If you're in the market for new tires, all of the variables in tire specifications and the confusing jargon you might hear from tire salesmen or "experts" might make your purchase rather stressful. Or maybe you just want to fully understand the tires you already have, the concepts at work, the significance of all of those sidewall markings. What does all this stuff mean in regular terms?
In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we will explore how tires are built and see what's in a tire. We'll find out what all the numbers and markings on the sidewall of a tire mean, and we'll decipher some of that tire jargon. By the end of this article, you'll understand how a tire supports your car, and you'll know why heat can build up in your tires, especially if the pressure is low. You'll also be able to adjust your tire pressure correctly and diagnose some common tire problems!
How Tires are Made
As illustrated below, a tire is made up of several different components.