You Are Here:  Blog Home  >  Archives for May 2011

Why are My Car Tires Wearing?

Tires are made of a number of different components: sidewall, inner tube, liner, belts, piles. While each of these is important to the overall performance of the tire, drivers generally look at the tire’s tread in order to measure how fast their tires are wearing down. Understanding why tread wears at all is a matter of understanding how tires work.

The biggest enemy of tire tread aren’t sharp objects or road debris. It is heat. Tires are made of rubber and when you expose rubber to heat, the tread burns or wears off. The simple friction caused by a tire rubbing against pavement generates heat. This means that every time you drive your car, you are wearing down the tires. Higher speeds mean higher heat. This is why tires have a speed rating . Tires have to be built to endure the higher heat associated with higher speeds, which is why racing tires are so different than regular car tires, and even they can wear out extremely fast.

Aggressive driving also generates heat. Abrupt stops and starts at faster speeds result in faster wear of the tire tread. The phrase burning rubber isn’t just about the smell; that tire track is part of the tread being left behind.

Wear off enough of the tread, and it’s time to start shopping for tire and rim packages . The less tread a tire has, the less responsive it is to the driver. It will have less traction which can be dangerous in wet weather, including snowy or icy conditions. This increases the chance of both tire blowouts and accidents.

There are reasons that your tire tread may be wearing unevenly or too fast. If you are not keeping your tires properly inflated, either the center or the edges of the tire may be wearing faster. Problems with your car can also contribute to the wear of the tires. For example, if your vehicle’s alignment is faulty, this will result in the tires wearing faster on the inside or outside. You also want to make sure that you rotate your tires on a regular basis, as this will help ensure that all four wear more evenly.

American Classic Cars

Summertime finds many Americans hitting the road. Whether they are going on road trip vacations or cruising for fun with friends, they want to be enjoying the warm weather and longer hours of daylight by getting out on the streets and highways. Summer is also the time when motorheads like to show off their wheels, with car clubs holding rallys and tours or meeting in parking lots to display classic and vintage cars.

There are some clubs that focus on foreign made vehicles, but there is nothing like an American classic car to evoke waves of nostalgia in people of all ages. Pontiac, Ford, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, AMC, Dodge — these are the names that car lovers seek out. And those who happen to own a vehicle from the 1960s, 1970s, or even older are likely to have spent hundreds of hours rebuilding or maintaining their car in perfect condition. They invest in custom wheels and keep the paint job pristine. They polish, protect, and show off their car every chance they get.Vintage Tires

The appeal of these cars is two-fold, both to those who own the cars and those who show up at rallys to see them. The first is the unique beauty of these babies. American car makers specialized in making muscle cars and hot rods that combined speed with beauty. Many car lovers are just as enthralled with what’s under the hood as what the body of the vehicle looks like. A beautifully designed engine, kept in perfect running condition, can be more attractive than a sleek exterior design. When both are brought together, the effect can be staggering.

Nostalgia also plays a big part in why these cars are so attractive. Manufacturers weren’t kidding when they sold cars as being built to last. Forty, fifty, even sixty years after they were made, these classic cars are still on the road. They remind people of an earlier era before things became so disposable; when owners took pride in their possessions and did what was necessary to keep them not just functional, but in top condition. Though that age past, it continues to live on as long as some of these cars remain as reminders of the way things were — and could be again.

How to Dip Factory Car Rims

The economy is tight and people are trying to figure out ways to save money by taking on certain repair and enhancement projects on their own. While much of the attention is given to home improvement, there is much that people can do for their car without paying a professional. Many people are learning to change their car’s oil, rotate tires, or even do minor car repairs, all in the name of saving money. They also get more than a bit of personal satisfaction from a job well done.

There are some projects, however, that may sound simple, but actually require specialized equipment or knowledge. One such project is dipping car rims . This allows car owners to dip plain alloy rims in chrome, so that they have a shiny, polished appearance. Since chrome rims cost so much more than plain ones, they hope to be able to do the dipping themselves and pocket the difference.

