What Are Car Tires Made Of?

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The lowly tire is a complex piece of engineering that seldom gets the consideration it deserves. They keep our beloved cars on the road and moving at optimal speeds.

Composition

  • Modern radial tires are made from flexible, interlaced layers of tightly woven steel and polyester cords. These layers are then encased by industrial strength, vulcanized rubber.

Types

  • There are five major types of tires. They are: bias, belted bias, radial, semi-pneumatic and solid. Of the five, the radial has become ubiquitous for passenger vehicles.

Markings

  • There are two types of tire coding in the world today: DOT and E-mark. The DOT code is used in the United States. The E-Mark is used in Europe.

Warning

  • Observe the six-year rule when it comes to changing your tires. Most manufacturers agree that six years is optimal and ten years is the upper limit for tires.

Fun Fact

  • The penny test can tell you if your tires are up to snuff. Place Lincoln's head between the treads. If you can see his entire head, it's time to change them.

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  • Photo Credit Courtesy of Wikipedia
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