Nearly everyone has heard the expression of “where the rubber meets the road.” Though that’s about more than just tires, the implication is that tires are blobs of rubber that roll along the pavement. While there is a considerable amount of rubber involved, the notion that tires are no more than that is wrong. Without engineered structure and other components, the rubber would be soft, shapeless, and not at all conducive to driving. The ASE-certified technicians at Big Apple Automotive in Apple Valley, California (CA-18 location) understand tire construction and the various parts. They’re available and happy to assist you with all your tire repair needs.
Tires are not just chunks of rubber. Yes, there are other parts. If that’s something you’ve never considered, that’s okay. We’re happy to walk you through a brief overview. In addition to rubber, tires contain steel, fiberglass, and rayon that comprise belts. These belts give the tire shape and help hold the layers of rubber in place. The non-rubber materials also help prevent punctures. Beyond this, the rubber itself takes on a different structure and function. For example, the inner liner is the inside layer that keeps air from escaping (applicable in a tubeless tire). A super-strong steel cable coated in rubber, called the bead, helps the tire remain on the rim. “tread” refers to the rubber area that touches the road. Unique treads provide improved traction on less than perfect driving surfaces (snow, sand, dirt, water). These are known as sipes. Grooves (also known as tread grooves) are the spaces between tread ribs. The area where the tread wraps toward the sidewall is the shoulder. The sidewall covers layers of cords and bears information about the tire and manufacturer. Finally, a tire is not a single layer. The layers are called plies. Each is constructed of cords coated with rubber to add strength, sealing capacity, and damage resistance. These plies bond perpendicular to the treads.
Now that you know a little more about tire construction, you can see that all the parts are critical to the whole. Tires are more complex than one might assume upon first glance. Thus, it’s important to take proper care of them. This maintenance includes monitoring for proper inflation, scheduled rotation, balancing, and proper repairs (if safe repair is possible) when a tire sustains damage. For all your tire repair needs, count on Big Apple Automotive.