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AUTONET TV

The AASTRO Transmission & Auto Repair Guide to Tire Specs

Posted October 3, 2017 10:21 AM

You know you need new tires, but you're not sure what type. You look at a tire to get the size: 225, 50, R, 16, 92, H. All the way to the Tucson service center you keep repeating it over and over. You even say it over in your mind while waiting in line. Then you get to the counter and the manager asks what size you need. Then your mind goes blank.

Tire size can be confusing for many Tucson drivers. There's so much on the side of the tire, and it's hard to keep straight.

Even though there's a lot on a tire - if you know what it all means, it's actually more helpful than confusing for Tucson tire shoppers. Let's start with the size number.

For example, let's say a tire reads: 225 50 R 16 92 H. The 225 part is the width of the tire in millimeters - the width between the sidewalls of an inflated tire with no load. The 50 is the aspect ratio - the ratio of the sidewall height to the tread width. Off-road tires will have a higher number and high performance tires will have a lower number.

The R signifies it's a radial tire. And 16 is the rim or wheel size in inches.

The 92 is the load rating index - it's the load carrying capacity of a tire. The higher the number, the more it can safely carry. Your empty vehicle can be safe with a lower number, but you'll need a higher rating if you routinely haul heavy loads around Tucson. The next letter is the speed rating. Not all tires sold in Tucson are speed rated. The ratings generally follow the alphabet: the further up the alphabet, the higher the speed rating - with the exception of H - it comes between U and V (don't ask why).

There's a lot of fine print that most Tucson area drivers probably need a magnifying glass to read. But there are a couple of other large print items of interest. One is the tread type: highway, mud and snow, all season, severe snow, etc.

And then there are the Uniform Tire Quality Grading System markings. The first is a tread wear index. 100 is the base line - a lower number is poorer and a higher number is better. All things being equal, a tire rated 200 would wear twice as long, on a government test track, than one rated at 100. These wear grades are only valid within the manufacturers product line - you can't compare with others. And it's important to note that a lower rating might be just what you want - a high performance, sticky tire has a softer rubber compound and won't wear as long, but boy, will it take those corners on twisting AZ roads.

The next is a traction grade. This measures the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement in government tests. A - the best, B - intermediate, C - acceptable.

Temperature grade measures a tire's resistance to heat buildup in government tests. A, B and C - from best to acceptable.

It's safe for Tucson drivers to go with the vehicle manufacturers original equipment recommendations that came on your car. But if you want to make adjustments, you'll now be better equipped to communicate with your friendly and knowledgeable AASTRO Transmission & Auto Repair tire professional.

AASTRO Transmission & Auto Repair
5302 East Speedway
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 325-5500

 



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My friend advised that I go the AASTRO Transmission on East Broadway and ask for John. He is a Master Mechanic and I was told he would run a diagnostic on my 2004 Lexus 330ES. I have 108K miles on it. When I brought it in I was thinking my transmission might be the problem (Sluggish, skipping during acceleration). Gloria was the gal at the front desk and actually asked John to come up front to meet me. She is an excellent representative and face for the business in meeting with the customers. I use Lexus of Tucson and also used a Mom and Pop shop for my 3K oil change. When I asked them about the sluggish performance they recommended that I use Premium gas. So, I have been doing that for a year but still couldn't out run my girlfriend's Prius. John has the capability and owns his own very expensive equipment to diagnose just about any car and along with that a very large TV screen to view the results. To make a long story short, John ran the diagnostics. He said I had a very well-maintained car but made a couple of changes and recommendations: He put back standard motor oil, he said based on the schematics and OEM recommendations of the 2004 Lexus to not use synthetic. In looking at my invoice the services provided: Motor Vac Fuel Injection & Decarb, which included: clean fuel injector, fuel rail, throttle body, combustion chamber and exhaust system all in compliance with OEM recommended maintenance. AASTRO did the 3K mile maintenance and I believe this shop automatically does a 41-point Inspection. I personally went back to see John's work station, tools and diagnostics area. Very impressive and clean. My invoice was around $300. So, now my car performs like never before, I find myself getting to the speed limit faster and getting to that speed without it skipping and not sluggish. I am so happy with my car and will continue to use AASTRO. I live by Ina Road and knew they had a shop there but my friend insisted I see John. My 3K mile oil changes will be done at this company but I will go to the Ina Rd shop. Anything major? Back to John. Oh, and on that note John also advised me that I could use regular as opposed to premium gasoline as per the Manufacturers' recommendation. I will save at the pump and I am grateful to my friend for the recommendation and appreciate John's incredible knowledge and passion for wanting to get things done correctly.


-PJ - Tucson AZ

Patrick and his team jumped on an unexpected problem with our Chrysler 300. The radiator cracked and we had just enough time to get it replaced. Between price, service and attitude I can't say which was better.


-Mark Finchem - Oro Valley, AZ

I took my car in for a problem. It was quickly diagnosed & the cost was minimal. The guys really know their stuff.


-Richard Deburmen

Just the usual great service.


-Linda Hands

I have always received great service & great advice. My questions are always answered honestly.


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Your staff were very courteous & professional. They explained everything in detail and were exceptional in helping keep the repair affordable. They were honest & up front about everything. I came away feeling my repair needs were given the highest priority. Thanks.


-Tena Hawkes

Thank you for showing me my serpentine belt. I was told by others it needed replacing and you showed me that the belt was still O.K. - appreciate your honesty.


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Your staff is always very accommodating & go out of their way to help you.


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Thank you for all the personal attention - I hope I can find as trustworthy & conscientious group of mechanics where I live now.


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Very courteous staff, I was taken care of right away. Staff went above & beyond.


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I have been using AASTRO to service my cars for about 10 years. I have always received great service.


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Your staff was awesome. Very professional, courteous, friendly & helpful.


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Excellent repair personnel - nice people to deal with.


-Louis Jordan

So thankful for their assistance while traveling! Exceptional service by caring folks. Highly recommend!


-Tanya Wilson - Garner NC
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