Friday, April 28, 2023

LIVE: Top Gear's Best Supercars of 2022 Part 1: Lambo Sterrato, Porsche 911 GT3 RS and more!


Yesterday was a special day. An electrifying one.  We shaped the future with the unveiling of the new Lamborghini Revuelto, our first super sports V12 hybrid plug-in HPEV (High Performance Electric Vehicle). Our revolutionary, game-changing masterpiece was presented to the media by Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and CEO Stephan Winkelmann accompanied by our board members.  International guests then toured the newly built production line and admired the world’s first HPEV (High Performance Electric Vehicle). Attendees then joined a gala dinner hosted within the new Revuelto production line, surrounded by our iconic Super Sports Cars.  This is what we mean by “driving humans beyond”: opening our doors to let people dive into an authentic Lamborghini experience. One they will remember forever. Discover more: https://lam.bo/Lamborghini_Revuelto_D...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

BMW - History Of The Car Company


When it comes to the automotive industry, BMW is undoubtedly one of the most-known acronyms in the world. In a nutshell, BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, or simply Bavarian Motor Works, and it is a world-renowned manufacturer of motorcycles, four-wheeled cars as well as airplane engines. What makes BMW so popular and respected in the automotive industry is its commitment to excellence and quality, and it all started almost a century ago, back in 1916. It was then when Bayerische Motoren Werke was founded, and it was also then when engines have entered a whole new era. BMW initially started as an engine-focused company that studied and tried to enhance the performance of engines as we all know them - slowly but surely, the company moved from basic motorcycle engines to airplane engines that would revolutionise air transport.

It all started with Karl Friedrich Rapp's ambition to improve and reinvent the engines and to make them more powerful than ever before - and it was also Rapp who actually laid the groundwork for BMW. Right before the first World War, the demand for high-performance aircraft engines has sky-rocketed, and this is how Karl Friedrich Rapp's ascension to success started. The BMW company is actually the direct result of merging three different manufacturing companies in one: The Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach which was located in Thuringia, the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke located in Bavaria (which specialised in aircraft engines) and, last but not least, the Rapp Motorenwerke company which specialised in vehicle engines - the latter soon became Bayerische Motorenwerke.

As mentioned above, BMW started as an aircraft engine manufacturer, and it did that for more than a decade - it was not until the late 1920s when BMW actually became a full-time automobile manufacturer that also offered BMW servicing, upon purchasing one of the factories mentioned above (the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach). Rapp's dream was to push the performance of its engines to a whole new level, and this is how the first line of luxury vehicles emerged, back in the 1930s. These vehicles radically changed the way people saw cars and, most importantly - comfort. Featuring no less than six cylinders, these luxury car line was actually the predecessor of the first sports car manufactured by BMW, a car that quickly gained notoriety amongst sports enthusiasts due to its state of the art engine combined with its aerodynamic design. Nonetheless, the joy of BMW as an automobile manufacturer was short-lived, as the company had to stop its production of motorcycles and automobiles when World War II started, as the company started to manufacture aircraft engines yet again.

It was not until the late 1940s when BMW was back on track and it re-started its production of motorcycles and automobiles: BMW started to focus more on automobiles rather than motorcycles, given the high demand for four-wheeled cars. It must be said that BMW enjoyed a great success in the motorcycle manufacturing field, given the fact that it managed to set the first world record-breaking speed towards the end of the 1920s, with its 750cc bike that reached the staggering speed of 216.75km/h. Less than a decade after that, BMW officially released its first roadster, the well-known 328 model. A few years after restarting its automobile production, BMW focused on luxury saloons which became tremendously popular within less than a year. Over the next few years, BMW became stronger and more popular, and it eventually received the license to start building vehicles under the reputable and immensely popular Rolls Royce brand.

Most Important Milestones For BMW

Throughout its 99 years of existence, BMW has enjoyed a wealth of groundbreaking achievements, and everything started with the establishment of the BMW company as we know it today, which took place in 1916. The second most important milestone was the manufacturing of the first motorcycle carrying the BMW logo, the famous BMW R32, which took place in 1923. As mentioned above, BMW stopped manufacturing automobiles and motorcycles during WWII, and the first BMW automobile (the 501 model) was manufactured in 1951, which also marked the beginning of new and promising era for this automobile manufacturer.

