According to recent study by the National Transportation and Safety Administration, more than 25% of all passenger cars and more than 33% of all light trucks have under inflated tires.
Keeping tires properly inflated improves performance, tire life, ride quality, ride safety and improves gas mileage! Always inflate tires to the manufacturer’s recommended psi (pound per square inch).
We recommend investing in a reliable pressure gauge and checking air pressure at least once a month. For accurate readings, check tire when it is cold, preferably in the mornings, before the vehicle is driven.
Tire pressure expands in heat and contracts in cold weather. For every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in outside temperature, your tire’s inflation pressure will change by about 1 psi (up with higher and down with lower temperatures). Therefore, be more cautious if you live in a country where drastic temperature changes occur.
Tires also lose pressure over time, on an average of about 1 psi per month.
Finally, do not forget to keep your valve caps on. If left off, moisture can freeze in the valve and allow the air to escape.
There is no specific recommended alignment timeframe. However, alignment should be checked whenever new tires or suspension components are installed or when the driver notices a difference in the vehicle’s handling – usually after a strong impact with a road hazard or driving into severe potholes.
Proper balancing prevents uneven treadwear and is essential for a safe, comfortable ride.
A common sign of wheel/tire imbalance can be noticed at highway speeds through vibration from the steering wheel.
If such condition occurs, have your tires balanced as soon as possible. Wheels should be balanced whenever a tire is first installed, and whenever they are remounted.
The side of a tire known as the sidewall, has everything you need to know about your tire such as tire brand, series name, and model, tire width, aspect ratio, construction, wheel diameter, load index & speed rating, DOT safety code, Max cold inflation and load, and UTQG rating. All tires regardless of make, are required to have this information as it is important to know when shopping for a replacement tire.
A general tire description can be displayed as: Federal SS595 245/40ZR18 93W
1. Logo and Brand Name: Federal
This is the company that manufactured the tire.
2. Pattern Name: SS595
Tire manufacturers often create a series of tires with somewhat similar handling and performance characteristics. For example, Federal uses the 595 name on tires that may appeal to drivers who desire a performance tire and the Formoza name on tires that are intended for less aggressive driving.
3. Tire Size: 245/40ZR18 93W
Tire Width: 245
This number is the width of the tire in millimeters measured from sidewall to sidewall. This is the most important number to describe a tire's contact patch.
Aspect Ratio: 40
This is the height of the sidewall from the rim to the tread, expressed as a percentage of the tire's width. For example, if the tire is 245 mm wide, an aspect ratio of 40 means that the sidewall height is 40% of 245, or about 98 mm tall.
Sidewall height is important for several reasons:
1) Sidewall height affects the steering wheel responsiveness and ride quality.
2) A lower aspect ratio provides better turn-in response than a higher aspect ratio but also gives a harsher ride. It can also increase the chance of damage from potholes and other road hazards.
3) As you change the size of your wheels, a corresponding change needs to happen in the sidewall height of the tire in order for the rolling diameter of the wheel and tire combination to be as close to stock as possible. This will confirm an accurate reading of your vehicle’s speedometer and prevent unwanted alignment changes.
This tells how the layers of the tire were put together. “R” stands for Radial while “B” stands for bias construction. “ZR” places the tire in an open-ended speed category, indicating a maximum speed above 240 K/H (149 M/H).
Wheel Diameter: 18
The width of the wheel from one end to the other.
Tells you the maximum service speed for a tire. In this case W, identifies a speed rating above 168 mph. This rating relates to tire speed capability only and is NOT a recommendation to exceed legally posted speed limits.
4. Load Rating
Maximum load in pounds that the tire can support when properly inflated. The maximum load is also revealed elsewhere on the tire sidewall in both pounds and kilograms. In this case, 93 means the tire is rated for 1433 lbs or 650 kg per tire, multiply that by the number of tires on a car and you get a maximum safe load vehicle weight of 5732 lbs or 2600 kg (including people, luggage, and a full tank of gas).
5. Carcass Material:
For example: 2 POLYESTER + 2 STEEL + NYLON SIDEWALL: 2 POLYESTER
6. UTQG Ratings
7. DOT Safety Code
A code that shows the tire complies with all applicable safety standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). It is also a tire identification or serial number — a combination of numbers and letters up to 12 digits.
8. Safety Warning
9. Treadwear indicate
Shows which way tire should rotate to ensure proper mounting.
11. Country of origin
12. Certifications of different countries
13. UX: Factory code JX: Size Cord and Date of production
The manufactured week is marked after DOT serials.
Example: DOT UX82 2506
The last four digits of "2508" means this tire was produced on the 25th week of 2008.
How many tires do I need?
Just one tire?
If only one tire needs to be replaced because of damage or accident, you should replace it with a tire that exactly matches the others meaning same brand, line, size, and speed rating.
A pair of tires?
If two tires need to be replaced because they have been worn out or damaged, you should replace them with a pair that come as close as possible to your existing tires. While identical new tires are ideal, others of the same size and type can also provide good results.
