How safe is it?
If you’ve been to any car event or show, you’ve probably seen stretched tires and wondered if it was a good idea for your vehicle. This unique look is one that’s becoming more desired, but is it a safe option?
This article will explain what stretched tires are and whether it is safe. We also evaluate the pros and cons of stretching your tires, so you can decide if it’s right for your vehicle.
- What are stretched tires?
- Are Stretched Tires Safe?
- The pros and cons of stretched tires
- Cons of stretched tires
- Are You Supposed to Extend Your Car Tires
- How to Stretch a Tire
- Stretched Tire FAQs
What are stretched tires?
Stretched tires have a narrower tire than is required by the wheel. The smaller tire can be mounted to a standard wheel and leaves an area where the sidewall extends beyond the edge. This creates an impressive look which highlights the rim and tire more.
The vehicle takes on a different stance when you have the tire stretched. It also allows for more camber because the fender sits on the wheel’s lip.
Are Stretched Tires Safe?
It should alarm you when you think about stretching the tire rubber over a surface that’s too wide. The tire tread's purpose is to protect the road and provide safety, but you might be wondering if the rubber gets stretched. There are many ways that you can stretch tires safely, it all depends on where you go.
Stretched tires, on the other hand are much more susceptible to blowing out than regular tires. Inflating your tires can cause damage to the wheel protection. When the tire isn’t seated properly on the bead, the seal is compromised. This could result in catastrophic consequences if you drive on it and hit an obstruction, like a pothole.
The rubber's durability and life expectancy is also affected by tire stretching. The tread wear can cause uneven tire wear, which could increase your risk. For these reasons, it’s never recommended to stretch your tires, but we still understand why you might want to do it.
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The pros and cons of stretched tires
1. Upgraded Appearance
Tires are not only stretched for looks, but also for safety. After all, it’s hard to argue with the upgraded look it provides.
This appearance will be desired by drivers who spend a lot of time showing off their cars. It’s a mesmerizing look.
2. Sidewall Control
This is a subject that has received conflicting reports. However, the majority of proponents of stretching tires will argue that there’s more control over the sidewall.
You can trim the sidewall to make it fit larger wheels. This gives you more control. However, this isn’t normally a top reason to choose stretched tires for your vehicle. It might instead be considered an additional benefit.
3. Possibility to use cheaper tires
You need to have the proper size tire if your vehicle is capable of handling it. This combo will cost you more, because tire prices increase with increasing size.
A smaller size tire can help you save on your purchase. It’s often much cheaper to buy a smaller tire and stretch it than to purchase the size that fits perfectly.
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Cons of stretched tires
1. Reduction in Safety
Stretching tires could pose a risk to your safety on many levels. To start, if the seal isn’t just right, the tire could pop off of the rim.
It is also possible to lose grip on the roads. The car may not be able to control slippery roads if it does not have a firm grip.
2. Increased risk of damage
The tire's rim will be exposed more when you stretch it. With an extra rim surface, there’s more to get damaged, especially when you rub against a curb.
If you’ve spent a lot of money on your car rims, you want as much protection as possible. It’s discouraging to spend a bunch of time and cash on the sleek look only to mess up the rims and need replacement.
3. Require Professional Installation
You might not be familiar with how to install tires unless you've done it before. It is better to hire a professional for the job.
However, it’s hard to find a tire guy that’s willing to stretch them. You will need to look for someone who is willing and able to assist you due to the low level of safety. This professional installation might add a lot to the cost that you aren’t ready to handle.
Are You Supposed to Extend Your Car Tires
There’s a time and place when stretching the car tires might make sense, but it’s not for everyone. Before you do any significant changes, it is important to take a step back and review what you have done. Let’s evaluate the two options and we will give you a few criteria to help you decide what to do with your vehicle.
You should only stretch your tires if you plan to make a show car. You can show off your sleek car's wheels by stretching. If you have the right setup and configuration, it is possible to create an unique fitment that will turn heads.
On the other hand, you don’t want to stretch the tires if your car is a regular driver. This setup will hurt your safety and traction, so it’s not wise for your daily commuter. You also don’t want to do it if you plan to drive at any high-performance level. It’s also not smart if you are going to be on harsh roads, where damage is more likely.
How to Stretch a Tire
We are not telling you it’s good to stretch a tire, nor are we advocating it. As an education guide, we are providing only basic information. If you plan to stretch your tires, it’s best to visit with a professional for more help instead.
- Place the tire and rim flat.
- Apply your soapy solution to the tire beads using water and some warm water. Spray it or apply with a paintbrush. With this mixture, the tire is easier to work with because there’s reduced friction.
- Move the bead along the rim with a tire spoon. If you don’t have a tire spoon, you might be able to use a flathead screwdriver that’s long, but you want to use caution so that damage doesn’t occur.
- Use brake cleaner for the inner tires.
- Attach the air compressor to your tire.
- Apply the brake cleaner to the inner tire and ignite it.
- To compress your tire, make sure you use the right PSI while the tire is being beaded.
Some of these steps can be dangerous. If you are going to attempt this task on your own, be cautious and use every safety precaution.
Stretched Tire FAQs
Are tires that are stretched legal?
Stretched tires aren’t illegal per se, but it’s in a gray area and if it’s not considered safe for the road due to too much stretching, you could get into trouble. If your vehicle has stretched tires, you could be in serious trouble with your insurer.
You can drive fast on stretched tires.
Stretched tires can be dangerous and cause serious problems if you drive too fast. It all depends on the brand of tire you choose and how stretchy your tires are. You run the danger of damaging your tires by using stretched tires at faster speeds. This can prove very hazardous.
Can you imagine how wide a tire can be stretched?
The amount of tire you are able to stretch depends on your preferences and how big your wheels are. You can only stretch the tires as far as the sidewalls are high. The tires will become more hazardous if you overexert the tire.
Is it safe to use stretched tires?
Strung tires should not be used as they can cause injury and may not be considered safe. There isn't a definitive answer because it depends on many variables, like the weight and stretch of the tires, as well as how the quality of your tires. It is more dangerous to stretch tires than it can handle.
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