imageout image

Wheel & Tire Q&A

 



When should I replace my tires?

You should replace your tires when the tread on your tires have become too worn. Treads allow your vehicle to stop safely, so it’s important to replace your tires when the treads have become too low. Although many people will recommend that tires should be replaced when 2/32nds of an inch is left on the tread, there have been several studies that suggest that on a dry road surface, tires with 4/32nds of tread or less will take a longer distance to bring the vehicle to stop. In wet conditions, your tires have a higher chance of losing traction and an increased risk of hydroplaning. Similarly, it’s recommended that tires should be replaced at 6/32nds an inch of tread to avoid reduced traction.

However, age should also be a consideration when replacing tires, as the materials used in production can break down over time. Tires should be regularly inspected for signs of aging. Although minimum industry guidelines recommend inspecting tires every six years and completely replacing them within a decade, most drivers will wear out their tires before this.





Do I need to use spacers or adapters when installing aftermarket tires?

​Using spacers or adapters can mean that the wheel you are trying to install does not fit your vehicle. This can lead to a poor ride while wearing on suspension parts. Unless you get the advice of a professional, the use of spacers or adapters is often not recommended.





What’s the best way to clean my wheels?

Mild soap and water are sufficient for cleaning wheels, but you should avoid spraying cold water on hot tires. While it can be tempting to use stronger cleaners to get rid of grime, these often have harsh abrasives that can lead to surface corrosion. After cleaning, you can apply a non-abrasive wax on chrome-plated wheels.





What is the proper inflations for my tires?

Proper tire inflation can ensure that your tires allow for the best fuel economy. You should frequently check cool tires with an accurate tire pressure gauge to ensure optimum tire performance and maintain the tire pressure level recommended by your vehicle manufacturer on the vehicle placard or in the Owner’s Manual.





After buying new wheels, can I use my Original Equipment hardware?

If your new wheels were packaged with hardware, it is recommended that you only use that hardware with your new vehicles. However, you should keep a set of your original lug nuts or bolts in your vehicle in case you ever need to mount your spare wheel and tire.





What Are the Benefits of Aftermarket Wheels?

Aftermarket wheels allow you to change the look of your vehicle for aesthetic purposes. While they allow for greater control of how a car looks, they can also enhance how you drive.

Compared to the original wheels that come with your vehicle, aftermarket wheels often have a reduced weight, which can affect the overall gas mileage and allow you to maintain better control of your car on imperfect roads. Aftermarket wheels can allow for less vibration and a more stable ride.





What Are the Benefits of Performance Tires?

Performance tires can reduce the unsprung weight of your vehicle—or the part of the cabin that is not supported by the vehicle’s suspension. Reducing the unsprung weight can affect steering input and improve the turning characteristics of the tire. Installing performance tires can also reduce the weight of the vehicle’s rotational mass, which allows for improved acceleration and braking.





How do I Choose the Best Tires for My Vehicle?

Choosing the right tires for your needs and your vehicle can be a difficult decision. There are several factors that should go into your tire choice, which include:

What kind of tires does my vehicle require?

Every vehicle manufacturer will suggest minimum requirements for your model to ensure safety. You should always install tires that meet the required load index. It’s also important to consider the speed rating of tires before installing them.

What kind of tires are best for the type of driver I am?

Tires are designed for specific uses and changing the type of tire can influence the way you handle your vehicle. When selecting a tire, it’s important to take into consideration how you drive, where you drive, and what terrain you are driving on. A person that mainly drives with cruise control on the highway will want a different tire than someone who drives on unpaved dirt roads every day.

What weather conditions will I be driving in?

Different climates can affect your tires in unique ways. It’s important to consider the weather conditions that you will be driving in. For some, all-season tires will allow you to drive in different weather conditions. For others, it’s beneficial to consider switching to winter tires for driving on icy roads or purchasing tires that will minimize the potential for losing control of the car when driving in the rain.





What Are the Different Styles of Wheels Available?
One Piece cast aluminum

This is the most commonly sold aftermarket wheel, as it allows for the most variety in styling, sizes, and finishes. They can be painted, polished, machined, or chrome plated. While the backspace/offsets are fixed in the mold, 1 piece cast aluminum wheels offer a reasonable weight savings over steel and steel/composite wheels.

Two-Piece aluminum

Also referred to as Billet Wheels, these wheels are made of a rim and a center that are welded together to allow for a variation in the backspace/offset. While finishing is limited to painting, machining, or polishing, these wheels tend to typically be stronger.

Three Piece aluminum

3 piece alumni wheels are also known as a Modular wheel. The wheel is made up of a center that is sandwiched between front rim section and a rear section with bolts or rivets securing them together. While styling is limited, the finishing choices are similar to the 1 piece cast aluminum.

Steel Wheels

Steel wheels have a steel outer/rim and a steel center. Chrome plating and painting are easier to apply on steel wheels.

Steel/Composite

These wheels consist of a steel rim and a cast aluminum center, cast with steel cleats or inserts on the outer edges. Steel/composite wheels are offered primarily with a chrome plating and offer more possibilities of styling in the center.

Forged

Forged wheels have the lightest weight, but the styling options are limited. Forged wheels can be painted, machined, polished, or chrome plated. Because these wheels tend to have higher tooling and manufacturing costs, the sizes offered may be limited.





What Type of Brake Fluid Should I Use?

There are three types of brake fluid available for use in your vehicle: DOT 3, DOT 3, and DOT 5. DOT 3 and DOT 4 are the preferred brake fluids for high-performance. In any high-performance application, like a race, your braking system will be put to the test by high temperatures from the constant braking. DOT 3 and 4 are available in a wide variety of formulations and performance characteristics. Typically, DOT 3 fluids are less expensive than DOT 4 and don’t have the same performance characteristics. DOT 5 brake fluids are silicon based and don’t perform well in performance applications due to their expansion and compressibility which will leave your brake pedal soft and spongy. DOT 5 is formulated to not be corrosive which makes it a good fluid for preserving class cars.





How Much Better Will My Braking Be with A Performance Brake Package?

The braking systems that are installed by the factory on most Cars, Trucks, and SUVs typically work well enough for average daily street driving and occasional 60 to 0 stopping. However, if you do any racing events, you will most likely push the stock braking system beyond its capabilities. If you are an aggressive driver, or install any performance parts on your engine, you can also quickly overwhelm factory braking systems. Upgrading to a big brake kit will provide your braking system more stopping power with its larger surface area as well as increased heat capacity which will substantially reduce your braking system fade and caliper distortion. The result will be a firmer pedal through your race or aggressive driving due to stiffer and stronger components as well as better modulation characters.