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Tires have come a long way since their invention, and automotive tires have advanced dramatically in recent years. Below, we’ll explain a few of the different components of modern car tires so that drivers can feel more informed the next time they need to select new tires for their vehicle.


There’s no better place to start when examining tires than the tread. Even those who don’t know a thing about car tires can point out the tire’s tread. It’s the outermost layer of rubber with a defined ridge pattern that provides traction on the road.

Some may not realize that modern tires offer different tread patterns that are for certain vehicles and have unique benefits. Common modern tread patterns include:

  • Symmetrical
  • Directional (unidirectional)
  • Asymmetrical
  • Directional/asymmetrical

Symmetrical is the most common tread for most cars, as its benefits include reduced road noise and greater longevity if you care for it properly.

Belt Plies

Belt plies are the layers of material that sit just underneath the tread of the tire but above the body plie layers. While these plies can feature different materials, steel cord plies are the most common ones in modern tires.

These steel cord belt plies lie underneath the tread at opposing angles to help strengthen and stabilize the tire tread. These are sometimes also called belts, and they improve the tire mileage, impact resistance, and traction of modern tires.


The smooth area between the upper tread and the wheel’s rim on the side of the tire is the sidewall. Rubber compound makes up the sidewall. Its primary purpose is to cover and protect the body plies on the tires and keep them from getting scuffed and weathered.

The sidewall is also where tire manufacturers print vital information on the tire so that drivers can easily and quickly identify vital information about the specific tire, such as:

  • Tire size
  • Load index
  • Speed rating
  • Aspect ratio
  • Wheel diameter
  • And more

Once you learn how to read a tire sidewall, you can gain plenty of information about your car’s tires at a glance.


We hope our guide on a few different tire components of modern cars has been informative and interesting! If you’re ever looking for new tires in Laredo, RNR Tire Express has locations there and nationwide. We stock extensive selections of tires, and our knowledgeable staff will help you find the ideal tires for your vehicle.

Browse our inventory of tires online or contact our tire expert team with any questions you have about shopping for tires.

Locations: Laredo, TX

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