Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

If you have general questions about tires, The Tire Wire is here to help. Below are frequently asked tire questions with answers to help you make the right choice in purchasing your tires from TheTireWire.ca. Click on a question below to get the answers you’re looking for. If you don’t find your question here, feel free to Contact Us with your question through our Contact Page Here.

How do I know when to buy new tires?

Method #1. What you’ll need: A Tire Depth Gauge.

  • Step 1 Find the pin and insert it into the grooves between the treads of the tire. Press down on the base plate of the gauge unit until it’s flush with the tire tread.
  • Step 2 Repeat step 1 in at least 4 different places on each tire to receive an accurate read.
  • Step3 The lowest reading you’ll get is going to be the correct overall reading for the tire. If the reading fluctuates across multiple points on the same tire, visit your mechanic shop to check for vehicle problems.

Method #2. “The Nickel test” What you’ll need: A Canadian Nickel.
Insert Nickle into tire treads with Queens Elisabeth’s crown facing down. If you can see the top of the Queens’s crown, your tire is below 2/32’ and needs to be replaced.

How do I know what sized tires to order?

If you look on the tire’s sidewall (The black rubber just above the rim) you’ll find a series of numbers.

What you’re looking for may look something like this: P215/60R16 (Numbers and letters may vary).

The “P” stands for passenger car tire, “LT” stands for light truck and No letter before the width indicates that it is a European metric tire. The numbers demonstrated “215” indicates the width of the tire in mm. Aspect ratio is the ratio if the height of the tire’s cross section to its width. The numbers demonstrated “60” indicates the height is equal to %60 of the tires width.

“R” stands for radial, which means that the layers run radially across the tire. “B” stands for bias, which means the layers run diagonally across the tire. Rim diameter is the width in inches or cm of the wheel from one end to the other. The numbers indicating “16” indicates the diameter. Always replace a tire on a rim with another tire of exactly the same rim diameter designation and suffix letters.

How long do new tires last?

Please note the life of your tires is based on how well you take care of them.

We would expect at least 80,500 KMS from new tires. If the typical number of KMS are about 12,500 to 24,000 KMS annually, your tires tread will wear out in about three to four years. If you only drive about 9600 KMS annually or have a vehicle that you only drive on weekends, aging tires could be an issue. However, There are many things that may cause you to need tires sooner such as; Improper tire pressure, under-inflated tires, over inflated tires, Bent or damaged vehicle parts such as tie rods and ball joints.

How often should I rotate my tires?

Check your owner’s manual to see if there is a recommended rotation scheme. During rotation, each tire and wheel is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position to ensure that all tires wear evenly and last longer. Tires should be rotated every six months or 9,600 to 12,800 kilometers.

What should I look for while inspecting my tires?

To ensure that your tires remain in their best condition and to prevent a blowout from occurring, it’s best to keep your tires properly inflated as well as checking on their condition regularly.

Here’s what you can look for: Cuts, splits and cracks in the sidewall of the tires, inspect for uneven tread wear, cuts or tears on valve stems, bulges on the side of the tires and you can do so each time you check your tire pressure.

When should I get my tires balanced?

You may want to get your wheels balanced every 5,000 km – 10,000 km. However, if you’re experiencing these symptoms such as Steering-wheel vibration at highway speeds or Seat or floorboard vibration at highway speeds, your tires may need balancing.

How do I know how old my tires are?

On your tires there’s a DOT code (meaning department of transportation). The code will start with the letters “DOT” and the last 4 digits represents the date your tires were manufactured in. The first two digits represents the week and last 2 digits represents the year. As an example, if the last 4 digits are 3312 your tires were manufactured in the 33rd week of 2012.

Do I have to replace my current tires with the same size tires?

Yes you can, though we do not recommend it. As long as it’s all 4 tires and as mentioned before, always replace tires on a rim with another tire of exactly the same rim diameter designation and suffix letters. Please consult your tire professional or feel free to send us a message through our Contact Page Here.

How do I recognize a winter tire?

You should see a three peaked mountain with snowflakes in the middle on the side wall of the tire. Once you see that pictograph you will know that tire meets specific snow traction performance requirements set by the Rubber Association of Canada.

What are the benefits of a winter tire?

The tread compound used in all seasoned tires offers little cold weather traction and becomes hard, losing pliability and traction in freezing temperatures. Winter tires however, are designed to help deliver safety and control in snow, slush, rain, ice and cold weather.

When should I change to my winter tires?

If you live in an area where rain and snow are a concern and winter tires are mandatory for driving, there is a specific date you’ll need to have your tires changed by. Please refer to your local transportation and highway regulations to better know when you should have your winter tires on.

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