From their origins as rubber bands to their modern-day inflated counterparts, tires have become an essential part of any vehicle. They are one of the first things a driver sees when getting in their car, which is why it’s important to understand everything there is to know about them.
We're excited to share some interesting facts about these technological marvels with you. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just learning about tires for the first time, we hope you’ll find this information interesting and useful.
If you had to guess, you'd most likely say Michelin or Bridgestone make the most tires in the world. However, in terms of annual unit production, the Lego Group is the world's largest tire manufacturing company. In 2011, the popular toy company was awarded the Guinness World Record for producing the most tires in a year, with over 308 million tires produced.
These tires will not fit your car, but they are still considered rubber tires, making Lego the world's largest tire manufacturer despite their size.
New tire designs can take two to four years to perfect because engineers must consider a plethora of factors such as tread pattern, rubber compounds, rolling resistance, and weight. Once a design is finalized, the tires can take up to 18 months to be manufactured and shipped to dealers.
That is why, unlike fashion, new tire models are not released every month; it takes a lot of time and effort to create the perfect set of rubber tires!
Speed certainly doesn’t come cheap, and neither does luxury. Some tires can actually cost more than your car. The Z tires, laced with 24-carat gold and diamonds, are the most expensive tires in the world. These Dubai-made beauties will set you back a whopping $600,000 per set.
Prior to the Z tires, Michelin's Bugatti Veyron Super Sport tires were the most expensive, costing $42,000 per set. They were made to withstand the Bugatti Veyron's top speed of 406km/h, as well as to be heat and friction resistant.
Many car manufacturers have stopped including a spare tire with new car purchases to shed the weight of the car, keeping it environmentally friendly.
More than 28% of new cars have ditched the spare tire. They might add a patching kit to help you temporarily fill the hole, but that’s just about it. So don’t be caught out at the worst possible moment – make sure you have one.
With no spare tires, tire manufacturers are now making puncture-proof tires. The first airless tires were created in 1976. It was called the Tweel, and it was a radial tire made entirely of polyurethane. While it never really took off, it was an interesting concept.
These days, airless tires are becoming more and more popular, thanks to their durability and convenience. In 2017, Michelin introduced the “UPTIS” (Unique Puncture Proof Tire System), a version of Tweel designed for commercial use.
It seems that punctures will soon be a thing of the past.
The largest tire in the world is a 12-ton, 80-foot-tall giant tower in Allen Park, Michigan, USA. Originally unveiled as a Ferris Wheel during the 1964–65 World's Fair in New York, this Uniroyal tire was relocated to Allen Park in 1966.
Don't pass up this sightseeing opportunity the next time you haul the family across the country for a road trip.
Space shuttles have tires the same size as an 18-wheeler but with different characteristics. They are designed to support up to 14,000 pounds at a speed rating of 290 mph.
To avoid losing air pressure at high altitudes, the space shuttle tires are filled with nitrogen because it is an inert gas that is less likely to react with other substances.
Did you know that a tire can go bad simply due to age, even if it has never been driven on? After 5 years of age, tires begin to experience thermo-oxidative degradation. This chemical reaction has the potential to significantly impact tire safety on the road.
To know the lifespan of your tires, simply check the final four digits of their DOT code. The first two digits indicate the week of the year your tire was manufactured, while the final two digits indicate the year that your tire was manufactured.
For example, if your tire's final four DOT numbers are 2319, it was made in the 23rd week of 2019.
The American motor racing legend, Mickey Thompson, invented his own tires to break the land speed record in 1960. He was set to win the world land speed record when he realized that there were no tires available that could sustain a top speed of 500 mph. He designed his tires and won the world land speed record by traveling 406.6 mph on them.
Since then, the "Mickey Thompson Tires" brand has been a market leader in providing high-performance 4x4 tires and track tires for off-road and race enthusiasts.
Have you ever wondered where 300 million waste tires end up every year? Tires are notoriously difficult to dispose of and can have a significant impact on the environment. Tires, thankfully, can be upcycled, recycled, and repurposed to reduce their environmental impact.
For instance, Timberland, a footwear retail store, partnered with Omni United tire brand to design a line of tires that can be made into the soles of new shoes.
Tires were white for the first 25 years of their existence because the natural color of the rubber used to make them was milky white. Goodrich Tire Company was the first tire manufacturer to produce black tires after purchasing carbon black from Binney & Smith, the creators of Crayola Crayons.
The carbon black increased the road-wear abrasion by nearly 100 times, improved the tires’ tensile strength, and changed the color to the iconic black.
Carbon black has been replaced with silica over the years, but the black color remains popular among drivers for aesthetic reasons as well as to camouflage dirty tires. Drivers can also "play" with rims by selecting either gold or silver rims in the black color.
You shouldn’t attempt to drive with a flat tire, but if you do, the distance you can go is directly related to speed. At 40 mph, a run-down tire can keep rolling for about 100 miles. The idea is to reduce the amount of heat generated by the tire and reduce the fatigue in the belts and rubber.