In 1972, the BMW Motorsport GmbH was founded, and one year later, so was the renowned BMW museum along with the company's headquarters. In 1994, the company started to expand its business to the United States of America, and it was also then when the company bought the Rover Group. Four years later, Rolls-Royce would come to the company, and one year after that the first automobile of the BMW X-series was manufactured. In 2004, the company released a very compact class of automobiles known as the BMW 1-series, followed by the release of the BMW I-series in 2013, the world's first line of electric cars that did not release any greenhouse gases, as they were entirely propelled by an 100% electric motor.

BMW Outside Of Germany

Although BMW was only producing and selling its aircraft engines, motorcycles and automobiles locally, it slowly started to expand its horizons throughout Europe, followed by Africa and, eventually, by North America. BMW opened its first manufacturing plant in South Africa back in the 1970s, and it quickly became one of the company's pillars, with tens of thousands of automobiles manufactured each year. More than two decades later, BMW opened yet another manufacturing plant in South Carolina, which became famous for two of the brand's bestselling models: the BMW X series (X5 and X6 in particular). The South Carolina manufacturing plant is one of the company's most productive plants, as it produces more than 100,000 cars each year (approximately 600 automobiles each day). Last, but not least, the British factories should not be neglected either (especially those located in Goodwood and Oxford), as they specialize in manufacturing high-end 4-cylinder BMW engines.

To sum it all up, this is the brief history of BMW cars and how they rose to fame throughout the decades. Car owners should know that BMW repairs are conducted in all countries where the company's subsidiaries are present, and it is of utmost importance to opt for the services of a fully-certified and expert BMW repair center such as AP Autocare, as this is the only way to be sure that your current car parts are replaced with genuine, high-quality components that come with the BMW quality guarantee!

AP Autocare, based in Bristol, are specialists in the repair and servicing or prestige cars including BMW. For more information on their BMW car servicing and repairs in Bristol, UK please visit http://www.apautocare.co.uk or telephone 0117 963 8916
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Martyn_B_Lenthall

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9056650

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Is the 2023 Jaguar F-Type R the performance car you will REGRET Not Buying?


The days are numbered for the F-Type R. Jaguar is moving its whole lineup towards electrification. On the outside you will discover a sleek shape with, 20in wheels quad-type exhaust. On the inside you will be greeted by full leather sport seats, a digital gauge display and some good cargo room. Under the hood is a 5.0L supercharged V8 that pumps out 575HO & is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Is the 2023 Jaguar F-Type R the performance car you will REGRET not buying? **Please click the link to get your Raiti's Rides Merch! https://shop.spreadshirt.com/raitisri...

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Future of Design - Volvo


Imagine it – every new Volvo car in 2030 being fully electric. We have so many opportunities to approach our designs in new ways as we explore the potential of emerging priorities like aerodynamics and material choices. Learn more here: https://volvoca.rs/3jyJSWG

Sunday, April 16, 2023

All You Need to Know | The new BMW 3 Series


For over 45 years, the worldwide success of the BMW 3 Series represents the core of the BMW Brand. Young. Sporty. Enthusiastic. THE 3 embodies the pure driving pleasure that has set the benchmark in the premium segment mid-size class. The new BMW 3 Series comes with design modifications, that emphasise its precise and dynamic character even more intensively. Strikingly modified exterior design, progressive interior design and new equipment features underscore the sporty and modern character of the new BMW 3 Series. Advanced cockpit design with BMW Curved Display as an expression of consistent digitalization in the areas of operation and connectivity. This BMW video shows you everything you need to know about the new BMW 3 Series. #THE3 #3Series #BMW

Friday, April 14, 2023

At Star Tech European, We Do Things Differently!

 


Maintenance

Although we use the manufacturer’s recommended inspection specifications, we will never sell you something you don’t need. At your time of service, we’ll inspect your filters, spark plugs, and other maintenance issues and make our recommendations based on your car’s needs.

Let us inspect your car and tell you what we see your car needs to keep it running at its best, without spending more money than you need to.

We proudly use Motul Synthetic Oil engine oil products and original equipment filters.

