Information about the components that make up a tyre and when to alter tyre pressure.
There’s so much more to tyres than just rubber and air, in fact they are a remarkably intricate part of the car. So here at Think we’ve written an article that details those key components that make tyres such an important part of every vehicle.
What is a tyre made from?
Tyres are made from a lot more than you might think. You will find these key elements in most motor vehicle tyres:
The tread is made from a rubber compound which can vary in shape, thickness and size depending on the conditions that you plan to drive your car in. The rubber grooves in the tread disperse water, meaning that the rubber will have a stronger contact with the road and better grip. The legal minimum tread depth on a car driven in the UK is 1.6mm.
Steel belts give the tyre its rigidity while also allowing it to remain flexible. The belts are a layer of closely spaced steel cords wrapped in rubber. They give the tyre strength, resistance from dents and help maintain good contact with the road.
The sidewalls offer tyres protection from the environment and have high abrasion resistance. They are non-reinforced and combine with the tyre’s air pressure to help carry the car’s weight. This helps them retain their shape when cornering. It is in the sidewalls where you will find the tyre’s specification markings moulded in raised rubber characters.
These wires are made from ultra-strong steel that help attach the tyre to the wheel. They are inflexible, inelastic, and they do not stretch or bend. The wires hold the tyre to the rim of the wheel even at high speeds or while cornering.
Maintaining the Correct Tyre Pressure
How to Maintain Tyre Pressure
Keeping your car’s tyre pressure at the correct level will improve your fuel economy, reduce CO2 emissions and make your tyres last longer.
You should check your tyre pressure regularly (every two weeks) to make sure they are filled to the right level.
To find the correct tyre pressure for your car check your handbook, or alternatively, it might be printed on a sticker on one of your doors.
If there’s too little air in your tyres, it will affect your fuel economy and cause gradual damage to the edges of the tyres.
Too much air in the tyres can make your car’s handling unpredictable and add to the wearing down of your treads.
If you are carrying a heavier load than normal you should increase the air pressure in your tyres to make up for the extra weight. You can find information on what level your tyre pressure should be for heavy loads in your car handbook. Don’t forget to change them back once you have removed the heavy load.
Run Flat Tyres
Run flat tyres are innovative tyres that are becoming more widespread – they actually allow for your car to be driven for another 50 miles should you have a puncture.
You can drive at a speed of up to 50 mph allowing for the tyres to safely make it back to a garage before being changed.
• Do not mix run flat tyres with standard tyres, this will affect your ability to handle the vehicle.
• Only use them with a pressure monitoring system that can relay the information of a puncture or deflation to you.
• Do not tow with a run flat tyre after a puncture as they are only designed to take the weight of the vehicle.
If you are a Tyre Fitter, Think Insurance can offer you a great deal on Motor Trade or Tyre Fitter Insurance. We have over thirty years’ experience creating bespoke insurance for the motor trade, so why not see if we can help you now.