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Fun facts (trivia) about tires, rims and wheels!

  • Created: Tue, 23 May 2017

Here's a list of some random fun facts (trivia) about tires, rims and wheels, which you probably didn't know of before. Have fun with these, maybe it'll be a nice subject of discussion at work, dinner or at the gym or something like that! Most of the trivia is about tires and rims for cars, but other topics (vehicles) are also included.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06 gen 7 with 19
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 gen 7 with 19" wheels in front and 20" wheels in the rear.

Lets begin shall we..

This. Is. The. Ultimate. Tire-Rim-Wheel. Trivia:

  • The new Corvette Z06 generation 7 uses Michelin Pilot summer tires (not much for fun facts, was it?).
  • The Dodge Challenger Demon has the widest front tires of any production car ever with an amazing width of 315 mm! The previous being the 2014 Camaro Z/28 which has 305 mm wide tires in the front.
  • The new Dodge Viper generation 4 shares the first place with the special edition Lamborghini Aventador SV with having the widest rear tires of any production vehicle - they are an incredible 355 mm!!
  • The Bugatti Veyron (a super expensive super good looking super sports car, which you've probably heard of) comes with some awesome Michelin tires that can withstand speeds around 400 km/h!! In that "high of a speed", the tires will only last about 15 min = 100 km (good luck finding a track to go that distance, maybe the desert, but lets not forget to mention the fuel will run out before the tires). Also, here comes the crazy thing, new tires costs more than 40 000 US dollars a set!!! That's a higher price than a new Dodge Challenger R/T if bought in the USA!!
  • The Dodge Challenger Demon is the first car to have drag radial tires from the factory (not counting low volume production cars, etc.).
  • Koenigsegg Agera R (another super sexy super sports car) has rims that are made of 100% carbon fiber which makes them weigh under 6 kg (13 lbs)!
  • A tire will wear out faster in higher speeds but also if there's frequent stop-and-go driving in city traffic and such.
  • The word "tire" can also be spelled "tyre" in English.
  • As on today (2017) over 1 billion tires are produced each year.
  • The tire manufacturer "Goodyear" is named after one of the inventors of vulcanized rubber, Charles Goodyear. The other inventor of vulcanized rubber is John Hancock (both of them filed for patent the same year).
  • Recycled tires are often used as swings at playgrounds.
  • Recycled tires can be used for garden decoration by filling the tire with soil and plant some flowers in there, a nice decoration for the car fanatic =)
  • In American football, recycled tires are often used in excersising (running through a course with laidout tires on the ground).
  • The first idea of a pneumatic tire was made in 1847, that's 170 years ago! Pneumatic tire = tire to be filled with air.
  • The largest production tire is about 14 feet tall (4,3 meters) and weighs around 12,500 pounds (5,670 kg) and comes from the company "Titan Tire"! These are normally fitted to mining vehicles such as the worlds biggest dump truck, Caterpillar 797B. Also sharing the first place of the largest production tire is the Michelin and Bridgestone tires of the same height, these costs around 43,000 US dollars each.. wow! Other fun facts about the 14 feet tall Michelin / Bridgestone tires are that they can carry a weight of 100 tons each, and they consist of almost 2,000 pounds of steel. The amount of rubber they contain can produce around 600 car tires!
  • The toy company LEGO is the worlds largest tire manufacturer with approximately 320 million tires produced each year! Of course we are talking about tyres for LEGO toys, but still, they actually received the Guinness World Record for it!
  • The contact surface between the ground and a regular size tire of a passenger car isn't very large, just the size of a postcard approximately. So, the entire car is only in contact with the road surface by a piece of copy paper one might say.
  • There are around 450 tire plants (manufacturing factories) around the world.
  • Tires have black colour because the rubber which they are made of contains black carbon, a material that makes the tire stronger (the rubber stronger). Black carbon is also used to make makeup mascara, printer ink, etc.
  • Tires mounted to the driving axle of a vehicle wears out faster.
  • A 20% underinflated tire (not enough air pressure by 20%) may reduce its lifespan with as much as 50%, so remember to always check the tire pressure to be correct, and not just for better mileage, but also for safety!
  • Most car manufacturers doesn't manufacture their own wheels. Maxion Wheels is one of the major OEM wheel manufacturers for the automotive industry, supplying BMW, Audi, Chrysler, General Motors, Ford and lots of other makes with rims (which are designed by the car manufacturer though of course).
