Read Your Tires

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European Standard Tire Sidewall Markings

Tire Sidewall Markings
The sidewall markings of a standard European tire. Tire Guides, Inc.

Here you'll find larger sized images associated with my articles.

From my article: How To Read Your Tire

02
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Finding Tire Size and Aspect Ratio

Tire Height
How to Determine the Standing Height of Your Tire. Sean Phillips

From my article: Plus and Minus Sizing Your Tires

03
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Silver Painted Wheel

BMW Painted Wheel
This BMW wheel is painted a standard flat silver color. Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

From my article: Wheel Cosmetics: Painted Wheels"

04
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Chromeplated Wheel

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.
05
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Salt Damage: Full View

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

This is what road salt can do to chrome.

06
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Salt Damage: A Closer Look.

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

A closer view. The chrome has completely flaked off in a large patch.

07
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Salt Damage: Bottom Edge

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

The bottom edge. Note that the chrome is continuing to peel and flake even beyond the original damage. The peeling edges are extremely sharp.

08
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Tire Bubble

Sean Phillips

When the radial plies are damaged by impact, the tire loses its ability to hold against air pressure at that point. We call this a "bubble."

09
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Tire Bubble

Sean Phillips

Tires with this kind of damage should be replaced as quickly as possible. The bubble will only get worse as the sidewall delaminates, and eventually the tire will lose the battle. Unfortunately, bubbles on the suspension-facing side of the tire, as with this one, cannot easily be seen. If you feel that an impact could have "pinched" the tire sidewall between the obstruction and your rim, be sure to check both sides of the tire for signs of damage.

10
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Cutaway view of a standard tire

Discount Tire Inc.
11
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A cross-section view of a standard tire

Public Domain
12
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Polished Wheel

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.
13
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Ultra Baja Champ Polished Wheel

Tire Rack, Inc.

This Baja Champ wheel by Ultra might not have come polished in the days before clearcoat, particularly with the hard-to-repolish oval decorative pockets along the outer flange.

14
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Full-Face Machine Polishing

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.
15
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Machined Interference Patterns

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

The surface has a chromatic effect not unlike a CD's surface as light waves scattering off the concentric lines interfere with each other.

16
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BMW M-Parallel Wheel: Paint in the Pockets

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

This BMW M3 wheel is machined along the outer flange and high spots and has paint in the low areas along the spokes. This creates a nice two-tone finish that can be further punched up by varying the paint colors.

17
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Paint In The Pockets

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

Another example of paint in the pockets.

18
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Flange Cut

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

Lathing only the outer flange of the wheel and leaving the center painted is called a flange cut.

19
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3-Piece Wheel With Polished Lip

Sean Phillips

A 3-piece Porsche "deep-dish" aftermarket wheel. The center piece is machined, with paint in the grooves. The outer lip, a separate piece held on by the rivets, is ball polished.

20
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A Donut-Style Temporary Spare

Sean Phillips
21
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TPMS Valve Stem Type Monitor

Public Domain

This is the most common type of TPMS monitor. The black module on the left is the pressure sensor, radio transmitter and battery casing, which sits under the valve stem inside the tire.

22
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Aftermarket TPMS Setup

Tire Rack, Inc.

An aftermarket TPMS set, consisting of four monitors and a dashboard mounted multifunction display.

23
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The Hakka Sipe

Sean Phillips
24
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Rain Sipes

Sean Phillips
25
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3D Self-Locking Sipes

Nokian Tyres, plc
26
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WRG2 Self-Locking Sipes

3D Self-Locking Sipes
3D Self-Locking Sipes. Nokian Tyres plc
27
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Nokian's Pump Sipes

Nokian Hakka R Pump Sipes
Nokian Hakka R Pump Sipes. Nokian Tyres, plc
28
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Bright Hypersilver

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc

A BMW wheel finished in bright hypersilver.

29
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Smoked Hypersilver

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc

A BMW wheel finished in smoked hypersilver.

30
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The Evolution of Tire Studs

Nokian Tyres, plc

From circular points to square edges to the new trapezoidal look, Nokian has been at the forefront of tire stud design.

31
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Nokian's AirClaw Studded Tread Block Design

Nokian Tyres, plc

Nokian's Hakka 7 studded snow tire features the AirClaw tread block, which is purpose-built for studs. Note the circular pump sipes just ahead of the stud for clearing water off the surface, and the long trapezoidal stud design which provides maximum biting edges.

32
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Nokian's Eco-Stud System

Nokian Tyres, plc

Nokian's Eco-Stud system places a soft layer of padding between the stud base and the tire to reduce noise and pavement damage. Note also a cross-section of the pump sipes just in front of the stud.

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Wheel Anatomy

Public Domain
34
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Wheel Anatomy

Structural Face. Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.
35
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Deep Dish Wheel

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.
36
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Forged Wheel w/ Bent Lip

Rim And Wheel Works, Inc.

The lip of this wheel is much easier to bend because of the distance between the lip and the spokes.

37
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Negative Offset

Discount Tire Direct, Inc.
38
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Positive Offset

Discount Tire Direct, Inc.
39
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Zero Offset

Discount Tire Direct, Inc.