Tires are a very important to the ride of your car, your safety and sanity. We missed National Tire Week in the last week of May into June. However, there is great tire tech in July for a safer smoother ride now and with new connected technology in the future. Tires in the future will connect to vehicles, city infratstructure and transportation systems. In the meantime, if you like many newer car owners don’t have a spare tire, you can buy tires that will drive when flat.
- Monitor Tire Pressure with TPMS
Tire pressure is very important for better gas mileage and safety. Low tire pressure can cause poor handling, hydroplaning, skidding or loss of control around tight curves and in the worse case cause blow-outs.
“We don’t expect everyone to check their tire pressure, many people think of their cars as transportation from point A to point B, which is why we created a TPMS(Tire Pressure Monitor System) that is seamless,” said Aruna Anad, senior engineering manager, Continental North America.
In one TPMS system, Continental designed for Nissan, air pressure is shown on the dash. The car lights flash as the air is being filled and the horn beeps at the correct pressure, making filling the tire with air much easier and accurate.
American drivers with car models 2007 or later are warned of low tire pressure via TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System) a light alert appears on cockpit dash near the speedometer or the actual tire pressure of each tire is shown either on the dash or infotainment system said Anad.
If you car doesn’t currently have TPMS, an aftermarket TPMS system can be installed that usually costs around $250. The system comes with wireless sensors that connected to the tire valves and an LCD display. TPMS systems are especially helpful for trailers large vehicles and motor homes where a blown tire can very dangerous.
TPMS warning systems are set to show when the tire pressure is down 25%, hopefully giving the driver enough warning to get over to the side of the road or drive the car to a service center.
“By the time the TPMS light goes on it’s usually too late,” warned Matt Edmonds, VP at The Tire Rack. He cautioned that because the TPMS warning light does not go on until the tire is down 25%, you should check to see if there’s a nail in the tire, you may not be able to drive on it very long.
The best way to keep a smooth ride ride is to keep the tires inflated properly and not wait for the TPMS light, noted Edmonds.
Continental is also working with carmakers to provide smartphone apps that report tire pressure levels directly to smartphones in that way you’ll be notified on your phone that your tire pressure is low.
- Technology for Treads
The next level of TPMS technology Continental offers a small cylindrical sensor about the width of a nickel that is inside the tire that will monitor the depth of the tire treads, Continental calls it electronic Tire Information System, (eTIS).
There will be service notice on the dash near the odometer and it can also be integrated with infotainment systems to offer to make an appointment for service.
Continental’s eTIS modules in the near future will take the next innovative leap to wirelessly connect tire and road information into car-2-car and car-to-infrastructure transportation management systems. eTIS, linked into transportation management systems will enable safety critical road condition information to be passed on to other vehicles approaching the same road stretch – supporting drivers to take corrective action to safety navigate the identified hazard.
Tires sold in North America show a band on the tire when the tread is low known as”wear bars” or Tread Wear Indicators (TWI’s). Wear bars look like a bar across the tire’s tread pattern, warning drivers when their tires no longer meet the safe minimum tread depth.
An alternative is to use a penny to to see if Lincoln’s head shows when placed in the groove of the tire.
- The Ultimate Peace of Mind, Better New Groovy Tires and Tires that Drive While Flat
A new set of tires can do wonders for the ride of car and there are new kinds of tire that don’t wear out as easily and don’t go flat.
Most tires grip and treads degrade and wear over time. A new tire from Michelin, Premier A/S tire with EverGrip has grooves that expand with wear, as well as added new grooves that emerge over time, helping to improve the tire’s grip in wet weather. EverGrip tires are made from a proprietary blend of silica and sunflower oil, and could be very helpful in rainy climates.
Some cars don’t have spare tires but come with drive-flat tires or extended mobility tires such as BMW. Up until recently, only certain luxury cars could be equipped with these kinds of tires. Bridgestone’s latest innovation, DriveGuard tires, let you drive while they are flat.
DriveGuard replacement tires let drivers continue driving up to 50 miles as fast as 50mph with pressure loss or punctures. The tires have reinforced sidewalls made with a proprietary Nano–Pro Tech compound to support the car even without air and cooling fins that reduce heat and friction.
DriveGuard tires are available in 32 sizes for cars not originally equipped with run-flat technology with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS).
This article was originally published by Automotive IT News and was updated with new information on July 10, 2017