Top 8 unusual facts about your car tyres

Posted by: Cal on 21/08/2014

Category: General

While you may know it is important to replace your car tyres regularly and perform regular tyre maintenance, there may be a few things you didn't know about these rubber items.

Here are 8 of the most unusual tyre facts. 

1. Tyres can age

Although checking your tyres regularly is the best way to determine whether your car tyre pressure is what it should be and that your tread is within the legal limit, you should also pay some attention to the age of your tyres.

Heat, ozone and sunlight can all cause the rubber in your tyres to deteriorate and this can lead to tyre failure. Don't forget to also check the spare tyre for signs of damage. If you are not sure whether your tyres fit the standard, make sure you consult an expert for some reputable advice.

2. Some tyre development comes from motor racing

While Formula 1 racers use their car tyres in a different manner to your average Joe or Jane, it is interesting to note that some developments in the industry have influenced changes in the safety of everyday car tyres, according to Business Car Manager. 

3. Valve maintenance is essential

The manufacturers of Bridgestone tyres advise that valve maintenance is an important part of looking after your tyres.

In fact, these valves are able to help maintain pressure in the tyre and should be replaced when new tyres are fitted.

Valve caps are used to protect the valve from grit, water and dust and it is important that these form a seal over the valves.

4. There are advantages of using the same brand of tyres

While it is not uncommon to see cars that have a mix of car tyre brands, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) recommends using the same brand as this can ensure your car will handle better, particularly in wet conditions.

5. Your tyre requirements change based on the season

You may not realise that there are real reasons to consider getting tyres specially designed for the winter or summer months. 

However, if you drive in the snow or wet, there are real reasons to consider making the switch. According to the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers association, winter tyres can reduce your braking distance by up to 20 per cent.

6. Car tyres are naturally white

Since the natural colour of rubber is white, you may not realise why car tyres are black. The colour change isn't purely aesthetic though, but the byproduct of adding carbon to the rubber.

This was later replaced by silica for many tyres, Steve Howat, Continental tyres general manager explained on the manufacturer's Website. This material can help to improve grip in the wet. However, the colour has remained black. This has added advantages, such as being able to withstand a bit of dirt and also being able to complement any kind of colour car.

7. Where did the word tyre come from?

Also spelt tire in the USA, it is believed this word can trace its origins back to the 15th century. It may be a shortened form of attire, as the tyre was considered the 'clothing' of the wheel itself.

8. Old tyres are often recycled to make new roads

Crumbing is a technique used to turn old tyres into fine powder, granules or larger rubber particles.

These are then used Down Under to create roads. In fact, around 1,000 tonnes of this material is used to construct new roads in Australia each year, the Department of the Environment revealed.

The benefits of this road material is that it costs less and is easier to transport than crushed rock and can increase emissions if used to resurface roads. Not only that but it can also extend the life of roads, so they don't need to be replaced so often. 

When you purchase a new set of tyres, it pays to think about where your old set will go.