Most car owners in Tampa take their tires for granted. Don’t ever make that same mistake. As cliché as it may sound, tires are the most important safety feature of any vehicle.
Come to think of it. Isn’t it that tires are the only means of contact you have with the road while driving? If a tire does not grip the road properly, even the most sophisticated anti-skid, stability, and traction systems are useless. Even engines, car brakes, and the life of vehicle passengers are at the mercy of tires. So much depend on tires that it is necessary to have the needed knowledge on buying and maintaining tires, as well as tire repair.
Unlike people who can change footwear as they do daily business in Tampa, your car is stuck with the same set of tires until it is time for tire repair or replacement. This means that as a car owner, you should be able to choose a set of tires that can withstand the road conditions in Tampa every change in season.
This holds true whether you are dealing with new or used tires since parts of newly manufactured tires are still the same for used tires in working condition. Even if they already have been subjected to tire repair and retreading, used tires still have the following parts:
- interior (holds in air and gives the tire its shape)
- fabric belts
- bead (attaches tire to its wheel)
- steel belts (provides stability and make tread patterns as flat as possible)
- sidewall (responsible for stiffness, bump absorption, and cornering ability)
These parts work together to make your ride in Tampa as smooth as possible. Problems with any of these parts should be given proper tire repair attention, both for new and used tires.
However, not all new tires are created the same. They differ in sizes, speed ratings, load capacities, and traction abilities. Any car owner in Tampa should know these four properties before proceeding in buying a set of new tires. New tires are not cheap commodities and some tire stores have a no return no exchange policy. You may find codes for these properties on a tire’s sidewall.
You can see tire size on the sidewall of a tire. Tire sizes are associated with width and aspect ratio. They commonly starts with letters. LT means Light Truck, P means Passenger, and C means Commercial or Delivery vehicles respectively.
A tire’s speed rating is its ability to dissipate heat. Heat build-up is the worst enemy of tires. Excessive heat causes premature wear and tear.
A tire with higher speed rating means it has high ability to dissipate heat during long road trips. Normal speed ratings you will see are 118 MPH and 130 MPH.
This pertains to the how much weight a single tire can bear. Tires with higher load ratings are better than those with lower ones.
Traction refers to the ability to hold or grip the road. This is the key to safety of any vehicle. Most car owners balance their traction in different settings: dry, wet, and snow. Winter tires are advised for those driving in most northern climates; while those residing in tropical climates will be fine with all season or touring tires.