Call us at 707-455-8870 today! StarTechEuropean.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

SAFE STEPS Road Safety: Pedestrians


We all have a role in road safety! So follow these SAFE STEPS to play your part and help save lives. - Stay alert and avoid distractions - - Walk in safe places - - Stop, Look, Listen, Cross - SAFE STEPS Road Safety is a pan-Asian public service initiatives aimed to raise awareness and provide clear and simple life-saving educational messages on road safety. Acclaimed actress and producer, Michelle Yeoh is the SAFE STEPS Road Safety Ambassador. This program is created and developed by Prudence Foundation, in partnership with National Geographic Channel and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). All SAFE STEPS Road Safety tips have been approved by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). For more information please visit: www.safesteps.com


Saturday, April 1, 2023

Mercedes-Benz Museum – A Girl Called Mercedes



The short film, which lasts around two minutes, invites the viewer to see the history of the Mercedes-Benz brand in a new dimension.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The History of the Volkswagen Beetle - The People's Car


In 1938 the German automaker Volkswagen released their version of the economy car called the Volkswagen Type 1, or more commonly referred to as the Volkswagen Beetle. The names "Bug" and "Beetle" were adopted by the public, but it was not until late 1967 that Volkswagen began using the name "Beetle" in their marketing. It was previously known as only the "Type 1" or the 1200, 1300, or 1500, which were the names it had been marketed under in Europe prior to 1967. The numbers indicated the size of the vehicle's engine in cubic centimeters.

The 1967 model of the VW Beetle underwent a few changes, the car itself didn't get bigger, but many of the mechanical systems and components did. Some changes to the Bug included a larger engine. Output of the electrical generator had been increased from 180 watts to 360, and also had been upgraded from the old 6-volt system to the 12-volt system. The clutch disk was also made larger and changes had been made to the braking system, the flywheel, and rear axles.

Although the VW Bug has been widely despised for its styling, rough ride, weak power, along with high noise levels, it was also the longest and most produced vehicle for a single design.

The "Beetle" or "Bug" whichever you wish to call it also played a roll in the military. In 1935 prototypes of the Kdf-Wagen appeared.

Produced by Daimlet-Benz in Stuttgart, Germany the first prototypes were born. With its already peculiar round shape, and the rear-mounted, air-cooled engine, The factory only produced a small number of the cars by the time war began in 1939. The first mass-produced version of the Beetle were used for military vehicles, like the Schwimmwagen and the Kubelwagen.

The military bug was created to be as simple as possible, so that little could go wrong. The 985cc air-cooled motor proved to be effective with German Afrika Korps in Africa's desert heat with The built in oil cooler and the superb performance of the flat four, or "pancake" engine configuration. The suspension was equipped with compact torsion beams in place of the more commonly used coil or leaf spring suspensions.

Once World War II was over, the shortage of jobs led to the reopening of the factory in Wolfsburg by Allied forces. The production of the Beetle from then on recommenced. The production increased massively over the next decade, with the one millionth car rolling off of the assembly line in 1955. The Bug's performance was far superior compared to other automobiles in its category with a top speed of 72 mph. The production was surpassing 16 million in 1972, and by the 23rd of June in 1992 the company had sold over 21 million of the cars.

The Volkswagen Beetle is the world's best selling design with the same name. The VW Beetle outlasted most all of the other vehicles who had copied the rear-mounted air-cooled engine layout like those by Subaru, and General Motors.

The Beetle began to phase-out in 2003. The annual production ad reduced to 30,000 from its peak of 1.3 million in 1971. As the last Beetle rolled off of the assembly line, it was shipped off to the Volkswagen company museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.

In 1998 Volkswagen introduced the new Beetle which was designed to look a lot like the classic Beetle. The new Beetle was designed with a water cooled engine being placed in the front of the car.

The new VW Beetle has turned out to be a very popular car and has become a pop culture icon and been featured in many movies.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/580232

Monday, March 27, 2023

What If You Forget To Change Your Oil?


