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Tire Terminology:

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W Z

   
Off-The Car Balancing
A procedure in which a tire and wheel assembly is balanced by a bubble or computerized electronic balancer while the assembly is off the vehicle; computerized electronic balancers are the best way to accurately measure dynamic balance.
Offset
The distance from the centerline of the wheel to the mounting face of the wheel.
One-Piece-Wheel
Used to describe an aluminum specialty wheel that is cast in one piece; also the standard wheel found as OEM on production cars. (OEM wheels are typically two piece.)
Original Equipment (O.E.)
Refers to tires sold to automobile manufacturers for equipping their new cars.
Out-of-Round
A wheel or tire defect in which the wheel or tire is not round.
Overall Diameter
The maximum height of a tire when mounted on a wheel and inflated to rated pressure.
Over inflation
The inflation of a tire above recommended pressure to achieve improved performance; negative byproducts are rough ride, bruise damage, and suspension system strain.
Over steer
A cornering condition where rear tires operate at a greater slip angle than the front tires; the tendency of a car to turn more sharply than the driver intends while negotiating a turn.
Oxidation
Reaction of a material with oxygen, usually resulting in degradation of the material.
  P
P-Metric System
A tire sizing system using the section width in millimeters, aspect ratio, type of tire construction, and rim diameter in inches (e.g.: P225/70R15).
Pitch
The length from a point on one tread block to the same point on the next tread block. Pitch is varied around a tire to minimize noise.
Pitman Arm
A rubber compound chemical; used to make or keep rubber soft and flexible.
Plies
The layers of fabric that make up the cord body of a tire.
Plowing
The loss of cornering capability of the font of the vehicle. The car tends to go straight.
Plus 1/Plus 2 Concept
A concept to improve handling and performance through the mounting of tires with wider section widths and lower section heights to rims of 1,2 and sometimes even 3 inches greater diameter.
Polyester
A strong and lightweight synthetic cord material used in casing construction.
Polymer
A chemical compound made up of a large number of identical components linked together like a chain.
Positive Camber
A condition where the top of a tire is leaning outward from the tire's vertical centerline, as viewed from the top.
Positive Caster
A setting where the steering axis is inclined rearward at the top, as viewed from the side; makes possible the self-centering force that tends to return the wheel to the direction the vehicle is traveling.
Positive Offset
When the back of the bolt pad is closer to the street side of the wheel; when the mounting face is outboard of the rim centerline, draws assembly towards the vehicle resulting in narrower tracking.
PSI
Pounds per square inch.
Pull
The tendency of a vehicle to veer to one side.
Pyramid Belt
A belt design in which the upper layer is narrower than the lower layer.
Pyrometer
A thermocouple device used for measuring tread temperatures in tires.
 

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