Tire stretching concept is becoming more popular every day. If you are new to this concept, it refers to the idea of fitting a narrow tire on a wide wheel. The main reason why car fanatics engage in this kind of modification is for appearance purpose. It makes the car look cool to compliment to other modifications already done. There are a lot of tire shops and garages that offer amazing deals and facts about tire stretching. But is it safe to try it out? Most garages will tend to focus on the positive side of the story and avoid important information on safety and impacts on performance. The following is what they don’t tell you about stretched tires.
How safe is it?
Before a specific tire size is introduced to the market, the manufacturers invest a lot of time and resources towards testing. This is in order to establish the limits that the tire can be pushed under different road surfaces, maximum weight that the tire can hold and performance under different angles when taking bends. Stretching the tire means that a larger weight is mounted on small sized tire. Stretched tires are inflated with high pressure than required in standard case. This is against the tire tolerance as designed by the manufacturer. Extreme stretching can make the rim pop out when the tire is pushed to extreme performance thus compromising the safety of the driver.
Does it wear at the same rate with standard fitted tire?
Stretched tires wear at a faster rate compared to standard fit tires. The tire side walls are placed under intense pressure thus making it wear fast along the edges. The tire also loses its grip fast due to narrow tire diameter compared to the rim. The rate of wear is faster in case of heavy driving. Wear of tire side walls and lose of grip negatively affects car performance. This is compared to a standard fitting tire which last for long since it is used as per manufacturer design and specifications.
Do insurance company cover risks that may be as a result of tire modification?
Most insurance companies have strict rules when it comes to risks that are as a result of car modification. They term it as negligence and increasing the chances of a risk occurring by the insured. In case of an accident directly linked to the stretched tires, the insurance company may fail to cover for full damage. They may cite that the insured did not take necessary steps to ensure that the vehicle is in a stable state free from any risk or distraction. It is thus important to consult with your insurance company before giving this concept a try.
What about tire deflation?
For perfect tire performance and safety, the air inside the tube must be tightly held. Tire manufacturers cater for this by ensuring correct tire size is tightly mounted on the wheel. This happens when the tire bead seats perpendicular to that of the wheel. Stretching the tire on a wider wheel reduces this angle. This will affect the ability of the tire to tightly hold in air in case of stretched performance like when hitting potholes or on sharp bends.
More About Stretched Tires
Is it legal and does manufacturer have any issue on this modification
Many people have always questioned the legality of tire stretching. The concept is still new in many parts of the world and there is no much traffic rules enacted concerning the same in most states and countries. However, manufacturers don’t recommend it since it goes beyond their product specification. In case of any warranty, the manufacturer may fail to honour the agreement if the tire was modified to fit on a wider wheel.
To what extent is a tire stretch considered safe
Not all cases of tire stretching are bad; one can still stretch a tire and still drive safely. But this is only in cases where the stretch is not extreme, the higher the stretch the higher the risks. If you consider performing this modification, the angle of inclination between the tyre bead and that of the wheel should not be less than 80 degrees. At this angle the tire can still hold air tightly without much impact on performance. Angles below this increase the chances of the rim popping out when taking a corner or on extreme performance.