What if you forget to change your oil on time? Can you damage your car's engine by not changing the oil late? Do you really need to change your oil every 3,000 miles? Obviously, you should change your oil regularly, but exactly how much damage you will cause by changing the oil late? This video looks to answer this question. We'll discuss what happens to oil viscosity as it ages, and what happens to oil additives in over time.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Life With My Classic – Episode 2 | Raz Roken Rehan aka Mr. AMG


"Life With My Classic" features the Mercedes-Benz classic car owners who believe their prized motors are there to be driven - not just hidden away in the garage! Subscribe to Mercedes-Benz on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c... In this second episode, host Alex Kersten meets Raz Roken Rehan and some of Raz's favorite Mercedes-Benz models. Among these is Ruby: a special classic car with an even more special name and history. With no time to waste, Raz and Alex jump in for a drive and are quick to agree that it's a feeling like no other. What are the things that make Ruby unique - and why is she so precious to Raz? Watch now to find out.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Life With My Classic – Episode 1 | Maximilian Seitz


In the brand-new series format “Life With My Classic”, drivers of Mercedes-Benz classic vehicles are portrayed. Subscribe to the channel so you get notified for new exciting videos here: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c... However, the classic fans do not just keep their treasures in the garage, but also use them in everyday life. The focus is on vehicles that in their individual heyday shone above all through functionality – and were and are appreciated not only for their aesthetics. In the first episode, host Alex Kersten meets Berlin designer and influencer Maximilian Seitz. At first glance, he’s not the typical classic enthusiast. But he guards his two treasures – a Mercedes-Benz 450 SL (R 107) and a Mercedes-Benz SL 500 (R 129) – like gold. In a Berlin workshop, he painstakingly reprocesses the vehicles true to original, he integrates them into his everyday life and he tries to reconstruct their individual stories.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Peugeot 408 - This car came out of NOWHERE?


Revealed to the world in June, the new PEUGEOT 408 is the first of its kind – a new fastback silhouette at the top of the C segment. This new age PEUGEOT features a unique design which has a hint of Lamborghini Urus. What are your thoughts on the 408? Want to see new Auto Social UK content every day? Then make sure you're following me on both Instagram and TikTok: https://www.instagram.com/auto_social_UK https://www.tiktok.com/@autosocialuk

Thursday, March 9, 2023

The Volkswagen Tiguan | A Little Assist


The Tiguan is designed with safety in mind. Because everyone can use a little help now and then, even when we don’t want to admit it. Find out more at https://www.vw.com/models/tiguan.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Launch of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen pilot fleet



An important next phase for the BMW iX5 Hydrogen: The pilot fleet will be employed internationally for demonstration and trial purposes. This video gives you exciting insights into the development, production and functionality of the BMW iX5 Hydrogen. Read more here: https://b.mw/r5AQk

Thursday, March 2, 2023

The next sphere of future premium mobility | The Audi activesphere concept


Progress unveiled. Tune in for the world premiere of the latest concept car in the sphere series. This is the Audi activesphere concept*. A symbiosis of elegance, practicality and capability. Enabling freedom, empowering adventures and adapting to your needs. Immerse yourself in the next chapter of future premium mobility. Discover more, https://at.audi/conceptX23-cf-yt.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Why Car Repair Should Be Left To The Professionals


In today's society, DIY projects have become a necessity for many. This is also often applied to car repair. Some people think that because they have knowledge of cars and their working components, many of what they consider easy projects can be done in their home garage. However, a lot of these projects aren't nearly as easy as they may seem.

Clutch

Fixing a clutch. Simple enough, right? It seems to be. However, most people don't realize that fixing a clutch is more complicated and can be a delicate procedure. The biggest hurdle one would find is that many times it involves dropping the engine. This is not something that most can do in their garage.

Recharging the A/C

Every automotive store carries A/C recharging kits. If they do that, then it must be something a novice could do, right? Wrong. Not even counting the added complications of Freon, there is so much more to it. Working with the A/C system involves very high, specific pressure, specialized tubing, and odd components - most of these allusively buried in the dashboard or tied into an incomprehensible computer - not to mention many other things related to the first law of thermodynamics. If that word is not recognizable, you more than likely have no business even being in there.

Working around or on the airbag

Though thankfully this particular area rarely needs to be worked on or around, it is still a good idea to know what the possible outcomes could be. The most important thing to think about if working on or around this area - including any close by panels - is that there is a significantly sized explosive charge tucked away in there. Does 'explosive charge' sound a lot like a bomb? It should, because that is essentially what it is. Definitely make sure that someone with training in that particular area works on that part of your car. A hand being blown off isn't worth the extra money saved by doing it ones-self. It is guaranteed that the hospital bill for that would be significantly more expensive than just having a professional do it for you.

