Vocabulary: Buying New Tires

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Vocabulary: Buying New Tires

It seems simple enough to walk in to the tire store and ask for new tires, but how do you know what you're really getting? There are numerous words that get thrown around during a tire purchase transaction between the tire technician and vehicle owner, and unfortunately the person buying the tires might not catch everything that is being said. Here's a little vocabulary to prepare you for the next time you need to buy new tires.

Tread lug

The tread lug of the tire is what actually makes contact with the pavement, and the part of it that is currently touching the ground is referred to as the footprint. The tread lug is what is providing the traction to keep your car moving in the direction you want it to go.

Tread Void

The gaps between the raised sections of the tires tread (tread lug) is called the tread void. These spaces channel water, snow, mud and other debris on the road to maintain traction and help prevent hydroplaning. Tires with a high percentage of tread void will perform best on wet roads, and those with lower amounts of tread void are intended for use on dry road ways.

Wear Bar

The wear bar is what you can look at in order to tell if your vehicle needs new tires. The wear bar consists of low pieces of rubber in the tread void. As the tread lug wears it will become flush with the wear bar indicating that you need new tires!


The bead is the inner edge of a tire that makes contact with the metal wheel rim. It is generally composed of rubber that is reinforced with steel wire in order to keep the tire tight against the rim as you travel down the road to prevent any air leaks or traction issues.


Rubber plys are what make up tires. There is not a set number of plys a tire must have, as different amount of plys can alter the performance aspects of a tire, including traction, handling, braking and others.

If you're due for tires don't wait til you end up with a blow out or dangerously low tread. It is important to maintain healthy tires to keep your vehicle safe. If you need new tires in Saratoga Springs come in to Car Doctors. We will be happy to set you up with the perfect tires for your ride, and we will explain why they are the right tire in terms that are understandable! We can also conduct any auto repair or maintenance service you need while you're at the shop! Call us at (801) 701-3518 to schedule an appointment for auto maintenance in Saratoga Springs today!

Car Doctors Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ

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