A few weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity to attend a Cooper Tire event in San Antonio. I was particularly interested in this event for a couple of reasons; 1)I love auto stuff!! Tires, cars, everything. and 2) I know what a blowout can cause. Ladies, don’t skim this post. Read it, educate yourself, and know your tires!
I think that most people take their tires for granted, to be honest, but if you take a minute to think about how those 4 tires are the only thing touching the road, driving 70mph+, then you might be more careful about them. Recently, there was an unfortunate accident along our highway (in the middle of nowhere), due to worn out tires. These fellas in a pickup truck, who are very hard workers & much appreciated ’round here, had a blowout. They weren’t doing anything wrong. They weren’t speeding and they were wearing seat belts but that blowout caused a huge, one-vehicle rollover. People were ejected, hurt, and killed. There were 5 in that truck and two didn’t make it; an older gentleman and a 21yr old. Every time I drive down that road, I’m reminded of the wreck and what worn out tires can do. Me, my husband, and my kids make this drive regularly and while you don’t expect it to happen to you, this is proof of just how easy it can happen to anyone. Thankfully these guys were appreciated enough for all their hard efforts that the two men who died, received enough donations from local ranchers and community members, to have their bodies shipped back to their families in Mexico.
I have had to change a blowout more than once, even when I was HUGELY pregnant. It’s not fun but we always try to get as much as we can out of those tires don’t we? What’s scary, is what if I had lost control being pregnant like that? I believe that God has watched over me through the years FO SHO!
I had the chance to do two test drives at the Cooper Tire track. The first ones were in Chevy Tahoes. One had new Cooper tires and the other had new comparable tires. I drove the comparable tire first, not expecting to notice much in either tire. I mean, they’re both new right? Surely they drive the same. Well no, actually they don’t. As I drove the first tahoe on this huge wet pad course, I was slightly uneasy. I could feel ‘give’ and movement as I took the curves. And even though it felt uneasy, I assumed this was normal. But then, I drove the tahoe with Cooper tires on it. Oh my cow! Such a huge difference. I honestly was shocked to feel the difference. I felt like wherever I steered, those tires went precisely with no give, no feeling of insecurity. I was even comfortable enough to gain speed because of it. It just goes to show you that HOW a tire is made, truly makes a difference in how it drives.
My second test drive consisted of two BMW cars; one with used tires on the back and one with used tires on the front. The used tires were only about 50% worn but wow….incredible and scary difference. Do you know which end to put new tires on if you’re only able to buy 2 new tires? Well let me just tell y’all…it’s the back! When I drove the one with used tires on the back, I skidded and spun around everywhere. It was heart-pounding and flat out terrifying to me. When the new tires were in the back, there was much more stability and traction. I never knew any of this so I was thrilled to learn and come back and share.
I think women can feel quite intimidated when walking in to make a tire purchase but you don’t have to be! You just need to ask a few questions and when these fellas hear you ask them, they’ll most likely be intimidated by the fact that you know your stuff!
P stands for passenger tire (or you may find LT for Light Truck Tire).
205 is the width of the tire in millimetres.
55 is the “aspect ratio” — the ratio of the height of the sidewall to the width, expressed as a percentage.
R means the tire has radial construction.
16 represents the wheel diameter in inches.
89 is the load index.
V is the speed rating.
THINGS TO KNOW and ASK WHEN BUYING NEW TIRES
- Are my current tires the best tires for my vehicle?
- What are the best tires that match my driving habits and my price?
- Can you give me a pricing tier of my tire type with three choices?
- What is the mileage warranty (if any) of my new tires?
- Is the tire manufacturer highly reputable?
One very important thing I learned is how to tell the age of a tire. Why would you want to know this? Because unfortunately, there are some tire dealers out there that will keep tires in stock from years ago and you do not want to buy aged tires that have been sitting on the shelf for years. Here’s how to tell the age of Cooper Tires:
TIRE INFLATION – TIPS AND INFO! Underinflation is the number one enemy of a tire.
- Certain tire compounds can improve or have an adverse effect on fuel efficiency.
- Don’t overload your vehicle.
- Find the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressures for your front, rear and spare tires. The recommended pressures are printed on the vehicle’s tire information label, which is usually attached to the edge of the driver’s door, the door post, the glove box or the fuel door. If you can’t find the label, check your owner’s manual.
- Measure the pressure when your tires are cold, and don’t forget the spare. Tires will be cold if the vehicle has been stationary for at least three hours or has not been driven more than 2 km.
- Remember that tires lose pressure when the air temperature gets colder (about 7 kPa or 1 psi for every 5°C drop in temperature). Tires may also lose a certain amount of pressure due to their permeability (about 14 kPa or 2 psi per month).
- Overinflation can be a problem too. An overinflated tire rides on just the center portion of the tread. The smaller contact area means reduced grip on the road, leading to a harsh ride, handling issues (such as steering and stopping problems) and increased wear on tires and suspension components.
Let me tell you WHY you should buy Cooper Tires. They work very hard to bring you a superior tire for a lower price. They strive hard to make quality, safe tires that you and me can afford. It’s important to them. They put an incredible amount of testing on every single tire. Insane testing y’all. 80+% of their tires are made and sold here in the good ol’ USA. HELLLOOOOOOOO! THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! I know many of my readers will appreciate that!
They also use some of the finest materials to make these tires. Do you know what tires of made of? Rubber, Polyester, Nylon, and Steel…just a little trivia for ya. But do you wanna know why I have become an overnight superfan of Cooper tires? –The people behind the company. You ever judge someone, a company, a situation because you don’t know them. You’ve heard of them or whatever but you don’t know them? Then you get time with them and realize, they’re pretty freakin’ great right? Well that’s how it was for me. I sat down with the people and got to see their facial expressions, attitudes, sincerity, and passion for the company. They were genuine in answers and truly embraced our brave, crazy driving. They embraced our questions with truths and ‘normal’ dialogue. Not some jumbled shoptalk. I left the event thinking of them as ‘good people’. There are still good folks out there, even in business, and the Cooper Tire company is one of them.
I realize this post got a little long but I guess that should tell you just how important I feel this is. It should tell you that I am behind Cooper Tire all the way. It should make you want to go check your tires and not take anything for granted. Maybe you can handle a blowout….but can you teen driver?
Stay tuned for part 2, which will be about all the fun stuff we did. And it was fun!
Disclosure: Cooper Tire invited us to their facilities to test and learn about their tires and tire safety. All my travel expenses were paid but my opinions are mine….as they have always been and will remain to be.