It is important to find out why the pair of tires has worn faster than the others. Was it caused by a lack of tire rotation, out-of-spec wheel alignment or loose mechanical parts? The root problem needs to be discovered since your ultimate goal is that all of your tires always wear out at the same time so they can be replaced as a set.
A set of tires?
You will have the greatest flexibility in tire selection if all your tires are wearing out together. Review the tire category types until you find a set of tires that fits your needs. Once you know which tire, determine size and type by answering the questions below:
What is the right size for my vehicle?
Buying the correct tire size can get complicated especially if you choose to upgrade from your vehicle’s original equipment size.
The first requirement is that the tire must be able to carry the weight of your vehicle. No matter how good a new tire is, if it cannot handle the weight of your vehicle, the tire will be over-worked and it will have little capacity to help your vehicle respond in an emergency situation. Make sure the load index of the tire is suitable for your vehicle. Do not undersize.
If you want to upgrade in size, there is a system called “Plus Sizing”, which takes into account the diameters of the available tires and the wheels, and then helps select the appropriate tire width that ensures adequate load capacity.
What type of tire do I need? Eg. summer tires, winter tires, or all-season tires?
You should evaluate your typical driving conditions as well as the frequency of the worst driving condition you will encounter and find a balance to meet your needs.
If you live in a region with harsh winters and hot summers, you may need more than one set of tires and wheels (for example, summer tires in the summer and snow tires in winter) since each set is designed to master the specific conditions. If you desire optimal safety and performance as well as driving pleasure all-year round, this is the way to go.
If you use the same set of tires (an all-season for example) for every season, you may get decent performance under many conditions, but you will compromise your vehicle’s performance when the conditions are at their worst. However, if you live in a region that infrequently gets snow, you may want to select an all-season tire.
How do I compare price vs. value?
When selecting new ties, consider evaluating your situation by comparing “how much per mile” each tire will cost. Lets say you plan to drive on a set of tires for about 30,000 miles and you are choosing between an ideal set of tires and another set that appears to be a runner-up. The “ideal” set costs USD $100 and the runner-up costs USD $90, you may be surprised to find out that the cost of per mile of these tires are 1.3 cents per mile and 1.2 cents per mile respectively. Will saving $40 today make up for not having the ideal tire that you will be using for the next two years?
We recommend that you consider replacing your tires when they reach about 4/32” or 0.3 centimeters. You need enough tread depth on your tires to allow water to escape through the tire’s grooves. If water can not be dispersed fast enough, your vehicle’s tires will lose traction due to hydroplaning.
If you drive on snow-covered roads, you should consider replacing your tires when they reach about 6/32” or 0.5 centimeters of tread depth to maintain decent traction. Tread depth is more important for snow traction because your tires need to compress the snow in their grooves and release it as they roll. This is why winter tires begin with deeper tread depths compared to standard all-season or summer tires.
It is important to know that the Department of Transportation does not conduct the tests for UTQG ratings. The grades are assigned by the tire manufacturers based on their test results or those conducted by an independent testing company they have hired. The NHTSA has the right to inspect the tire manufacturer’s data and can fine them if inconsistencies are found. Tire manufacturers have a six month period to allow the tire manufacturer to test actual production tires. Once a grade is assigned it must be branded on the tire’s sidewall and printed on its label.
UTQG Treadwear Grades are based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specific government test track. A tire graded 200 would wear twice as long on the government test course under specified test conditions as one graded 100. It is inaccurate to link Treadwear Grades with your projected tire mileage. The problem with UTQG Treadwear Grades is that they do not accurately portray how long a tire lasts. The test tires are assigned a grade after experiencing little treadwear as it runs only 7,200 miles. This means that the tire manufacturers need to extrapolate their raw wear data. It is typically more helpful to use the Treadwear Grades as a reference only, and not as helpful in deciding actual wear-rate between different brands.
UTQG Traction Grades are based on the tire’s straight line wet coefficient of traction as the tire skids across the specified test surfaces. The UTQG traction test does not evaluate dry braking, dry cornering, wet cornering, or high speed hydroplaning resistance. Traction grades, from highest to lowest, are AA, A, B and C. They represent the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. Since this test evaluates a slide tire at a constant 40 mph, it places more emphasis on the tire’s tread compound and less emphasis on its tread design.
Temperature (Resistance) Grades
The UTQG Temperature Grade indicated the extent to which heat is generated or dissipated by at tire. The temperature grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C. These represent the tire's resistance to the generation of heat.
Most flat tires and blowouts are the result of slow leaks which go unnoticed and allow the tire’s air pressure to escape over time. If we had a way to conveniently monitor the air pressure in our tires, we would be half way there.
Today there are three technologies being developed to help maintain vehicle mobility as a tire is punctured and after. Out of the three, self-sealing and self-supporting tires are available today, while auxiliary supported systems need further research for future Original Equipment use.
