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Tire, Wheel, and Wheel Bearing Fundamentals PowerPoint Presentation
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Tire, Wheel, and Wheel Bearing Fundamentals. Contents. Tires Wheels Valve stems and cores Lug nuts, studs, and bolts Wheel weights Hub and wheel bearing assemblies. Tires. Tires perform two basic functions: act as a soft cushion between the road and the metal wheel

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Tire, Wheel, and

Wheel Bearing




  • Tires
  • Wheels
  • Valve stems and cores
  • Lug nuts, studs, and bolts
  • Wheel weights
  • Hub and wheel bearing assemblies


  • Tires perform two basic functions:
    • act as a soft cushion between the road and the metal wheel
    • provide adequate traction (friction) with the road surface
tire types
Tire Types
  • Pneumatic
    • filled with air
    • internal air pressure pushes out on the inside of the tire to support the vehicle
  • Tubeless tire
    • does not use an inner tube
    • tire and wheel form an airtight unit
  • Tube-type tire
    • uses an inner tube to hold air pressure
tire rolling resistance
Tire Rolling Resistance
  • Measurement of the amount of friction produced as the tire operates on the road surface
  • High rolling resistance increases fuel consumption and wear
  • Rolling resistance is reduced by higher inflation pressure, tire design, and a lighter vehicle
tire construction
Tire Construction
  • There are many design variations:
    • different numbers of plies may be used
    • plies may run at different angles
    • different materials may be used
  • Three types of tires used on automobiles:
    • bias ply
    • belted bias tire
    • radial tire
bias ply tire
Bias Ply Tire
  • Plies run on an angle from bead to bead
  • Angle is reversed from ply to ply
  • Does not use belts
  • Body of the tire flexes easily
  • Provides a smooth ride
  • Plies and tread are weakest
    • reduces traction at high speeds
    • increases rolling resistance
belted bias tire
Belted Bias Tire
  • Bias tire with belts added to increase tread stiffness
  • Belts lie under the tread area only
  • Two stabilizer belts and two or more plies improve tire performance
    • provides a smooth ride and good traction
    • reduces rolling resistance
radial ply tire
Radial Ply Tire
  • Plies run straight across from bead to bead
  • Stabilizer belts lie beneath the tread
  • Belts can be made of steel, flexten, fiberglass, or other materials
radial ply tire1
Radial Ply Tire
  • Uses a very flexible sidewall with a stiff tread
    • provides a very stiff footprint
    • improves safety, cornering, braking, and wear
    • may produce a harsher ride at low speeds
tire size
Tire Size

Alpha-Numeric–Uses letters and numbers to denote tire size in inches and its load-carrying capacity in pounds

tire size1
Tire Size

P-Metric–Uses metric values and international standards

aspect ratio
Aspect Ratio

Height-to-width ratio of a tire. Comparison of a tire’s height and width

maximum load rating
Maximum Load Rating
  • Amount of weight the tire can carry at the recommended inflation pressure
  • Printed on the sidewall
  • P-metric:
    • given in kilograms and pounds
  • Alpha-numeric:
    • indicated by a letter such as B, C, or D
maximum inflation pressure
Maximum Inflation Pressure
  • Highest air pressure that should be pumped into the tire
  • Many tires have a maximum recommended pressure of 32 to 40 psi (220 to 275 kPa)
tread plies
Tread Plies
  • Number of plies and ply rating:
    • 2-ply
    • 2-ply with a 4-ply rating
    • 4-ply
  • Greater number of plies usually indicates a greater load-carrying capacity
dot serial number
DOT Serial Number
  • Identifies the manufacturer, plant, location, construction, and date of manufacture
  • Stamped into the sidewall
  • Department of Transportation rating means the tire has passed prescribed safety tests
tire grades
Tire Grades
  • Tread wear
    • given as a number, 100 to 500
    • higher number is more resistant to wear
  • Tire traction
    • given as an A, B, or C
    • “A” rating has the most traction
  • Tire temperature resistance
    • given as an A, B, or C
    • “A” rating resists temperature buildup best
speed rating
Speed Rating
  • Maximum allowable sustained road speed a tire can safely withstand without failure
  • Ratings range from B to Z
    • “B” rating 31mph or 50 km/h
    • “Z” rating 149 mph or 238 km/h
wear bars
Wear Bars

