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Tire Myths Debunked

May 7th 2021

Tire Myths Debunked

Tire Myths Debunked

May 7th 2021

In today’s blog post, we will look at some tire myths you might believe to be true. These are some common misconceptions about tires, which can be annoying and something dangerous when they are proven wrong in action.

Speed Rating

According to the tire myth, the speed of the vehicle will have no effect on the tires mounted on it.

This is a lie. All tires are marked with a speed rating, which designate its speed pressure durability. It is important to follow this guideline as the heat pressure generated during a vehicle’s high speed performance might prove to be too strong for certain tires.

The problem arises when touring tires are mounted on high performance vehicles and those touring tires (usually with a T or H speed rating) are expected to perform as a high performance tire (W and Y speed rating). While for the average commuter even a T (118 mph) or H (130 mph) speed rated model will be able to handle the speed that their vehicle is going, mounting such tires on high performance vehicles will eventually cause their failure.

The generated heat along the tire during the high speed performance will easily cause a tire blowout, which at such speeds can be catastrophic.

All Season vs Winter Tires

This myth states that all season tires can be used all year round, even in severe winter conditions.

Winter tires are marked with the three mountain peak and snowflake symbol for a reason. It designates their ability to securely perform in harsher cold temperature conditions. All season tires, on the other hand, offer excellent year round traction, as long as the temperature does not drop too low.

There is a slight truth in this myth. Whether you can use all season tires in all weather conditions depends on your living area. Some places have mild temperatures all year round and they do not experience severe winters. In such locations, all season tires can be used all year. However, if your living or commuting area experience harsh winters and freezing temperatures, it's best to get a set of winter tires.

If you would like to look into this issue in more detail, please take a look at our blog post.

Detailed Tread Design = Traction

The myth goes as: the more detail (siping, grooves etc.) a tire’s tread has, the better traction they will provide in various weather conditions.

This is only true in wet and winter weather conditions. On slippery or ice- and snow-covered road surfaces a tire’s tread design will determine its traction. In these cases, the siping detail and optimal tread block placement heighten the number of biting edges gripping the road surface, which improve the traction and the overall performing capability.

However, this is not the case in dry weather conditions. In dry, warm temperatures it is actually the tire compound that provides the traction. The rubber-to-road contact of the optimal tire compound maintains a firm grip on the road surface in summer weather conditions. Furthermore, in such conditions, the detailed tread design will most likely hinder the vehicle’s performance.

Wider Footprint = Better Winter Traction

This is another myth about traction. According to this a tire with a wider footprint will offer better traction through the snow.

A larger footprint will give you a better grip on the road surface, as it offers a wider road contact area. HOWEVER, a wider footprint will face a stronger resistance when driving through snow. Tires which offer a narrow footprint work better for snow performance. The narrow footprint works on the same principle as a knife cutting through butter. The smaller footprint minimizes the area where the resistance pressure of the road or terrain surface can affect the tire, which offers an effortless performance through snow.

Alignment

A myth tells you that your tires do not need to be aligned.

This is a bad idea. All tires on a vehicle need to be aligned at least once a year. If a vehicle’s alignment is off, it will shorten the lifespan of your tires. A bad alignment on your vehicle will cause the tires to develop an uneven wear pattern on their tread area, which will significantly decrease their usability.

To ensure even wear along your tires, be sure to align your vehicle regularly to prevent any issues from arising during their performance. 

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