A Helpful Glossary of Car and Tire Related Terms

When you’re looking into new tires or maintenance for your vehicle, there can be a lot of terminology to understand in order to find exactly what you need. With this in mind, we’ve compiled this helpful glossary of common terms you’ll see on our website, as well as hear in-store. 

Agricultural Tires – Tires designed for agricultural vehicles such as tractors, sprayers, harvesters, and other farm equipment

All Season Tires – Tires that can provide adequate year round performance, though are not necessarily ideal for winter

Aspect Ratio – The relationship of a tire’s cross-section height to its width

Ball Joints – Spherical bearings that act as a pivot point between the suspension of your vehicle and its wheels 

Brake Fluid –  Fluid that is used to amplify braking force by transferring force into pressure

Brake Pads – Blocks that are used in disc brakes in order to grip the brake

Cabin Air Filter – A device attached to an air-conditioning or heating system that prevents dust and allergens from entering a vehicle’s cabin

Car Make – The manufacturer of your vehicle

Car Model – The specific brand of vehicle as sold under a specific make

Car Trim – Additional items that may be to your vehicle to either increase its visual appeal or protect your car from potential damage

Catalytic Converter – A device incorporated into your vehicle’s exhaust system that converts pollutants into less harmful gasses

Commercial Tires – Tires designed specifically for commercial vehicles

Coolant – Coolant is responsible for keeping the engine from over-heating or freezing, as well as protecting engine parts

Drive Shaft – A rotating shaft that is used to transmit the torque found in a vehicle’s engine

Emissions Standards – The maximum amount of pollution that any vehicle is legally allowed to discharge

Engine Air Filter –  A filter that prevents particulate matter that may be abrasive from entering the cylinders of your engine

Four Wheel Drive – A system of transmission that all four wheels of a vehicle directly

Four Wheel Steering – A mechanism that enables all four wheels on you vehicle to turn in response to your commands

Fuel Economy – The relationship between the fuel consumption of a vehicle and the distance it has traveled

Load Index – The weight a tire can comfortably support

MVI –  Motor Vehicle Inspection is a series of tests to ensure your vehicle is fit to be driven on public roads

Oil Change – The removal of old oil from your vehicle’s engine to be replaced with fresh oil

Oil Filter – A filter designed to remove contaminants from your vehicle’s engine oil

Original Equipment – The exact parts or systems used in your vehicle’s original build

OTR Tires – Off The Road tires designed for large scale machinery on construction sites, or other locations with no roads

Performance Tires – Tires that can provide additional handing and control, as well as enhanced traction in wet weather

Power Brakes – Brakes that use additional engine power to amplify the amount of torque being applied when a driver presses on the brake pedal

Regular Car Maintenance – Maintenance that is recommended every 6,000 km or 5 months

Rims – The outer edge of a wheel, upon which the inside edge of the tire is mounted

Seasonal Car Maintenance – Maintenance that is recommended before winter and again before summer

Section Width – The width of a tire, measured at its widest point from its inner sidewall to its outer sidewall

Speed Rating – The speed that a tire can maintain safely over a specific length of time

Steering – Components and linkages that come together to allow your vehicle to move in the appropriate direction

Suspension – A collection of shock absorbers and springs that work together to cushion a vehicle while driving

Timing Belt – The belt that controls your engine’s camshafts by opening and closing valves at the appropriate time

Tire Rotation – The process of ensuring even tire wear through moving your tires and wheels from one position to another

Tire Type – The specific type of tire you have on your vehicle—Examples include All Season, Performance, and Winter tires

Transmission – A mechanism that transfers power from your engine to the wheels of your vehicle

Wheel Alignment – Resetting or adjusting the angles of the wheels on a vehicle so that they are set to the specifications of the car maker

Wheel Bearings – Bearings that support the weight of your vehicle, as well as allow your wheels to rotate

Wheel Base – The distance between the centres of the front and rear wheels of your vehicle

Wheel Width – The point that is widest between the outer sidewall of a wheel to the widest point of the inner sidewall of a wheel

Winter Tires – Also referred to as Snow Tires, these tires are designed specifically for use in cold weather (generally below 7 degrees Celsius)