Rebuilding a differential

Anytime someone is messing around with gears it can lead to disaster. It takes a delicate, sensitive touch. Differentials are even trickier. If the gears are even slightly off, your car will sound like it has been taken over by a disgruntled poltergeist. Not to mention that in a very short time, the teeth will completely wear out and disintegrate. The contact patch between the gears has to be so carefully aligned that it is mathematically perfect.

Even the seemingly simplest of jobs are so involved that many times doing your own car repair can cost more than taking it to the shop. A car repair technician can do the job right the first time and save lots of time and energy.

For more information on car repair, Hershey, PA residents can go to http://www.certifiedpreownedofhershey.com/Body-Shop.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ace_Abbey/851844

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9236426

Friday, February 24, 2023

Simplify Sightseeing | BMW iDrive Challenges


Take the stress out of visiting new locations and master any new city with BMW iDrive. From finding tourist attractions to parking in tricky spots, your BMW will do it all. All you have to do? Enjoy your new surroundings.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

SAFE STEPS Road Safety: Speed Limits


We all have a role in road safety! So follow these SAFE STEPS to play your part and help save lives. - Obey speed limits - - Slow down at high risk areas - - Keep a safe distance -

Thursday, February 16, 2023

The Mercedes-Benz Files – 540 K Streamliner


Introducing “The Mercedes-Benz Files” – stories full of passion, spirit, pioneering thoughts and innovations, celebrating over 135 years of automobile engineering. Subscribe to get notified for new videos here: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c... Discover the facts and stories on some of the most unique automotive artifacts, starting with the Mercedes-Benz 540 K Streamliner!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Which Age Group Causes The Most Car Accidents?

According to statistics collected over the last decade, two age groups cause the most car accidents: teen drivers and the elderly. There are a number of reasons for these statistics, but the reality is that car accidents are a part of everyday life, and that even though someone might be a member of these demographic groups it does not automatically mean that they are going to be in a crash. 

  Teen drivers Driving represents a lot of things to teens. Freedom, empowerment for the first time in their lives and status as drivers makes putting teens behind the wheel a dangerous prospect. Teen drivers cause car accidents because they are full of youthful exuberance, and they lack the experience of more seasoned drivers, and they are prone to taking risks because they feel they are invincible. Furthermore, teen drivers also drive cars that are not the safest on the road, such as smaller vehicles that have more blind spots, or do not have the safety and accident avoidance features that many other cars have. Also, teens engage in riskier behaviors, such as racing, drinking and driving, and overloading their cars with too many people, all of which can contribute to causing an accident. Unfortunately, the combination of inexperience and propensity for risk taking means that teen drivers are among the most dangerous, and the statistics bear this out. That's why insurance companies generally charge more for the policies of teen drivers, because the companies understand the risks of teens on the road and adjust their premiums accordingly. 

  Elderly drivers On the flip side of the accident-causing spectrum, elderly drivers are also an age group that causes the many car accidents. Though they may have decades of driving experience, safe cars and a risk-avoidance mentality, these very factors can actually contribute to causing accidents. Throw in diminished reaction times, failing vision and hearing, and a sense of entitlement and elderly drivers can be just as dangerous as the newly-minted 16 year old out on the road for the first time. As the body ages, the mind and reflexes slow down. Hand-eye coordination decreases significantly, and it is a lot harder for older people to respond rapidly to conditions on the road or other drivers in dangerous situations. Then accidents occur. Older drivers tend to think of themselves as perfectly safe drivers, obeying the rules of the road while the world around them takes dangerous risks. While this is partially true, elderly drivers make can make judgment errors about the flow of traffic and distances between vehicles much easier than younger drivers. If this happens and there is no way to fix this incorrect perception of reality, older drivers can make assumptions that cause accidents. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of everyone on the road to be as safe a driver as they possibly can. Young drivers need to learn that they are not invincible, and older drivers need to realize that their skills and perception have likely decreased over time, and need to make adjustments to accommodate. Article 

Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4339406

Friday, February 10, 2023

The All-New BMW 2 Series Active Tourer


The next progression in driving pleasure - Introducing the all-new BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

The second generation of the sporty all-rounder returns with the 230e xDrive plug-in hybrid and 223i, boasting a far wider range of equipment than its predecessor, perfect for anything life throws at you.

