Four New Tires Enhance Motoring Safety

November 18, 2010

AKRON, Ohio, Nov. 18 — As motorists are likely faced with some challenging weather and driving conditions in the next few months, the reality is that many of them will take those trips on only two good tires.

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company recommends that for optimal handling, stability and traction, four new tires definitely are better than two. And in an emergency maneuver, they're a must, particularly in areas where inclement weather is forecast.

Silvana Valencic, Goodyear brand manager, said if new tires are installed on the front of a vehicle, they also should be fitted on the rear. Goodyear research shows nearly a third of motorists still rely on just two new tires.

“Motorists figure a cost savings up front by buying just two tires,” Valencic said, “but in the long run, that can be an expensive proposition. In an emergency, it’s better to have a balanced vehicle with traction equalized at each corner.”

To optimize traction capabilities, never mix tread patterns of different types of tires.  For example, winter tire tread designs, regardless of construction, can produce different handling characteristics than all-season tread patterns.  Those differences can affect the handling and traction of the vehicle.

Some tire buyers purchase only two tires and install them on the drive-wheel position to get the most traction; however, on a front-wheel-drive vehicle, they transfer most of the traction capabilities from the rear to the front and may make the vehicle susceptible to oversteer, according to Valencic.

Motorists may also replace two tires rather than four due to premature wear, usually because of a failure to rotate their tires.

Goodyear recommends that tires be rotated at least every 6,000 miles.  Tire rotation helps evens out wear in conventional tires in each position, preserving overall balanced handling and traction. Infrequent rotation can result in premature, uneven tire wear, and eventual early tire replacement.

Goodyear said a non-rotated tire could lose up to a third of its useful life due to premature wear.

Still, with today’s sophisticated automotive features – such as traction control, all-wheel drive and anti-lock braking – many motorists overlook the importance of their tire condition. That could be a costly mistake, Valencic said.

“Tires play the single largest role in determining how your vehicle will handle in an emergency situation,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how many electronic systems you have on your vehicle, such as traction control and anti-lock braking.  The brakes stop the wheels; the tires stop the vehicle.”

When installing new tires or winter-specific tires, she said they “must be applied at four corners to get the full effect in winter traction.”

Goodyear’s lineup of winter tires, she added, are engineered to perform in cold temperatures, as well as in snow, ice and slush. Goodyear recently introduced the Ultra Grip IceWRT winter tire, with tread designs for both SUVs and light-trucks.

The tire features Winter Reactive Technology, a combination of innovative tire features that work together to help provide a balance of starting, stopping and turning traction to help drivers react to changing winter road conditions. The tire features 2D blades in the center zone for hardworking biting edges for enhanced starting and stopping power on snow and ice. Goodyear’s 3D TredLock Technology blades in the shoulder zone of the tire lock together to form large outer tread blocks for confident winter grip and handling in sweeping turns.

For more information about the Ultra Grip line of winter tires or any other Goodyear tires, visit www.goodyeartires.com.

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