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Every car, from a Ferrari to a Ford Pinto, relies on the simplest of machines to operate: the wheel. There’s no getting around it (pun intended)—right next to fire, the wheel might be the greatest discovery man has ever made. Without wheels and tires, cars and trucks would be little more than expensive lawn ornaments. From car to car, wheels and tires perform the same function; the only difference is in the size, style, and structure. To increase your knowledge base of cars, trucks, and how they work, we explore the basic parts of a car wheel and tire below. Knowing more about your vehicle will help you care for it better and keep it running for many years.

The Tire

This is pretty simple and obvious. We all know where the tire is and what it looks like. The tires are important for the car and how smooth the ride is. The tires keep the ride nice and smooth because you’re riding on air, literally. The modern tire is around 70 years old, and prior to this, they were solid rubber and offered little in the way of cushioning. Having the right kind of tire on your car is important for safety. Tires grip the road in wet, icy, and snowy conditions and improve the handling in adverse conditions.

The Rim

If the tire is the skin, then the rim is the skeleton of the wheel assembly. The tire wraps around the rim, and it supports the tire, giving it form and allowing air to fill it. Rims are typically made from steel or aluminum and come in hundreds of different styles. They can come with plastic hubcaps or in polished chrome to dazzle the eye. The style of rim varies from car to truck. Trucks need a beefier rim to support more weight and trend toward function over form. The diameter and width of the rim will dictate what style and size tire will fit on it.

The Hub

The hub is the center part of the wheel that the rim attaches to. It’s home to the brake pads, calipers, and rotors. All of that attaches to the axle and allows the vehicle to move and stop. The tire is attached to the hub, and from its center, five bolts extend, along with lug nuts. The hub is home to the mechanics of the wheel and keep it attached to the vehicle. When it’s time for new rims and tires come see us at your local RNR Tire Express. We have everything you need to make your car or truck look road ready.

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