You may be in the market for a brand-new set of tyres and are working the cost into your monthly budget. This can be quite a large transaction, but remember that these tyres are probably the most important component on your car. Engineers and designers have put in countless hours as they come up with a solution that can deal with modern-day driving conditions, and when you look at how an individual tyre is created, you will undoubtedly understand why they are a premium buy.
More Than Meets the Eye
While you might think that a tyre is basically a moulded rubber composite, it is in fact made of many individual parts, carefully joined together during the manufacturing process.
Plys and Banding
To begin with, the original tyre fabric has to be strengthened using fibres of nylon or polyester, which help the tyre maintain its shape and give it inherent strength. These different strands of fibre are known as cross ply or radial ply and have very different characteristics. Steel bands are then laid on top of these strengthening fibres. They help to keep the cross or radial ply in place and keep the air in its place once the tyre is inflated.
The sidewall of the tyre is particularly important as it has to deal with impacts caused through poor driving and the potholes prevalent on Australian roads. They have to provide rigidity so that the tyre does not collapse under the weight of the car above it, but must remain supple, as well, to deal with the various twists and turns.
On top of all this, the tyre must have a carefully engineered tread pattern to deal with weather conditions. Today, it's perfectly normal to buy an "all weather" cover rather than choosing a different set for each season. The tread pattern is therefore a very clever compromise and is designed to help you in slippery, snowy or full wet conditions.
The tread is designed not just to displace water to the side or back, but to give you the right grip in dry conditions as well. All of this has to happen instantaneously, while giving the on-board passengers a smooth ride.
What You Should Do
When you go to your local Toyo Tyre supplier, you will notice that they stock a very broad range. The manufacturers will work with car makers to come up with a solution that is specific to an individual make and model, and you're best advised to choose from this narrow range.
Furthermore, try to inspect your tyres on a regular basis for signs of imperfection so that you can make the most of your investment in your safety.
If, like me, you like to drive and are something of a petrol-head, then feeling confident is part of what it is all about when motoring. Knowing what to do if you face a hazard on the road or how to deal with a blowout is all part of the driving experience, to me. Having said that, few motorists really know what checks they should be making to ensure their car is properly roadworthy. I've spent the last few years upgrading my car maintenance skills and - although I'm no qualified mechanic - I now undertake all sorts of jobs needed to keep my car running properly and safely. Read my blog and pick up some car maintenance tips that anyone can do.