What is the Point of Tire Treads?
Why are Tire Treads Designed That Way?
Tires are so much more than just humble rubber rings that occasionally need to be filled with air. A good set of tires can positively affect how a car, truck or SUV performs, handles, and even how fuel-efficient it is. The first automobiles didn’t even use rubber tires, they used curved wood wheels – like a covered wagon being pulled by oxen. From there, solid rubber tires gave way to the air-filled tires we see today. One of the key elements of the tire is the tread pattern. There is a different kind of tread pattern for just about every vehicle application. Let a Southside Dodge expert take a closer look at why tire treads are designed the way they are and how they can affect your vehicle.
READ MORE: When Should I Put On Winter Tires?
What are the Different Parts of a Tire?
A tire is so very much more than a piece of rubber with grooves carved into the surface to form a tread pattern. The core elements of a tire tread include the:
- Tread blocks/lugs
- Tread grooves
- Tread void
- Wear bar
Some more specialized tires can include rain grooves and siping that actively move water away from the tread and the road surface.
How do Tire Treads Work?
At the most basic level, a tire tread pattern is designed to contact the road surface in the most efficient manner possible. When water gets between the tire and the road, a vehicle will hydroplane – something that can easily happen while driving in the rain. A healthy set of tires will use its various geometric patterns to avoid this as much as possible. Off-road tires have large lugs that are meant to dig into the ground to provide traction. Some tires even have smaller tread patterns cut into them to maximize contact with the ground for better handling at high speeds, something useful for high-performance race cars.
What Happens When Tires Wear Out?
Considering that tires are the only part of a car that is supposed to constantly hit the ground, they are going to need to be replaced eventually. As a tire wears down, the tread pattern starts to become less effective – regardless of what it was designed to do. A tire with its tread worn down too far will not be able to maintain control in wet or snowy conditions as effectively as a fresh tire. Also, worn tires are more susceptible to blowouts and punctures.
If it has been a while since your tires were inspected by an expert, make an appointment with the Southside Dodge Service Department today.