Only True Motorheads Can Ace This Wheels and Tires Quiz!


The first cars used ____ wheels.

The earliest cars used artillery wheels. They featured a design where the tire was bolted to the wheel. Made it hard to change a flat tire, for sure.

What is the famous white tire?

Whitewalls hold a great place in automotive history. They actually used to be on both sidewalls, because the tires were exposed​ on both sides by open fenders.

White letter tires are made in a similar process as ______.

White letter tires are made in a similar process as whitewalls. They simply add an extra layer of black on the sidewall and then grind the black rubber off of the white letters.

Speed ratings are set in ____ per hour.

Tire speed ratings are set in both miles and kilometers per hour. Kilometers per hour probably makes a lot more sense in Europe than it does in the U.S.

The higher a tire's load index, the greater its _________.

As a tire's load index increases, so does its carrying capacity. The load index of your tires will depend on the size of your car.

A space shuttle's wheels are the same size as what other vehicle's wheels?

A space shuttle's wheels are about the size of the tires you'll find on an 18-wheeler. A shuttle's tire can support 142,000 pounds.

What is a "tweel"?

Michelin is working to produce the first "tweels" to be sold on the market. They're airless tire-wheels with spokes, which will never go flat.

What is the highest speed rating?

Y is the highest speed rating, at 186 mph. Z was the first speed rating, at 149+ miles per hour, but now that's known as V.

What makes tires white?

Tires used to be white, thanks to zinc oxide. This was used as a strengthening agent used to reinforce the rubber.

When were black tires introduced?

It was in the 1920s that researchers discovered that carbon black made tires more durable and long-lasting. This increased the road-wear abrasion immensely.

Carbon black is created by _____ organic material.

Carbon black is made from charring organic material. It's pure elemental carbon, but in colloidal particle form.

Who created carbon black?

Believe it or not, Crayola Crayons sold their carbon black to the Goodrich Tire Company. That's when white tires became a thing of the past.

Who created an illuminated tire?

Goodyear tires is famous for created an illuminated tire in 1961. It was literally lit from within by lightbulbs.

When were whitewall tires invented?

Whitewall tires were invented in 1914 by Chicago's Vogue Tyre Company. They melded a carbon black tread with a zinc white sidewall. Oreo cookie tires!

Who equips most of their vehicles with run-flat tires?

BMW equips most of its vehicles with run-flat tires. They're a very popular option for most models, but not their electric vehicles or motorsport line.

Do most new cars still come with spare tires?

Rarely will you find a new car these days that comes with a spare tire. Instead, they may give you a patch kit and a can of compressed air.

Allen Park, Michigan, is home to the World's ______ Tire.

If you're a tire junkie, head to Allen Park, Michigan. They have the largest tire on Earth, weighing 12 tons, and 80 feet tall. It was once used as a Ferris wheel, at the 1964 World's Fair in New York.

How many tires in the U.S. are disposed of each year?

Every year, Americans dispose of about 280 million tires. Most of those come from passenger cars, and only 42 million come from trucks.

Recycled tires can be used for what?

Each year, melted tires are used to repave asphalt. This improves the surface and extends the life of the road.

Can tires be repurposed in the garden?

Repurposed tires work wonders in the garden! They can be used as garden mulch, or even as flower-bed edging or planters.

Tires go through a process called what?

Tires aren't just recycled in America, they're upcycled. That means that there's a plan in place to recycle the tires. Tires are all around us, used in remarkable ways!

Are tires and wheels the same?

Technically, they're two different things. The wheel is the circular object that has a hub and axle. The tire is the rubber portion that touches the earth.

What came first, the tire or the wheel?

The invention of the wheel was necessary for the invention of the tire. The invention of the wheel is considered to be one of humanity's greatest accomplishments​.

Innovative, experimental tires are known as ______ tires.

Concept tires offer new, sophisticated designs that don't tread the traditional path. The "tweel" is a concept tire.

Where is the largest tire manufacturer?

Denmark is the largest tire manufacturer in the world. Funny enough, it's all coming from Lego, the toy company. They make little tires, of course.

Which of these is NOT a tire manufacturer?

Fabian is not a tire manufacturer, but all the rest are. Also Pirelli, Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear.

Tires are _____ .

Tires are pneumatic, and that means that air is held under pressure within them. These days, tires form a pressure seal with the rim of the wheel and do not require an inner tube.

When was the first pressurized tire patented?

The first pneumatic tire with an inner tube was invented in 1845. It was made by Scottish inventor Robert Thomson.

What kind of rubber is used in tires?

Both natural and synthetic rubber can be used to make tires. These need to be treated with a variety of chemicals to ensure their strength and durability.

What is another word for tire curing?

Vulcanization is the word used for curing tires. The process was discovered by Charles Goodyear in 1839.

Is tire production all automated?

Automation is increasingly used, but most tire production still requires some manual labor in staffed factories. More than 250 million new tires are sold each year in the U.S. alone.

Where does rubber come from?

Natural rubber comes from the rubber tree, or Hevea brasiliensis. Liquid latex is mixed with acids that cause the rubber to solidify.

Synthetic rubber can be produced from what?

One of the many uses of crude oil is to produce synthetic rubber. The polymers in the crude oil are what lead to the synthetic rubber.

What holds the tire to the wheel?

Beads are metal-wire bundles that are rubber-covered. These hold the tire onto the wheel.

These days, what plays a large role in tire design?

Today, computer systems are used to design tires. Thanks to complex analysis software, they're able to use test data to engineer high-performance tires.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

If you're a motorhead, then you know a thing or two about tires. In this quiz, we're going to push the limits of your knowledge. It's going to feel like your brain is burning rubber.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!