Complemented by a luxurious interior, with space creating a “floating” armrest, advanced curved display, and wireless charging for compatible phones.

Monday, February 6, 2023

The 2024 Volvo EX90 Is Volvo’s New Flagship Luxury Electric SUV


2024 Volvo EX90 review! The Volvo EX90 is a special electric luxury SUV -- and it'll be a huge hit when it goes on sale. Today I'm going to walk you through the quirks and features of the EX90 before it officially goes on sale, and I'm going to show you all the cool stuff the EX90 offers.

WEBSITE & MERCH! http://www.dougdemuro.com

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Mercedes-Benz Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC | The Traffic Jam


The evolution of DISTRONIC Active Distance Assist: Push the pedals in traffic jams is a thing of the past since this assistance system from Mercedes-Benz was introduced.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Driving Emergency - Run-Off-Road


                                                    Driving emergency tips from AAA

Sunday, January 29, 2023

We Are Star Tech European

 

We are a European Automotive Service and Repair facility. We specialize in Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo, and Mini.

From minor services like oil changes to major repairs, we are skilled and ready to service your vehicle with care and thoroughness. With over 40 years of experience, we have the knowledge to give you the best service possible.

Unlike most repair facilities, Don Westhaver the owner of this facility is the head mechanic!


                                             23 Union Way

                                            Vacaville, CA

                                            707-455-8870



Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Top 10 Most Expensive Car Crash Tests Of All Time


For most car manufacturers, a crash test often means sending about a dozen cars to a crash test facility where the vehicles will be tortured, destroyed, and abandoned in most cases. The more expensive the car is, the more money its maker has to spend for the tests. Here are some of the biggest spenders in the industry. ---------------------- 10) Range Rover Velar 9) Audi Q8 8) Tesla Model S 7) Porsche Taycan 6) Mercedes-Benz G-Class 5) Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG 4) Lamborghini MurciƩlago 3) Bugatti Veyron 2) Koenigsegg Regera 1) Pagani Huayra

Sunday, January 22, 2023

2023 BMW i4 | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #393


You'd be forgiven for thinking that if a car is electric, it has to have a minimalist design, with weird door handles and every function controlled through a touchscreen. But the BMW i4 both looks and feels very much like a traditional sports car. But is that a good thing? We discuss the BMW i4 M50 we purchased for our test program, how it performs on our track, its questionable range, whether it carries on the "ultimate driving machine" lineage of its parent company, and how it compares to EV competitors from Tesla, Genesis, and Hyundai.


Thursday, January 19, 2023

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type R still has a SUPERCHARGED V8!


2022 Jaguar F-Type R review by The Straight Pipes. The Jaguar F Type R is putting down 575 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque from a Supercharged 5L V8. At $136,760 CAD, would you take it over the Porsche 911, Lexus LC500?

Friday, January 13, 2023

10 Things Everyone Should Know About Tires


By Eric Peters, Automotive Columnist

You probably know tires are made of rubber — but how much more do you know? Here’s a run-through of some important tire-related terminology:

1) Aspect ratio

This technical-sounding term refers to the relationship between the width of a tire and the height of the tire’s sidewall. High-performance “low profile” tires have “low aspect ratios” — meaning their sidewalls are short relative to their width. This provides extra stiffness and thus better high-speed handling and grip — but also tends to result in a firmer (and sometimes, harsh) ride. “Taller” tires tend to provide a smoother ride and better traction in snow.

2) Contact Patch

As your tires rotate, only a portion of the total tread is actually in contact with the ground at any given moment.  This is known as the contact patch.  Think of it as your tire’s “footprint.” Sport/performance-type tires are characterized by their wider footprint — more tread is in contact with the ground — which provides extra grip, especially during hard acceleration on dry pavement and during high-speed cornering.

3) Treadwear indicators

These are narrow bands built into the tread during manufacturing that begin to show when only 1/16 of the tire’s tread remains. Also called wear bars, treadwear indicators are there to provide an obvious visual warning that it’s time to shop for new tires.

