Augest 16, 2007
Updated May 1, 2013



The first photo shows the damage that can occur when driving on a flat tire. The sidewall is damaged in both safety and looks.
The second and third photo show the damage that can occur from missing or improperly torqued lug nuts.

  • Different size tires can damage your transfer case

  • This is the actual photo of a 2002 Ford explorer that came in requesting two tires.
    The customer left and came right back claiming there was a chatter and bucking as she drove
    that wasn't there before the tires were installed ! The road test confirmed this to be true.
    The old tires were put back on and the problem was solved. The customer then purchased two more
    made that chatter...putting the different size tires made the transfercase kick in and revealed an
    existing problem. Driving long enough like that would have damaged it...but since it was already bad
    it was caught before the shop was on the hook !

    Wrong Size Tires

    When buying tires for automatic 4 wheel drive it is always safer to buy 4 at at a time or make sure there is
    then 4/32 difference between front and rear.

  • What you should look for when buying Tires.

  • Beside the Tire size you should also look at the
    Tire Speed Rating.It is advised to stay within one up or down of the recommended speed rating.
    (L)... 75 mph 120 km/h   (M)... 81 mph 130 km/h   (N)... 87 mph 140 km/h   (P)... 93 mph 150 km/h   (Q)... 99 mph 160 km/h   (R)... 106 mph 170 km/h   (S)... 112 mph 180 km/h   (T)... 118 mph 190 km/h   (U)... 124 mph 200 km/h   (H)... 130 mph 210 km/h   (V)... 149 mph 240 km/h   (W)... 168 mph 270 km/h   (Y)... 186 mph 300 km/h

    Manufactures give a premature wear or "Mileage Warranty" as well as a warranty against failures due to materials and workmanship. Examples such as sidewall or belt seperation fall under . However part of your buying decision should include the

  • Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG)
  • The first Number is comparative wear rating, with 100 as a base – a tire graded 150 would wear about one-and-a-half times longer than one graded 100.
    Traction is graded highest to lowest for their ability to stop on wet pavement:
    • AA
    • A
    • B
    • C
    Temperature is graded highest to lowest for their resistance to heat:
    • A
    • B
    • C (minimum required by law)
    A premium tire would have a rating something like...700 A A or A B

    Stories like this scare me..Chinese Tires Are Ordered Recalled
    Federal officials have told a small New Jersey importer to recall 450,000 radial tires for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans after the company disclosed that its Chinese manufacturer had stopped including a safety feature that prevented the tires from separating. Ms. Hopkins said the agency’s top officials were “outraged” that Foreign Tire Sales’ executives waited more than two years to pass on their suspicions about problems with the tires.
    NOTE : Most manufactures will NOT consider a premature wear claim until the tire reaches 2/32 or less in tread depth
    however I wouldn't be caught dead driving on 3/32 in a snowy or wet climate. And it is often "Pro-rated" so you will
    only get a small portion of credit in most cases. Tires that do not have even wear due to alignment or component problems
    such as worn tie rods or ball joints usually will not be accepted.
    ROTATIONS are also important...keep in mind the weight of the engine over the front tire compared to the weight in the rear
    will cause the front tires to wear a lot faster. In most cases rotations are recommended every 6,000 miles.

      Features such as large circumferential and OPEN lateral grooves are important because they help channel water away from the tread.
    SIPES...The little lateral cuts in the tire are important because the help "finger" the road providing grip.
    It is preferred they go the full depth of the don't want to lose the feature half way through the
    life of the tire ! Reinforced tire shoulders and Rim protectors are also helpful.

    Where and what you buy is a matter of preference and past experience.
    I am not a fan of buying tires on line. I don't see the benefit. I like my local Sears Automotive.It's Clean... I can see and feel
    all the tires, they have all the major brands and even if the web retailer has a better price it's a moot point because
    they not only match the price..they beat it. Plus my local Sears is in a I'm not bored while I'm waiting.
    But a main reason I prefer it over on line is the liability all falls under one roof in case there is a problem.

    If you do buy tires from the net or a place that does not do "4 Wheel" alignments..
    My first requirement is an excellent alignment machine, such as the Hunter Laser.
    I have also found that good alignment places generally have very neat, clean work areas. Not a rule, but an observation based on experience.


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