within an hour.
  • We are tire experts. There isn’t one tire that is the best in general, but there may be one that’s the best for you. We factor in your vehicle, lifestyle and budget when helping you find the perfect tires.
  • We can get any tire that you desire—all sizes brands and models, at competitive prices
  • We are experts at replacing tire pressure monitors, at prices that put the dealerships to shame.
  • We offer 4 wheel computerized alignments right here at Big Oak.
  • You can have an 18-year-old tech school graduate install your tires at one of a million quick lube or tire places, or you can have an ASE master certified technician do it for you at Big Oak for around the same price. Your choice.
  • Frustrated with your run-flat tires? You can put regular tires on those same rims and we can help you find a spare tire kit for your trunk!

Now that you’ve read all this, you’re certainly something of a tire expert! But we still recommend that you come down to our car maintenance shop servicing Morrisville, PA to have yours replaced. See you soon!