Once more unto the breach dear friends, or rather, once more into the gripping world of car tyre trivia. So, did you know?
The word ‘tyre’ is derived from the word ‘attire’ i.e. clothing. This makes the American spelling ‘tire’ the more accurate.
The very earliest ‘tyres’ actually helped hold wheels together. The part that ran on the road was an iron band, which was heated and placed over the ‘felloe’, or rim, of a wooden wheel. When it cooled, the band shrank to fit the wheel tightly, adding strength to the structure.
Formula 1 tyres lose weight during every race. The high wear rate means that a tyre weighs 0.5kg less when replaced.
Speaking of weight saving, the tyre Goodyear developed for the Gulfstream business jet had aluminium, rather than steel, bead wires. This saved 1.3kg per tyre.
Bridgestone produces 40,000 Formula One tyres per year. The company reintroduced slick tyres to Formula One in 2009, after an 11-year absence (prior to this, grooved tyres had been used since 1998).
When travelling at 300km/hour, four car tyres can displace 61 litres of water per second.
A study by Continental Tyres found that 40% of motorists in Britain claim to have never checked their car’s tyre pressures.
To make matters worse, even fewer drivers said that they knew how to check tread depth; 70% didn’t know what the legal tread depth was anyway.
Happy checking your tyre pressures at the filling station? Driving there means that although the garage’s gauge may be accurate, your tyres will be warm and give a falsely high reading. The tyres are likely to end up 12 to 15 per cent underinflated.
Racing car and aicraft tyres are filled with nitrogen rather than compressed air. Why? Because in flight, aircraft can encounter temperatures of minus 40 degress Centigrade and frozen moisture in the tyres can cause vibration and balance problems on landing. In a racing car, using nitrogen reduces the tyre pressure variations that can adversely affect lap times.
The lessened amounts of in-tyre moisture and the reduced pressure loss are not enough to make using nitrogen economically viable in road tyres.
The world’s largest tyre manufacturer by volume, with interests in Dunlop and many other regional and second line brands worldwide, is the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
The world’s most prolific tyre maker made 330 million tyres last year. This doesn’t really count as the tyres were for toys and models, also made by the Lego Group!
In the 1964 film ‘Goldfinger’, the scene where the tyre slicer comes out of the rear axle of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 was faked. A mocked-up quarter of the car was filmed on a small set. The tyres (and sills) of ‘Tilly Masterson’s’ 1965 Ford Mustang convertible were shredded – but not by the DB5.
Green credentials: Interfloor recycles used car tyres to make Duralay Treadmore high quality crumb rubber underlay. Every 10 seconds one used car tyre is turned into carpet underlay That’s 60,000 tyres a week and approximately three million a year, which would otherwise go into unfriendly landfill.