Tires are one of the most important parts of our beloved automobiles, yet many people buy tires based strictly on price and are ignorant of many of the other aspects which can—and should—impact tire selection. Right Away Tire recently held a tech session for Hagerty Drivers Club members to educate enthusiasts on the ins-and-outs of modern and classic rolling stock. Let’s review some of the key takeaways from the 30-minute session.
The coding on the sidewall of production tires is confusing at first glance, but with a bit of research and understanding there is a fantastic amount of information to be gleaned from the molded numbers and symbols. Presenter Blake Siebe breaks down the most important marks on the side of the tie, including the sizing.
While it is tempting to alter the sizing, which seems to be an insignificant amount in order to get the cost of a set of tires cheaper, it compromises the ride of your vehicle and can damage other parts. As an example, Siebe talks about some high-end cars that feature “keyed” tires, which means there is a tire produced specifically for each axle or corner of the vehicle.
The age of a tire is also significant. Siebe mentions that with his mobile tire service he will not install tires which are six years old or older, inferring this is common practice among tire installers. Even on the shelf in a climate-controlled environment, the construction of a tire is degrading—and moisture is the enemy. A compressor without a dryer used to fill a tire will pack that tire with moisture, leading it to degrade from the inside out. There might be plenty of tread left, but the interior could be literally falling apart.
Those are just a few of the great bits of information discussed during this Hagerty Drivers Club member event. To get in on future events like this, be sure to join the Hagerty Drivers Club and keep an eye on your email inbox for invitations to events in your area.