Self-sealing tires are designed to fix most punctures instantly and permanently Although constructed the same way as a standard tire, these self-sealing run-flats feature an extra lining inside the tire under the tread area that is coated with a puncture sealant which can permanently seal most punctures from nails, bolts or screws up to 3/16 of an inch or 0.5 cm in diameter. These tries first provide a seal around the object when the tire is first punctured and then fill in the hole in the tread when the object is removed. Most drivers will not even know that they just had a puncture because punctures get sealed immediately with these tires.
However, if there is damage beyond repair, the loss-of-air like symptoms that come with a traditional tire also apply with these tires so the driver can be warned.
Self-supporting tires feature a stiffer internal construction which is capable of temporarily carrying the weight of the vehicle, even after the tire has lost all pressure. These tires require a tire pressure monitoring system to alert the driver that their tire has lost air pressure. Without this system, the driver may not notice under inflation and may inadvertently cause more tire damage by failing to inflate or repair the tire at first opportunity. In general, self-supporting tires allow a vehicle to travel for 50 miles at speeds up to 55 mph.
Auxiliary Supported Run Flat Systems
This system is under development as they combine unique wheel and tire technology for future Original Equipment vehicle applications. In this system, when the tire loses pressure, it rests on a support ring attached to the wheel. This will place most of the task of providing run-flat capability on the wheel (which does not wear out or need to be replaced). This minimizes the responsibility of the tire. The disadvantage to this system is that their unique wheels will not accept standard tires and that their lower volume will make this type of system more expensive.
Direct Monitoring Systems:
Attach a pressure sensor/transmitter to the vehicle’s wheel inside the tire’s air chamber. An in-car receiver warns the driver immediately if the pressure of any one tire falls below a certain level.
Indirect Monitoring Systems:
Use the vehicle’s antilock braking system’s wheel speed sensors to compare the rotational speed of one tire vs. the other three positions on the vehicle. If one tire is low on pressure, its circumference changes enough to roll at a slightly different pace per mile than the other three tires. When that is the case, the onboard computer warns the driver that there is a change in the tire. Unfortunately, due to its lower development time and cost, these systems have several shortcomings. They won’t tell the driver which tire is low on pressure, won’t warn the driver if all four tires are losing pressure at the same rate, and they often have false warnings.
The direct monitoring systems is not faultless either. It is still unclear when the perfect time for the system to warn the driver is. Also, there is general concern that the drivers of vehicles equipped with these systems will become over-confident in the capabilities of their system and will be even less likely to follow good tire maintenance habits.
The surface cracks that occasionally appear typically develop in the sidewalls or at the base of the tread grooves. As long as the cracking does not go deep in to the rubber, the cracking may be purely cosmetic in nature and may not need to be replaced. Since all tires are made of rubber, all tires will eventually show some type of cracking condition usually late in their life.
Here are some factors that can cause or accelerate cracking:
- Excessive exposure to eat, vehicle exhaust, ozone and sunlight.
- Overall poor maintenance practices such as driving on a under/over inflated tire
- Excessive use of tire cleaners that inadvertently remove some of the tire’s anti-oxidants and anti-ozone protection during cleaning procedure.
- Abrasion from parking against a curb
- Long periods of storage or parking (rubber compounds will lose effectiveness if tires are not “exercised” on a frequent basis)
Here are some tips to prevent cracking:
- If possible, park in shade more often if you don’t have access to garage parking.
- Use tire cleaners conservatively.
- Be cautious of roadside curb damage or abrasion.
- “Exercise” the tire and work the rubber to help resist cracks from forming.
All season tires have presented a promise that they can provide traction for all seasons; through spring’s rain, summer’s heat, fall’s cooling and winter’s snow. This however, does not guarantee winter snow and ice traction.
In 1999, The U.S. Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) agreed on a performance based standard to recognize passenger and light truck tires that have a traction index equal to or greater than 110 (compared to a reference tire which is rated 100) during the specified American Society for Testing and Materials traction tests on packed snow. The new standard helps ensure that drivers can easily point out tires that provide a higher level of snow traction.
A snowflake-on-the-mountain symbol branded on the tire’s sidewall identifies tires that matched the performance level required in snow testing.
FEDERAL TIRE HIMALAYA WS2 (TOTAL 112 STUDS) : PLEASE USE TSMI 12 (9mm BaseX11mm Length).
FEDERAL TIRE HIMALAYA SUV (TOTAL 128 STUDS) : PLEASE USE TSMI 12 (9mm BaseX11mm Length).
FEDERAL TIRE HIMALAYA INVERNO (TOTAL 128 STUD) : PLEASE USE TSMI 13 (9mm BaseX12mm Length).
Starting from 1st November 2012, Federal is going to adopt tire labeling which requires rating based on tire rolling resistance, wet grip and external road noise. The new label will be placed on all passenger and light truck tires. Our educational material will explain tyre information in a clear and concise manner. There's also a brand new, dedicated tyre labelling section on its website, while there will be a range of POS leaflets, posters and other promotional literature available in various form of marketing for future campaigns.
— eco-driving can significantly reduce fuel consumption, — tyre pressure should be regularly checked to optimise wet grip and fuel efficiency performance, — stopping distances should always be strictly respected"