5 Myths (and 2 Truths) about your Car Tires

Car Tire

Your car tires are arguably the most important component on your vehicle. For most people, they trend as among the least understood parts of a car. There are many misconceptions and myths about car tires, some of which are actually true! Here are a few of the most ‘pop'-ular of myths to take the mystery out of your new tires:

1. Your Car Tires May Burst if You Exceed the "Max Pressure" Number on the Sidewall

A Myth! The "max pressure" number placed on the sidewall of your car tires has nothing to do with the tire being full to the point of bursting at all. In fact, the indicators for max pressure and max load let you know the best tire pressure and maximum weight for the car tire. Fortunately for everyone, new tires will not blow open, even when filled well beyond the maximum pressure numbers. Although they may not blow, any auto mechanic or auto repair specialist will recommend not to overfill new tires. Not only does overfilling cause uneven wear, but you will not have a very smooth ride. Too much air will lessen the amount of cushioning a tire has with bumps in the road. You also run a higher risk of damaging a tire if you hit a pothole or large bump at a high speed with more than the recommended pressure.

2. All Vehicles Come With a Spare Tire. I Don't Need to Worry

Another Myth! Back in early days of motor travel, roads were littered with debris such as rocks, branches, and even horseshoe nails. Tire blowouts were common, which required cars to have 1-2 new tires traveling with them wherever they went. Nowadays, manufacturers use much more sophisticated technology. Today's run-flat car tires can continue to roll well after something punctures them. In addition, developers have created specialized tire inflators and sealants that keep car tires going until you reach a tire shop. And in this day and age, a good car tire shop is never too far away. Because of this, more and more car manufacturers no longer include spare car tires in new cars. It is important to know whether your vehicle has an actual spare tire or employs another method, such as tire sealants, or run-flat tires.

3. My Car Tires Already Have Sensors for Tire Pressure. I Don't Need to Monitor it

The truth: Unless you like driving on critically low tires, you should never rely on your car sensors. The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) does monitor your car tires. However, they won't actually warn you that your tires are low until they reach a "critically low" level. Often, that means your tires have 25% or less of their recommended air pressure and this is generally way below the threshold for safe driving standards. Car manufacturers designed TPMS as a last-minute warning before the imminent failure of your tires. You should always keep a tire gauge in your vehicle as a monitor to keep your tires properly inflated at all times.

4. When Replacing Only Two Car Tires, the New Ones Go in the Back

This one is True! Rear tires provide stability to your car. If your back tires lose traction during slowing or braking, you will end up in a spin. If you put your new tires up in front, they keep their traction while the rear tires slip and cause you to fishtail or go into a spinout. So always make to install the tires with the most tread in the rear.

5. Low-Profile Tires Fitted on Large-Diameter Wheels Improve Handling

The truth: The short sidewalls of low-profile tires enhance the tires' response when the driver first turns the steering wheel. That gives the driver the (often false) feeling the tire has tons of grip. But after that initial movement, it's the tread compound—the stickiness of the rubber—that determines how well the tire grips the road. Also, the combination of a large-diameter wheel and low-profile tire is usually heavier than the original equipment. This means the suspension may not be able to keep the tire in touch with the pavement.

6. You Should Not Mix Tires from Different Manufacturers, Even if They are the Same Size

Yup, this one is mostly true! All tire sizes are not all the same across all manufacturers. What one manufacturer designates as 180R15, may not be exactly the same width as another manufacturer of car tires. But these differences in car tires are not due to production tolerances. Each manufacturer produces their tires a little differently. And those differences do result in varying sizes. Some manufacturers prefer to design their car tires wider and taller. This puts more rubber on the ground, which increases a tire's performance. Other manufacturers use less material, and this makes for more economical tires for families on a tight budget.

7. Trailer Tires and Car Tires are the Same as Long as the Size Matches

Nope! Although car tires and trailer tires both have treads, and are made of rubber, they have their differences. Trailer tires are designed to handle a larger carrying capacity, and give your tow a smooth ride. Car tires, on the other hand, are designed more for traction and handling, with emphasis on rider comfort. While a normal car or truck tire might fit your trailer, your trailer will tow much better with proper trailer tires. Conversely, while you can use a trailer tire on a car, auto repair specialists definitely do not recommend it.

The Experts on Car Tires Have the Best Solution for Any Car, Truck or SUV

Only the best auto mechanics can separate the rumors about car tires from the facts. And the top and auto repair specialists can be found at West Coast Tire & Service in Los Angeles. As the top-rated auto repair and tire service in Los Angeles, they know the best solution for any car enthusiast, for every budget. And that's definitely no myth!