To help you make informed buying decisions and keep your vehicle rolling down the road trouble-free, we've provided definitions to several tire-related terms below. If you'd like more information on tires or automotive service, please call or visit any one of our southern California locations. You can also click here to make a service appointment online.

When the road is wet, your tires will often make less contact with the road surface. In extreme cases, your vehicle may "hydroplane," or actually glide on top of the water. Hydroplaning can drastically reduce your ability to control your vehicle. The tread patterns on tires are designed to channel water away from the tire surface. However, the effectiveness of the patterns can be reduced dramatically as vehicle speed increases. The best way to guard against the dangers of hydroplaning is to adjust your driving speed to the weather and road conditions.

A tire generates enormous centrifugal force at high speeds, so even tiny irregularities of only a few grams can affect its safe performance, and that of the vehicle. To counteract the effect of these weight differences, we balance each wheel by adding small counter-weights at the appropriate points on the rim. A wheel should be balanced every time a tire is put on it.

The bead of a tire is the part that makes contact with the wheel rim. At the center of the bead is the core, which is made up of a bundle of steel wires embedded in rubber. This provides a safe and solid seating of the tire on the rim.

The distance required for safe stopping depends on the speed of the vehicle, the condition of the road surface, and the condition of the tires' tread. Check the tread depth regularly, and change your tires when they're worn down to the "tread wear indicators" located at the bottom of the tread grooves.

The purpose of wheel camber is to reduce friction during cornering. The camber is measured when the wheels are still on a flat surface. The difference from the vertical (inward or outward tilt of the tire) is then referred to as either positive or negative camber.

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