Tires. Wheels. Potato, patato? Actually they are two totally different, yet interdependent parts of your vehicle. In this article, we’ll give you a basic understanding of both.
TIRES – WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
You wouldn’t be going anywhere without your tires now would you? It’s at least a little obvious they support the weight of your ride and keep you in contact with the road. Beyond basic functionality, passenger and light truck tires do have a little something going on.
There are two kinds, radial and bias ply:
- Radial tires are the most common for passenger and light truck vehicles;
- Radial tires have high speed capacity, longer tread life, lower rolling resistance and offer a smoother, quiet ride;
- Bias Ply tires are strong, but not practical for standard commuting. They are sturdy, so you might use them on a farm truck, trailer, or if you plan to go mud bogging with your four-wheel-drive vehicle.
WHEELS – MORE THAN JUST GOOD LOOKS
Another common term for the wheel is rim. Same, same.
Wheels are constructed from steel or aluminum alloy. Steel wheels come in a very basic design and are painted either silver or black. Aluminum wheels come in a wide variety of designs, paint finishes and sizes. The benefits of aluminum include lighter weight, stronger design (don’t bend as easily as steel upon road hazard impact), no rust, and of course a plethora of style options.
Like tires, wheels also contribute to your overall comfort and performance. When choosing a new wheel for aesthetic purposes, you must also consider ride comfort and performance. By upsizing the diameter of your wheel, you will lose sidewall height of your tire making for a stiffer ride (you may feel more of the bumps). One of the benefits of upsizing your wheel and tire package may be improved handling (less tire roll). As always a trained Kal Tire technician would be happy to answer your questions and help you find the best fit for your ride.
We should mention changing or upsizing your wheels remains one of the most cost effective ways to personalize your vehicle. Now that spring has sprung t’s time to put away those boring old winter tires and rims. Why not spiff things up a bit as we head into warmer weather? Check out the following links for great ideas and information to upgrade your wheels.