Frequently Asked Questions
Here are several warning signs that indicate you need new tires:
- Tire tread depth is less than 1/16 of an inch, or 1.6 millimeters.
- Tire tread indicator is showing. Tire manufacturers build wear indicator bars into the tire tread itself that appear as flat rubber bars running perpendicular to the direction of the tread itself. If these indicators start to show the tread is low.
- Cracks in the sidewall or tread surface.
- Tire sidewall bulges or blisters. Bulges lead to blow outs, so get to your nearest Birchwood dealership right away.
- Excessive or abnormal vibration, especially on smooth roads. While it may not always be an issue with the tire, too much vibration is almost always a sign that something is wrong. Schedule an appointment right away.
Winter tires have softer tread compounds so they can remain pliable in freezing temperatures to perform well, but that same property can cause them to wear faster when temperatures rise. All-season and summer tires are made of a harder rubber compound designed for heat and low rolling resistance, but when temperatures start to dip these properties can cause poor response in vehicle maneuvers, such as stopping.
Tired of finding somewhere to store your tires? Free up space in your home or business and enjoy hassle-free seasonal tire swaps at any Birchwood dealership when we take care of storing your off-season tires. Learn more about tire storage.
Alternatively, a convenient and reliable way to store your tires is with any Birchwood dealership. Read more about tire storage with Birchwood Tires.
While all vehicles are equipped with four tires, not all tires wear the same. Usually the tires on the front axle need to accomplish very different tasks than the tires on the rear axle, and similarly, the tasks encountered on a front-wheel drive vehicle are considerably different than those of a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Tire wear experienced on a performance vehicle will usually be more severe than that of a family sedan. As a result, each wheel position can cause different wear rates and different types of tire wear.
In the event of some abnormal tire wear or damage, the Birchwood Wheel Deal protects you against the expenses incurred when a tire or wheel is damaged by a road hazard.*
*The Birchwood Wheel Deal includes tire and rim road hazard coverage for three years with the purchase of four tires.
If you aren’t replacing all four tires at once, just remember: Best at the Back.
If you replace tires in sets of four (yay!), you will maintain the original handling balance. In addition, we are constantly introducing and stocking new tires, each of which improves upon past product’s performance. If you replace your tires in sets of four, it allows you to experience today’s technology, instead of being forced to match yesterday’s.
Tire inspections give your factory-trained technicians a chance to check the tire pressure of your tires and take an involved and detailed look at your tires’ condition. Screws, nails, and other debris can easily get stuck in the tread of a tire without notice. Having your tires regularly rotated and inspected will allow our factory-trained technicians to find and remove any hazards that may be stuck in your tire. Regular inspection will also detect the early stages of bulges or uneven wear on the tire tread. And although tire rotation will not correct wear problems due to worn mechanical parts or incorrect inflation pressures, tire inspections will help identify these problems in the early stages.
The maximum inflation pressure for your tire can be found on the sidewall. The most accurate way to check is to use a tire pressure gauge.
Once you have set your tire pressures, continue to check monthly and be sure to pay special attention during seasonal changes. Tire pressures fluctuate one psi for every 5° Celsius temperature change.
Vehicles are engineered for a specific tire size.
|P||The first letter indicates intended for passenger vehicles. You’ll see LT on light truck tires. If there’s no letter, it’s a passenger tire.|
|195||This is the tire’s width, from sidewall to sidewall, measured in millimeters.|
|60||The number after the slash tells how tall the sidewall is from rim to tread compared to the tire’s width as a percentage. So 60% of 195 equals a sidewall height of 117 mm.|
|R||The next letter represents how the tire is constructed, and almost all modern automobile tires are radial tires.|
|15||At the end is the wheel diameter, or rim size, that the tire is designed to fit, measured in inches.|
Service Description: 87Q
Right after the size code, the service description indicates how the tire should be used.
|87||Called the load index, this represents the maximum weight the individual tire can support. A typical passenger or light truck tire has a load index between 70 (335 kg) and 110 (1060 kg).|
|Q||This is the tire’s speed rating, or maximum operating speed. Typical passenger tires range from S (180 km/h) to V (240 km/s), but not all tires have a speed rating.|
Some tires may have other symbols. Tires designed for severe snow conditions have a mountain/snowflake icon.
A tire with “M + S” by the tire code is designed for mud or light snow. If you have any questions about your tires, ask your service advisor.
What are run flat tires and their benefits?
Run flat tires feature special construction engineered to support the vehicle after the loss of tire pressure. Run flat tires have reinforced sidewalls that keep the tire functional for a limited period of time with little to no air pressure after a puncture.
Run-flat tire benefits include:
- Safe vehicle handling in emergencies – Vehicles maintain directional stability in the event of sudden pressure loss due to road debris or a pothole. In addition, important safety features such as Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS), remain fully functional.
- Protect you and your passengers – Changing a tire under hazardous conditions is avoided since OEM-Approved run flat tires do not require changing at the side of a busy road.
- Save time – Even with complete pressure loss, it is still possible to drive without changing tires. At a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph), you can conveniently travel up to 80 km to the nearest dealer service center depending on vehicle load and extent of tire damage.
- Save money – By eliminating the weight of a spare wheel and jack, the vehicle design offers improved fuel economy and saves money.
Goodyear: EMT or RunOnFlat
With every manufacturer using a different brand symbol to identify a run flat tire it can be confusing. You can always contact a parts advisor at Birchwood to help determine.
Tire manufacturer specifications may vary, but run flat tires are typically marked on the sidewall with run flat or low tire pressure operating maximum speed of 80 km/h. If the sidewall indicates a distance limitation, the vehicle driving distance should not exceed that number.
If the sidewall does not specify a distance limitation, the driver should consult the vehicle owner’s manual as run ﬂat or low tire pressure operating limitations vary by tire design and vehicle applications. Maximum distance values are determined under controlled conditions, which may vary in actual use. The driver’s distance capability may be less, or more, depending on your speciﬁc operating conditions. If in doubt, do not exceed a 80 km limitation and seek tire service from your preferred Birchwood service centre as soon as possible to minimize tire and/or wheel damage.