  • Tires should be stored in a cool, dry and clean place, away from any sunlight / UV-light.
  • The tire manufacturing company "Nokian Tyres" is the inventor winter tires.
  • The first winter tire (snow tire) was produced in 1934 by Nokian. As a side note, the tire was named "Kelirengas" in Finnish (Nokian is a Finnish company) which means "weather tire" in English.
  • Studded winter tires (snow tires with metal stud) was invented in the 1960's.
  • Tires with the most tread pattern should always be mounted in the rear, no matter if the car is FWD, RWD or AWD or NWD (No Wheel Drive.. that's a joke by the way =)
  • The worlds fastest car, which is a jet car called ThrustSSC, has 34 inch solid aluminum wheels with no rubber tires. It currently holds the land speed record of a car with an amazing 1228 km/h, which means it broke the sound barrier at land! The record was set 20 years ago by the way, and the wheels where made by Dunlop!
  • The wheel (for transport) was invented over 5500 years ago! Time flies by, doesn't it?
  • Nearly 30% of the cars delivered in Europe comes with tires from tire manufacturer Continental.
  • A NASA space shuttle's main landing gear tires (the tires in the rear) weighs almost 100 kg (205 pounds) each!
  • The rear tires of a NASA space shuttle has an operating load of over 64 ton (142,000 pounds) each! That's crazy! Three times the load of a Boeing 747.
  • A NASA space shuttle has a total of six tires, two in the front (nose landing gear tires) and four in the rear (main landing gear tires), and all of them can handle a land speed of around 400 km/h (250 mph), Bugatti Veyron speed in other words! To be specific, the main landing gear tires can handle a slighly higher speed than the nose landing gear tires. Also, the tires in the rear can only be used one time before they need to be changed, while the tires in front can be used for two landings.
  • NASA space shuttle tires are made by Michelin, all the way back since 1982.
  • The NASA space shuttle tires has the size of a large pickup truck tire (kind of).
  • Airplanes (most of them) and space shuttle tires are filled with nitrogen because of the extreme changes in pressure/altitude and temperature they must withstand when flying so high.
  • Magnesium wheels weighs much less than aluminum wheels, which means you'll get a better mileage. On the downside though, they are way more expensive and not quite as durable as most aluminum wheels. In most cases, magnesium rims are an aftermarket equipment since aluminum is the more used material with OEM manufacturers of "regular" cars.
  • Lighter wheels equals better mileage / fuel economy.
  • The wheel manufacturer "American Racing Equipment" is the oldest company to make aftermarket wheels, founded in 1956.
  • Alloy wheels were first used in the 1920's.
  • Run Flat Tires (shortened RFT) can be driven with no air pressure, although only a limited distance in a limited speed, to change the tire/tires in a safe place rather than on the side of the road. The limitations in distance and speed varies for different tire manufacturers, always check this before driving.
  • There are two types of Run Flat Tires, those that have a reinforced sidewall, and those that comes with a ring inside of the tire, sort of a cushion, to rest on the inside of the rim if the tire gets a flat. Remember though that you cannot mount Run Flat Tires on a vehicle without a Tire Pressue Monitoring System (TPMS), since then you won't know if you get a puncture before maybe it's too late, as Run Flat Tires continues to function just like an air pressured tire untill you've either traveled too far or in a too high speed. But, if to be specific, there are three types om RFT tires, the final one is those that "self leak" (self-sealing), they have a compound within an extra layer of the tire which seals itself.
  • The first Run Flat Tires was developed in the 1930's.
  • BMW is the auto manufacturer that outfits most of its cars with Run Flat Tires, other than that, RFT's isn't that common with new vehicles, and especially not when buying new tires (they cost almost twice as much).
  • In a lot of cases, Run Flat Tires sounds much more than regular tires, especially on asphalt, although one might get used to it after a while.
  • Winter tires should have a minimum tread pattern of at least 5 mm, and although it's legal with less than that in many countries it's not recommended!
  • Summer tires should have a minimum tread pattern of at least 3 mm, and although it's legal with less than that in many countries it's not recommended!
  • Replica wheels are in most cases illegal (due to replicating the design of OEM wheels) and do not provide the same safety nor quality as an OEM or true aftermarket wheel, so don't buy replica/pirate wheels! Also note that the term aftermarket wheels in this article are wheels with their own unique design developed by an aftermarket wheel company, they are not replica wheels even though replica wheels are aftermarket so to speak. For example, the aftermarket wheel company "American Racing" makes aftermarket wheels but not replica wheels, since they design and develop their own products, not copying others!