4) Speed ratings

An alpha-numeric symbol you’ll find on your tire’s sidewall that tells you the maximum sustained speed the tire is capable of safely handling. An H-rated tire, for example, is built to be safe for continuous operation at speeds up to 130 mph. Most current model year family-type cars have S (112 mph) or T (118 mph) speed ratings. High performance cars often have tires with a V (149 mph) or  ZR (in excess of 149 mph) speed rating. A few ultra-performance cars have W (168 mph) and even Y (186 mph) speed-rated tires.

5) Maximum cold inflation load limit

This refers to the maximum load that can be carried in a given vehicle with a given type of tires — and the maximum air pressure needed to support that load. In your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you should be able to find the recommended cold inflation load limit. It’s important not to exceed the load limit (or over or under-inflate the tires) as this can lead to stability/handling problems and even tire failure. Always check tire pressure “cold.” Driving creates friction which creates heat; as the tires warm up, the air inside expands, increasing the pressure. Measuring air pressure after driving can give a false reading; you may actually be driving around on under-inflated tires.

6) Load index

This number corresponds to the load carrying capacity of the tire. The higher the number, the higher the load it can safely handle. As an example, a tire with a load index of 89 can safely handle 1,279 pounds — while a tire with a load rating of 100 can safely handle as much as 1,764 pounds. It’s important to stick with tires that have at least the same load rating as the tires that came originally with the vehicle — especially if it’s a truck used to haul heavy loads or pull a trailer. It’s ok to go with a tire that has a higher load rating than the original tires; just be careful to avoid tires with a lower load rating than specified for your vehicle, even if they are less expensive. Saving a few bucks on tires is not worth risking an accident caused by tire failure.

7) Radial vs. bias-ply tire

Bias-ply tires have their underlying plies laid at alternate angles less than 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread; radials have their plies laid at 90 degrees to the centerline of the tread. That’s the technical difference. The reason radial tires are dominant today is that they help improve fuel efficiency and handling; they also tend to dissipate heat better than bias-ply tires. No modern passenger cars come with bias-ply tires these days and their use is generally not recommended. (Exceptions might include older/antique vehicles that originally came equipped with bias-ply tires. Some RVs also used bias-ply tires, etc.) It is very important never to mix radial and bias-ply tires; dangerously erratic handling may result.

8) LT and MS tires

These designations indicate “Light Truck” and “Mud/Snow” — and are commonly found on tires fitted to SUVs and pick-ups. LT-rated tires are more general purpose, built primarily for on-road use — while MS-rated tires typically have more aggressive “knobby” tread patterns designed for better off-road traction.

9) Temporary Use Only

Many modern cars come with so-called “space-saver” tires which are smaller and lighter than a standard or full-size spare tire. They are designed to leave more room in the trunk and be easier for the average person to handle when a roadside tire change becomes necessary. However, they are not designed to be used for extended (or high-speed) driving. Your car will probably not handle (or stop) as well while the Space Saver tire is on – and you should keep your speed under 55 mph and avoid driving on the tire beyond what’s absolutely necessary to find a tire repair shop where you can have your damaged tire repaired or replaced.

10) Treadwear, Traction and Temperature ratings

Each tire has three separate ratings for Treadwear, Traction and Temperature.

Traction ratings run from AA to A to B and C — with C being the lowest on the scale. The ratings represent the tire’s ability to stop on wet pavement under controlled testing conducted by the government. C-rated tires are marginal and should be avoided. Never buy a tire with a Traction rating that isn’t at least equal to the minimum rating specified by the manufacturer of your vehicle.

Temperature ratings from A to B to C — with C being the minimum allowable for any passenger car tire. The ratings correspond to a given tire’s ability to dissipate heat under load; tires with lower ratings are more prone to heat-induced failure, especially if driven at high speeds (or when overloaded). As with Traction ratings, never buy a tire with a Temperature rating that’s less than specified for your vehicle.

Treadwear ratings differ from Traction and Temperature ratings in that they aren’t a measure of a tire’s built-in safety margin. Instead, these ratings — represented by a three digit number — give you an idea of the expected useful life of the tire according to government testing. A tire with a Treadwear rating of 150, for example, can be expected to last about 1.5 times as long as a tire with a Treadwear rating of 100. These are just guides, however. Your tires may last longer (or not) depending on such factors as how you drive, whether you maintain proper inflation pressure and rotate the tires per recommendations — and so on.

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