How to Choose Tires
One of the most important parts of your vehicle is the tires. Good quality
tires can give you a more comfortable ride, better gas mileage, better traction,
and avoid a sudden blow out at highway speeds. But most people don't know much
about tire specifications, so they buy the cheapest ones that fit their car, or
they buy what-ever the salesman recommends.
In the past, tires where constructed with the cords at a 60 degree angle to
the direction of travel. They were called bias-ply tires. In use, the
bias-plys rubbed against each other, resulting in internal stress and heat.
The radial tire, developed in 1946, is constructed with the cords at a 90 degree
angle to the direction of travel. This reduces internal stress and allows the tire
tread to lay flat on the road, which provides more traction and improved fuel efficiency.
The radial tire casing is made up of a series of layers or plies, the material
of which may consist of polyester, rayon, or fiberglass. The top layer consists
of steel belts constructed of woven strands of steel cord. Radial steel belts
provide better traction and protect against punctures.
Tire Tread Design
The tire's tread design determines whether the tire will provide a comfortable
ride, good traction, and long tread life. An all-season tread design provides a
comfortable ride, and good traction on wet or dry pavement. All-season steel
belted radial tires offer a good value.
Computer design and laboratory testing results in a tread design that
provides a comfortable ride along with superior handling and a better grip on
the road. But these high-performance tires cost much more.