A lot of research and development has gone into tire manufacturing since the early days. Today's tires are designed for optimum handling and fuel economy. Most are radial ply tires. You're probably familiar with the term. Radial refers to the reinforcing cords within the tire which are aligned with the radius of the outer diameter. With radial ply construction, better handling, reduced rolling resistance and a longer tire life are achieved. The reinforcing cord is made from various materials, including fiberglass and steel. Unlike tires of the past which consisted of an inner-tube, most modern tires press against the wheel to form a seal without the use of an additional air chamber. Mixing radials and non-radials on your car could adversely affect your car's handling. Therefore, if your car came from the factory equipped with radial tires, it's important to replace them with radials when the time comes.
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