Chrome finish is not the same a paint. In order to dip a wheel, an electroplating process is employed. This requires special chemicals and machinery in order to make the new metal adhere to the rims. Most individuals can’t afford such machinery for just one project. Instead, they will need to find a company that offers professional dipping services. These companies can usually be found by checking area directly listings or asking local tire dealers or mechanics for recommendations.

Most chrome plating companies work the same way. Rims are delivered to the company, either in person if the company is nearby or shipped there. The actual process can take several weeks, depending on the backlog at the company. When the rims are ready, they are either picked up in person or shipped back by the company to the owner. An alternative process is known as a core exchange. In this case, the company ships a set of dipped rims that match those on the driver’s car and the driver ships their undipped rims to the company. This is much faster, but the company must have the same rims in stock from a previous exchange.

Who Sells Cooper Tires

If you’re like many car lovers, you’ll have heard your friends recommend Cooper tires. They are well-made and durable. Oftentimes they run smoother and more quietly than similar models offered by other tire makers. It is also possible to find them at on sale or in package deals that make them extremely affordable, given the level of quality and performance that they provide.

The problem you may be having is figuring out where to buy them. Unlike some of the more commonly known brands, they are not necessarily available in every city or town. Even if a local dealer carries some cooper tires they may not have the exact tire or size that you need for your vehicle. This may leave you going from store to store trying to find someone who has what you want in stock.

Your best bet, as you’ve probably already recognized, is to search online. You may hit car forums or look for blog posts (like this one) that can point you in the right direction. Here are a few tips for finding tires online — which can be applied to other brands as well as Cooper.

Cooper Zeon ZPT

1. Type the actual tire name and size that you are seeking into

your favorite search engine. The result would be something like this: Cooper Tire Discoverer AT3 225/70-15 or Cooper Discoverer AT3 245/65-17.

2. Add words like sale, discount or package to the search term in order to find a better price.

3. If you are looking for a local dealer who would have the tires in stock, you can try to put your town or zip code in the search. Just realize that the closest bricks and mortar dealer may be very far away from you — maybe several states or time zones if you are seeking a less common tire or size.

4. When looking at online dealers, remember that you need to factor in the cost of shipping the tires to you. Look for stores that offer free shipping or free freight on their website.

5. If you can’t find the specific tire listed as part of a store’s online inventory, take a moment to send them an email or call their customer service line. They may be able to do a special order for you. Some stores also have Twitter or Facebook accounts where you can pose questions or request new tires be added to their inventory.

The beauty of the internet is that it makes it much easier for you to find what you’re looking for — and to have so many more things available to you than could ever be kept in stock at your local tire store.

How Long Do Car Tires Last?

The good news is that quality car tires are built to last. The even better news is that you can prolong that life by taking good care of the tires. In fact, some tests have shown that proper tire maintenance can extend the life of tires by as much as thirty to fifty percent.

When you are looking at tires for sale , each manufacturer should indicate the general longevity of the tire. This information should appear on the label. In most cases, tires can last between 25,000 and 50,000 miles.

Choosing the right tire can change how long until you need to replace them. Sometimes you can get tires that will last another 15,000 or 20,000 miles by spending just a few more dollars per tire, so shop carefully. It’s also important to choose tires that are suitable for the road and weather conditions you encounter. Take into consideration how much wear you will be inflicting on the tires and pick ones that can handle that use.

There are two things you can do to make sure your tires live their full life or even longer. The first is make sure to drive responsibly. Bad driving habits can cause tires to wear out faster than expected. This includes taking tires on roads they are not designed for and exceeding the speed rating or load index for the tires. Aggressive driving with lots of squealing tires also contributes to shorter tire life.

The most important thing to do for your new tires is to take care of them. Proper tire maintenance is as simple as keeping the tires inflated within manufacturer recommendations and getting the tires rotated on a regular schedule. If you get into these two habits, and avoid the driving pitfalls mentioned above, you can increase the life of a tire rated at 50,000 miles to as much as 65,000 to 75,000 before it wears out.

