I have always been a little overwhelmed when it came to tire knowledge. Usually I would take my car in to the shop either when the tire pressure light came on or when my husband told me I needed to. Once inside the shop, it was as if the tire sales associate was speaking a foreign language to me and I felt as if I was on constant speed dial to my husband asking him if we actually needed what the tire associate recommended. Words like treadwear meant nothing to me as I didn’t understand the importance.
It wasn’t until a recent trip to the The Cooper Tire & Vehicle Test Center in San Antonio, Texas, that I finally received valuable knowledge that will last me a lifetime. I (along with a group of mom bloggers) was flown out to San Antonio, Texas to test out Cooper Tire’s all-new Cooper CS5. We were given the opportunity to compare the new CS5′s to a competitors tire, tested out the difference in worn tires in the front verses worn tires in the back, and took a distracted driving course. We were able to really get a feel for Cooper Tires and quickly learned that not all tires are created equally. I honestly never knew that specific tires can make a huge difference in the performance of my car as well as the safety of my family until I hit the wet handling track. Being able to push the car to the limit on a wet course forces you to get a feel for the type of tires you are driving on, even for people like me who knew nothing about tires.
The first car we drove on the wet track course was a BMW with a set of competitor’s tires. We drove the same course 3 times in each set of tires- Cooper’s and their competitors. While driving in their competitor’s tires, I quickly lost control as I stepped on the gas pedal to accelerate on the wet track. I was surprised how easily that happened as I barely touched the gas pedal. It made me realize that this could be a realistic scenario while driving with my family on the on-ramp to the freeway. Sure, I felt the tire try to gain traction on the road but it wasn’t enough to keep me from losing control and spinning out. During our laps with the same BMW but with a set of Cooper Tires, I did the same laps as the first car with the competitor’s tires, this time maybe pushing myself a little harder as I had already driven the same course 3 times prior. I could honestly feel the tires grabbing the road and not once did we lose traction. It was a surreal feeling and made me feel more confident in driving the course while pushing myself to the limit.
Our drive testing out worn tires on the front verses worn tires on the back was a huge eye opener. As most of you know, a set of four new tires can be pricey, especially when at least three of the tires are in decent condition. It is always recommended to change all four tires, but if needed, just replace two of them. This will save you some money if the other two tires are in good condition. But what do you do when you only have enough money to replace just two? During this course we were given the hands on experience we needed to show the importance of new tires on the back verses new tires on the front. I watched car after car (including myself) lose control while driving a car with new tires on the front and worn tires on the rear. I had zero traction as I drove around the wet handling course at a normal speed. Once we changed cars and I tried driving with new tires on the rear I could feel a major improvement. Sure I didn’t have complete control like I once did with a set of four brand new tires, but I was more in control than the previous laps and could still feel the Cooper CS5′s gripping the road for me.
As a woman it is so important to stay connected in what is happening in the automotive world. From the purchase of a brand new vehicle to the type of tires you choose, keeping yourself up-to-date with the options available to you will save you from feeling overwhelmed. Did you know that 65% of in-store tire purchases are made by women? And that women are actively involved in car maintenance and purchasing decisions 90% of the time? Cooper Tires knows this and is taking the step to make sure they are connecting with women. They understand that safety, quality, and value are important to us and they definitely proved that over my time spent with them. They spent the time educating us and giving us hands on demonstrations so we felt comfortable bringing this knowledge home and to you, our readers.
So what makes the Cooper Tires CS5′s stand out from the rest?
First of all, checking the wear of your tire has been made easy thanks to Cooper Tire’s Wear Square. As your tire wears, the shape of the visual wear indicator will change. This allows you to approximate the thread life remaining on your tires.
- 75% Remains
- 50% Remains
- 25% Remains
- Replace Tire
The Wear Square visual wear indicator allows you to quickly see the approximate thread life remaining on your tires and can assist in detecting wheel alignment issues with your vehicle. Having the Wear Square on the tires can help you walk into the shop feeling confident and looking knowledgeable as to what is going on with your tires. You will know the condition of your tire thread, as well as if there are any alignment issues.
Here’s what it looks like on the actual tire:
During my time with Cooper Tires I learned an important word- Sipes! Tire siping is a technique designed to improve your tire’s performance not only in the winter but year round as well. The CS5 has 85% more sipes at half-worn verses the previous CS4. This means that when the CS5 is half worn it won’t appear worn out. The sipes allow for more griping of the road and it definitely showed during my drive on the wet handling track. As I made those turns on the wet pavement at top speed I could literally feel the tires grabbing the road which helped me to not lose control of the car. Imagine driving in the rain… You are getting onto the freeway and have to accelerate. Have you ever had your car want to fishtail on you? I have, and it is pretty scary when you have children in the car. All it takes is one touch on the gas pedal and a pair of worn tires can lose traction on the road. The fact that the Cooper CS5′s have 85% more sipes allows for me to feel safe as I accelerate onto the freeway knowing it will still be grabbing onto the road.
What every woman should know about tires:
- Tire information regarding size and pressure is located on the side panel of your door.
- You lose a little PSI every month, so checking the tire pressure every month is recommended.
- Check the tread by using the “penny test.” Take a penny, and place it upside down with Lincoln facing you in the center of the tread (at the thickest part of the tire).
- If you can see the very top of Lincoln’s head or the copper above it, replace the tires immediately.
- If Lincoln’s hair on the top of his head is partially visible, it is time to go shopping for tires.
- If you cannot see the hair on the top of his head (if the coin is inserted enough that the tire tread is at least as deep as Lincoln’s forehead), your tires do not need replacing yet.
Stay tuned as we showcase these tires in action in the following weeks. The all-new Cooper CS5′s are available to purchase now. You can learn more about these tires and where to buy by visiting Coopertire.com.
* Huge thank you to Cooper Tire for flying me out to San Antonio. All expenses were paid but opinions are my own.