The difference in tire pressure between summer and winter can be as much as 7 PSI or more. This is due to water vapor dangling in your tires' air, which reacts to temperature changes. Fill your tires with nitrogen and see what happens. There will be no fluctuation because nitrogen contains no water vapor, so the pressure will remain constant.
Tires can be made from dandelions.
Like with cars, tire manufacturers are doing everything they can to improve the technology of their products.
Continental Tires engineers, in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Julius Kuehn, and EKUSA, tested and produced the first-ever rubber with a tread made entirely of Russian dandelion rubber as a polymer.
The benefit of using dandelion over traditional rubber trees is that dandelion rubber can be grown in a year, while a traditional rubber tree takes up to seven years to grow. Continental Tires plans to launch the first-ever dandelion rubber consumer tires within the next five to ten years.
It’s not just dandelions; walnut shells are used in winter tire designs to improve grip on slick roads. The walnut shell is one of the world's hardest natural substances, making it ideal for traction on icy roads.
Static electricity build-up and insufficient electricity ground are becoming issues for tires, particularly when refueling. Modern tire rubber compounds contain less carbon black in order to reduce weight and rolling resistance, resulting in a less conductive tire.
This problem can be solved by incorporating an "antenna tread"—a thin continuous strip of rubber—into the tire's surface to make it a more efficient conductor between the tire and the pavement, allowing the vehicle to be more grounded.
Tires, despite their apparent simplicity, are highly engineered pieces of technology. A typical tire can contain over 200 different materials, including cobalt and titanium to bond the rubber to the steel belts.
To maximize traction, grip, and performance, they use an advanced blend of rubber, polymers, and a variety of other compounds. The rubber tread also contains metals such as titanium and cobalt.
Everyone knows your tires are your only contact with the road surface. But have you ever thought about how much of your tires actually stick to the road?
The contact surface between the ground and a regular-sized tire of a passenger car isn't very large; it's just the size of a postcard approximately. So, one could say, the entire car is only in contact with the road surface by a piece of copy paper.
Skinny tires, featuring narrow and taller sidewalls, are making a comeback in the auto market. Tire experts point out that even though the contact is smaller, having a narrower tire helps a vehicle reduce its energy loss as the tire rolls. The narrow shape also helps to reduce a car’s frontal profile for lower wind resistance and aerodynamic drag.
To compensate for a smaller car tire size and a smaller tire footprint, new tire manufacturers use elevated tire inflation pressure. As an added benefit, skinny tires mean that a car manufacturer can use less room for the wheel and maximize the passenger compartment.
Vehicles such as the BMW i3 electric vehicle and the Corvette Z51, which use Bridgestone Ecopia tires, have already hopped the fence.
Sipes are the small slots cut or molded into the surface of a tire tread. These slots improve traction on wet, snowy, and icy roads.
The concept of siping a tire was named after a man named John Sipe, who received a patent for it in 1923. He worked in a slaughterhouse and discovered that small cuts in his shoes' heels kept him from slipping on bloody floors.
The average lifespan of a passenger car tire is approximately 40,000 miles.
Tires are not just for cars! They are also used on bicycles, motorcycles, ATVs, and even boats.
Tires are not just round. They can actually come in a variety of shapes, including square, triangular, and even clover-leaf.
The average weight of a car tire is about 35 pounds.
Tires are made from a variety of materials, including steel, fiberglass, and even Kevlar.
Tires are not always made in the United States. A number of tires are made in countries such as China, Thailand, and Mexico.
The air pressure in a tire is measured in pounds per square inch, or PSI.
Tires are not always round. A number of them are designed with a “tread” that helps them grip the road.
The tread on a tire is actually designed to wear down. This is so that the tire can grip the road better as it wears.
The more a tire is worn, the less grip it has. This is why it is important to replace tires when they start to show signs of wear.
Tires are not just for road trips. They can also be used for off-road adventures.
Tires are not just for cars. They can also be used for trains, buses, and even airplanes.
Tires are not just made from rubber. They can also be made from synthetic materials, such as plastics.
A number of tires are now made from bio-based materials, such as soybeans and corn.
If you're looking for a great place to buy tires, Tirewarehouse.ca is worth checking out. This online store has a wide selection of tires to choose from, and you can buy them direct from a warehouse. This means you'll get a great price on your tires, and you won't have to wait long for them to arrive.
Tirewarehouse.ca is a Canadian company, and all of their products are shipped from Canada. This means you can be sure you're getting high-quality products that are backed by a solid warranty.
If you're looking for a great place to buy tires online, Tirewarehouse.ca is a great option. With a huge selection of tires to choose from, competitive prices, and fast shipping, you can't go wrong.
Tirewarehouse.ca is a Canadian based business serving the community since 1972. We're very proud of our reputation for excellence in serving Canadians nationwide.
Get warehouse direct tires with Tirewarehouse.ca. We simplify the tire shopping experience where you can get great pricing with tires shipped to home or your preferred local Canadian installer.
We offer customers the widest selection of winter, summer, all-weather, and all-season tires. Shop warehouse direct with Tirewarehouse.ca today!