What Needs to be Checked on a Car Before Buying Tires

Even if you’ve never had to buy tires for a car before, you can do so like an expert with just a little bit of research. You should spend some time looking at tire reviews and safety ratings online to help you determine the best ones to buy. You will also need to check a few things on your car before making your purchase.

You should be regularly checking your tires not just to make sure they are properly inflated, but to find any cracks, bulging, or other damage. Discolored tires or those with a worn tread should definitely be replaced. Any serious damage that can’t be easily patched is also an indication that you need new tires. As you note the visible wear, you want to assess if it is uneven. Check both the inside and outside of the tires and make sure the wear is even. If it’s not, you may have a problem with the alignment of your vehicle . Uneven tread may also indicate a problem with the suspension system. Make sure you get those problems fixed or your new tires will wear out just as quickly.

The most important thing to check is the size of the tires. It is perfectly fine to buy cheap truck tires rather than the most expensive set. As long as they are properly sized for your vehicle, you will get good use out of them. There are two places on the vehicle to find this information. The first place is the existing tires. They will have a series of numbers indicating the correct size and type of tire for your vehicle. If you don’t trust that the dealer or previous owner used the factory recommended size, you can look inside the door on the drivers side of the car. There should be a manufacturer plate that gives the specifications.

Once you know what size tires you need and have taken care of any system problems in your vehicle that can affect tire performance, it’s just a matter of getting the best deal you can find for the tires you want.

How to Clean Dirty Chrome Wheels

If you have invested in sprucing up your car by purchasing high quality chrome wheels , you are going to need to take care of them. Wheels get dirty fairly easily. In some climates rust also becomes a factor. If you let that rust and dirt build up, it can wear off the chrome finish over time. Regular cleaning is essential and relatively easy.

The first thing to know is that putting your car through an automatic car washer or using power washing tools can actually damage the chrome finish. It is much better to use a regular hose or water from a bucket.

Start by rinsing off any dirt or grime with water. A hose works best for loosening any caked on dirt or mud. Follow up with a sponge wipe using water, shampoo, and wax. You can use the same mixture you would for washing the car. Scrub the entire wheel and then rinse with water. You can either wipe the chrome dry with a soft rag or let it air dry. For really stubborn grime or rust, you may need to apply a chrome wheel cleaner. These cleaners will be tough enough to get the hard dirt off the wheel without damaging the chrome finish. You can buy a cleaner at most auto care stores and some department stores in their auto section.

If you want to protect your chrome wheels from future damage, you can apply a layer of car wax after the air drying is complete. This way any new dust or dirt will accumulate on the wax rather than the chrome, making it easier for you to clean the next time.

By establishing a habit of regularly cleaning the wheels on your vehicle, you can keep that chrome finish sparkling for a long time.

How Car Tires are Made

The majority of modern cars are the road use pneumatic tires, primarily composed of rubber, with additional chemicals added to the process. With over a billion tires made each year in factories across the globe, it is obvious that the general manufacturing process is going to be similar for all tires. Assembly line production is standard practice in the tire industry worldwide. While must of the manufacturing has moved overseas, there are still a number of companies operating tire manufacturing plants in the United States.

Each finished tire is a combination of a number of individual components. A tire is made up of the bead, the body plies, a belt package, sidewall, inner tuber or liner, tread, apex, and cusion gum. Differences in each of these components determines the ultimate type of tire being produced. For example, a belt package that includes steel belts below the tread of the tire creates a steel-belted radial tire. Differences in the dimensions of the tire will affect performance and the tread will be adjusted to suit different driving conditions.

While tires are mostly rubber, the actual materials used will vary between manufacturers and tire models. Common materials used in tire production include both natural and synthetic rubber , carbon black, silica, sulphur, organic compounds known as vulcanizing accelerators, activators like zinc oxide, and antioxidants and antiozonants.

All the components are produced individually and allowed to cure for a specified period of time. The finished components are then assembled on a drum. The tires are then subjected to pressure and heat in order to bond all the components together in a process known as vulcanizing. The curing machine will also set the traction pattern and imprint all the markings for the finished tire.

Depending on the manufacturer, there may be additional finishing steps or inspections or the tire may be ready for sale and use.