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Tire & Wheel Information - Glossary of Tire & Wheel Terms

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Glossary

Tire & Wheel Information - Glossary of Te r ms


Having trouble with some of the more technical tire and wheel terminology? Browse our tire and wheel glossary and brush up on some of the more popular concepts in tire and wheel tech.

Air Pressure
The measure of force exerted by the air inside a tire, typically measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), or kilopascals (kPa).

Alignment
The correct angle settings of a vehicles suspension components. The 3 alignment settings are caster, camber, and toe.

Aspect Ratio
The relationship between a tires section height and its section width. It is calculated by dividing the section height by the section width. With the section height is half of the section width, the aspect ratio is 50. In a tire size description, it would be the 50 in P195/50R15. It is also referedd to as the tires profile or the series.

Asymmetric
When opposite sides of a tires tread pattern are not identical.

Backspacing
Also known as rearspacing, this is the distance from the mounting pad to the back edge of the rim. Not to be confused with wheel offset.

Balance
The even distribution of weight on a mounted wheel and tire.

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Tire & Wheel Information - Glossary of Tire & Wheel Terms

http://www.4wheelparts.com/tire-wheel-package-guide/tire-wheel-information-glossary.aspx

Bead
The part of the tire in contact with the wheel flange. It is made of high tensile steel wires shaped to fit the rim and hold the tire on the wheel. The steel wires are wrapped in woven fabric and held in place by the plies.

Bias Tire
A tire constructed with plies laid out in alternating directions in angles about 30-40 degrees to the center line of the tire. The plies form a criss-cross pattern that is typically suited more towards off road driving.

Bolt Circle
The number of lug holes on the diameter of the imaginary circle that each lug hole is centered upon.

Bolt Pattern
The arrangement of bolt holes on a wheel. Some wheels have more than one bolt pattern on the same wheel to accommodate multiple fitments.

Camber
The angle of the centerline of a tire and wheel relative to completely vertical.

Cast Wheels
Wheels that are made from liquid metal poured into a mold. Low pressure casting involves pouring the metal into a mold, while counter-pressure casting involves sucking the metal into a mold like a vacuum. Counter-pressure casting reduces impurities to make the wheel much stronger than a low pressure cast rim.

DOT
DOT is an acronym that stands for Department of Transportation. The 10-digit code after the DOT designation provides information such as the week and year the tire was produced, plus the manufacturer, plant, tire line, and size.

Hub Centric
A situation wherein the center bore of the wheel is made to match up with the diameter of the automobile hubs; the wheel is then balanced by the center hold rather than the lug holes.

Hub Centric Rings (Hubrings)


Hard plastic or aluminum rings mounted on a vehicles hub before the wheel. This ensures that the wheel is perfectly centered on

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Tire & Wheel Information - Glossary of Tire & Wheel Terms

http://www.4wheelparts.com/tire-wheel-package-guide/tire-wheel-information-glossary.aspx

the vehicles hub, and also lessens the possibility of vibration when the tire and wheel are perfectly balanced.

Load Rating or Maximum Load


The most weight a tire is designed to carry. A tires load-carrying capacity is directly related to the tires size and how much inflation pressure is used. Listed maximum loads are rated with the tire inflated to an industry-assigned inflation pressure.

Offset
The distance from the mounting surface of the wheel to the true centerline of the rim. A positive offset means the wheels mounting surface is positioned in front of the true centerline of the rim and tire assembly, brining the tire into the fender well more. Conversely, a negative offset means the wheel is behind the true centerline of the rim and tire assembly, causing the tire to stick out away from the vehicle.

Overall Diameter
The diameter of an inflated tire without any load.

Plus Sizing
Changing the original stock tire size of your vehicle in order to enhance vehicle performance by allowing for fitment of larger wheels and tires. It is recommended that you keep the overall tire diameter within 3% of OEM tire size to prevent problems with transmission, gas mileage, and braking.

PSI
The most common measurement unit for tire pressure that stands for pounds per square inch. PSI is intended to measure the force exerted by the air inside a tire.

Radial Tire
Tires built with perpendicular plies across the crown of the tire, effectively strengthening the tread for street driving. These tires also require belt plies going circumferentially around the tire for solidarity purposes.

Rim Diameter
The distance between bead seat to bead seat at bead seat radius.

Rim Width
The measurement between the flanges of a rim.

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Tire & Wheel Information - Glossary of Tire & Wheel Terms

http://www.4wheelparts.com/tire-wheel-package-guide/tire-wheel-information-glossary.aspx

Section Width
The distance between the sidewalls at the widest point of an inflated tire not under load.

Sidewall
The side portion of a tire between the tread and bead.

Sipes
Small slits in a tires tread that help push water away from the crown of the tire for improved wet traction. They also provide biting edges for ice and snow traction.

Tread Blocks
Raised rubber compound segments in a tires tread. Blocks of varying sizes, shapes, and designs are typically used for a variety of effects, such as better wet traction, or stronger rock-crawling ability.

Tread Depth
The distance from the top of the tread to the grooves in a tire. The measurement is taken at the centerline of a tire and is measured in thirty-secondths of an inch.

Tread Pattern
The arrangement of grooves, blocks, sipes, and channels on the tread of a tire that provide a varying degrees of effects on traction, tread life, and other tire factors.

Wheel Diameter
The measured distance that extends from one bead seat to another across a wheel. The wheel diameter must be exactly the same as the tire rim diameter. Always make sure that the diameter stamped on the wheel and tire match exactly.

Wheel Offset
The distance between the wheel mounting surface where bolted to the hub of the drum and centerline of the rim. This determines a vehicles track, or distance between tires on each axle. Keep the wheel offsets as close to original as possible to avoid steering and wheel bearing difficulties.

Wheel Width
The distance between the inside of the rim flanges rounded to the nearest half inch that helps to ensure that the wheel width is

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Tire & Wheel Information - Glossary of Tire & Wheel Terms

http://www.4wheelparts.com/tire-wheel-package-guide/tire-wheel-information-glossary.aspx

the appropriate size for your tire. Each tire has a minimum and maximum wheel width limit.

Zero Offset
A condition where the wheels mounting surface coincides with the centerline of the wheel.

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