  • TPMS means Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
  • The first TPMS system used in a passenger car debuted with the 1986 Porsche 959.
  • The Guinness World Record of the tallest stack of tires (tires piled up in a stack) to this day (2017) were achieved in the autumn of 2015 by a German company, they stacked a total of 30 tires which reached 6,14 meters (20 ft and 1.73 in) aiming for the sky! Interesting in breaking the record? Then go to the nearest scrap yard and collect 40-50 tires and go for it!
  • There are two types of Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems, indirect TPMS and direct TPMS. Indirect TPMS uses the wheel speed sensors (ABS sensors) to roughly calculate any changes in tire pressure (since the rolling circumference will change with the air pressure). Direct TPMS uses a tire pressure sensor inside of each wheel. Both of the systems has their own pros and cons.
  • Modern tires last longer than they did before. Well, of course they do, development hasn't stopped! =)
  • Tires don't really have an expiration date like a bottle of milk, if stored correctly they might last 10 years or even more, but that has to be under optimal conditions. In most cases, 5, 6 or 7 years are ideal, or less, or more, it all depends on how they're stored and driven. Of course, we're talking about tires which do have a good and legal tread pattern, otherwise they might only last 1 minute depending on your driving.
  • Most bicycles have two wheels =)
  • And most cars have four wheels =)
  • Although a tire has a width of lets say 205 mm in the specifications (on the paper), it might differ in reality and also between different tire manufacturers. So, one brand may have a wider 205/55R16 tire than the other.
  • A tire can often be repaired following a puncture, if the hole is in the tread area and no larger than approx. 6 mm (1/4 inch).
  • The most expensive car tires in the world comes from a Dubai rubber company and are worth around 600,000 US dollars for a set of four tires! This is mainly because they are equipped with both gold and diamonds. The rubber company received the Guinness World Record for the "most exempensive set of car tires.
  • A space shuttle tire costs a bit over 5,000 US dollars, each, even though they only have a lifespan of 1-2 landings depening on if it's the rear (1 landing) or front (2 landings) tires.
  • A tire for a Boeing 747 costs approx. 2,000 US dollars while a tire for an Airbus A380 costs 92,000 US dollars! Also worth mentioning is that the Boeing tires have a lifespan of roughly 6 years with retreading, while the Airbus tires only lasts 6 months if the plane is in regular use.
  • Official Monster Truck tires are 1,68 meters tall (66 inches) and 1,09 meters wide (43 inches). Each tire costs around 2,500 US dollars. Remember, these are the official specifications, not evey monster truck has this size, many might be far bigger.
  • Nokian Tyres was initially a part of the Nokia concern (which develops mobile phones among other things). The name Nokian or Nokia comes from the Finnish town named Nokia, and that's where Nokian Tyres has its headquarter.
  • A Danish company named "Genan" is the worlds largest recycler of scrap tires. Good for them!
  • Around 13,500.000 ton tires of all kinds (car tires, tractor tires, etc.) are scrapped every year, that weight is equal to almost 260 Titanic ships! That's a lot of tires, don't you agree??
  • Nokian Tyres is specialised on tires for Nordic conditions.
  • Some of the top tire brands are Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear, Pirelli, Cooper, Dunlop, Continental, Nokian, Kumho, Hankook and BFGoodrich.
  • The tire manufacturer "Michelin" is among the most top rated brands on the market.
  • To change a car tire mounted to a rim, you will in most cases (alomst all cases) need a tire changing machine.

Dodge diecast model cars - Dodge Charger concept and a Dodge Ram 2500 gen 4, both of them using plastic wheels, although the pickup truck comes with rubber tires.
Dodge diecast model cars - Dodge Charger concept and a Dodge Ram 2500 gen 4, both of them using plastic wheels, although the pickup truck comes with rubber tires.

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That's it, hope you've found it interesting and learned something on the way, now go have that water cooler chitchat and brag to your friends of your newfound wheel and tire skills!

Please note! Although we have done our best to verify its accuracies we unfortunately cannot guarantee it, therefore some errors and/or inaccuracies may occur within the article content. Sources are: Own knowledge, Wikipedia, different tire manufacturers websites, news websites and more.

Best regards,
Bolt-pattern.com @ Wheel-size.com


Link to author:
http://www.bolt-pattern.com/



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