When too much tread has worn away, solid rubber bars will show up across the tread

compact spare tire
Compact Spare Tire

This is a high pressure spare, requiring60 psi (415 kPa)

self sealing tires
Self-Sealing Tires
  • Coating of sealing compound is applied to the liner
  • If a nail punctures the tire, air pressure will push the soft compound into the hole to stop air leakage
self sealing tire action
Self-Sealing Tire Action

A. Nail punctures tire

B. Nail is pulled out

C. Sealing compound flows into the hole

  • Used tires that have had a new tread vulcanized to the old carcass, or body
  • Large truck tires are often recapped because of the high cost of new truck tires
run flat tires
Run-Flat Tires
  • Use extremely stiff sidewall construction
  • Still usable with a loss of air pressure
  • Tire will still retain most of its shape because the sidewall is strong enough to support vehicle weight
tire inflation monitoring system
Tire Inflation Monitoring System
  • Often used with run-flat tires
  • Pressure sensors are mounted on each wheel
  • If tire pressure is not correct, the wheel sensor produces a radio signal
  • Signal is received by a module that turns on a dash warning light


  • Designed to support the tire while withstanding loads from acceleration, braking, and cornering
  • Made of steel, aluminum, or magnesium
  • Lightest weight is desirable to reduce “unsprung” weight, improving handling
mag wheels
Mag Wheels

Aluminum or magnesium wheelsare often called “mags”

drop center wheel
Drop-Center Wheel
  • Allows for easier installation and removal of the tire
  • Center of the wheel is smaller in diameter than the rim
  • When installing a tire, it can fall into the recess, then, the other side of the tire bead can be forced over the rim
drop center wheel1
Drop-Center Wheel

Note the smaller diameter in thecenter of the rim

safety rims
Safety Rims

Small ridges on the rim hold the tire on the wheel during a tire blowout or flat


Valve Stems and Cores

  • Valve stem
    • pressed into a hole in the wheel of a tubeless tire to allow inflation and deflation
  • Valve core
    • spring-loaded air valve that is threaded into the valve stem
  • Valve cap
    • protects the air valve and stem threads from dirt, moisture, and damage
valve stem assembly
Valve Stem Assembly

Valve stem snaps into the holein the wheel

Press fit forms an airtight seal

Valve core screws into the valve stem body


Lug Nuts, Studs, and Bolts

  • Lug nuts
    • hold the wheel and tire assembly on the vehicle
  • Lug studs
    • special studs that accept the lug nuts
  • Lug bolts
    • used instead of nuts
    • screw into threaded holes in the hub or axle flange
lug nut and stud
Lug Nut and Stud

Stud is pressed into the hub oraxle flange

If metric or left-hand threads are used, markings will normally be given


Wheel Weights

  • Small lead weights
  • Attached to the wheel rim to balance the wheel-and-tire assembly
  • Used to offset a heavy area of the wheel and tire

Hub and Wheel

Bearing Assemblies

  • Allow the wheel to turn freely around the spindle, in the steering knuckle, or in the bearing support
  • Most wheel bearings are tapered roller bearings or ball bearing
tapered roller bearing
Tapered Roller Bearing

Lubricated with high-temperature grease

ball bearing
Ball Bearing

Balls allow parts to rotate with a minimum amount of friction and wear

hub and wheel bearing nondriving wheels
Hub and Wheel Bearing(Nondriving Wheels)
  • Spindle is stationary, providing a mounting place for the wheel bearings, hub, and wheel
  • Hub is partially filled with grease to lubricate the bearings
  • Nut on the end of the spindle allows adjustment of the bearing preload
hub and wheel bearing nondriving wheels2
Hub and Wheel Bearing(Nondriving Wheels)

Used on the front of rear-wheel-drive cars or the rear of front-wheel-drive cars

hub and wheel bearing driving wheels
Hub and Wheel Bearing(Driving Wheels)
  • Axle shaft rotates inside a stationary support
  • Drive shaft fits through the center of the bearings
  • Hub is splined to the axle shaft
  • Ball bearings are lubricated by thick, high-temperature grease
hub and wheel bearing driving wheels2
Hub and Wheel Bearing(Driving Wheels)

Commonly used on the front of front-wheel-drive vehicles

hub and wheel bearing four wheel drive
Hub and Wheel Bearing (Four-Wheel Drive)
  • Front drive axle extends through a stationary spindle
  • Special free-wheel, or locking hub transfers power from the axle to the hub-disc assembly when in four-wheel-drive
hub and wheel bearing four wheel drive1
Hub and Wheel Bearing (Four-Wheel Drive)

Front axle, brakes, hub, and wheel bearing assembly