Terms to Know When Buying New Tires

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Terms to Know When Buying New Tires

McKonly's Garage Blog

Purchasing new tires can be a tiresome task, especially when the sales team and technicians are talking with terms you've never heard before. These are some of the most important and common sayings you may hear or read while shopping for a new set of tires for your import or domestic car, truck or SUV.


The tire's shoulder is the area where the tread that contacts the roadway transitions to the tire's sidewall, where the lettering of the tire occurs.


The inside edge of a tire that contacts the metal wheel rim is referred to as the bead. This part is often constructed of strong rubber that is reinforced with steel wire, ensuring that it stays very snug against the rim at all times.

Tread Void

The gaps between the raised sections of tires tread is named the tread void. These spaces channel water, snow, mud and any other road debris that the tire may encounter in order to help avoid hydroplaning and ensure there is adequate traction. In areas that suffer from constant rain, such as the Pacific Northwest, tires with high amounts of tread void should be used, as they do better in wet conditions.

Tread lug

Tread lug is the name of the section of the tire that actually contacts with the roadway, thus providing the necessary traction that keeps your car driving in the direction you intended. The term “footprint” is given to the tread lug that is currently in contact with the street at any given time.

Wear Bar

To tell if it is time for new tires a person can check the tire's tread compared to the tire's wear bar. The wear bar are built in pieces of rubber within the tread void that rest lower than the actual tread lug. As the tread lug wears it will eventually flush with the wear bar. When this happens head to the tire store for a fresh set of rubber!


Tires of built of multiple layers of rubber called plys. Tires can be produced with various amounts of plys in order to change several performance features of the tire, as well as the way the vehicle handles.

It is important to provide your car with new tires as necessary. If you're in the market for new tires in Lancaster come see the crew at McKonly's Garage. Not only do we offer full service auto repair, but we can set you up with new tires and conduct tire maintenance! Give us a call today at (717) 208-8210 to make an appointment for superior auto maintenance in Lancaster, PA!

McKonly's Garage Blog

Written By Brian Corey

Published By MORBiZ