What Does BSW Mean On Tires?

Tires are one of the most important parts of our car. They are one of the aspects of the car that gets the most action, so to speak. For this reason, they are probably the one aspect of all of our cars that gets replaced regularly.

The options for replacing tires these days are much wider than ever before. Rather than just going to your local automobile garage and getting a professional to sort it out for you, you can browse in auto shops yourself and choose your own tires, and even shop online for tires.

What Does BSW Mean On Tires

Shopping online for tires is becoming a increasingly popular method as these days not many people have the time to take their car to a garage and have to wait for a period of time for it to be done. Likewise not many people have the time to go to a store and pick some out.

Most people would rather buy their tires at the click of a few buttons and be done with it. This is easier said than done though, especially if you have never bought tires online before or you are buying your first new set.

When buying tires online it can be very difficult trying to fully understand what you are buying. There is so much pressure to get it right, and you probably cannot bear the thought of possibly ordering the wrong ones and then having to go through the stress of returning these huge tires through the mail.

Also, are you into overlanding? If so, we delve into this question, “What is the best tire for Overlanding?” in detail.

Oftentimes, buying a tire online means reading and understanding a whole bunch of different codes and abbreviations. You know they must mean something important but you’re not quite sure what that is. These codes mean lots of different things, but for this article we are going to focus on one of them in particular.

You may have seen or heard the abbreviation BSW. You are totally forgiven for not knowing what it means – trust us, not many people do! You don’t need to worry though, because that’s where we come in. In this article we are going to clear up exactly what is meant by the abbreviation BSW and what it means for your tires.

So if you have ever felt bogged down by tire related jargon, this article is for you!

BSW is an abbreviation that is used to describe tires. It stands for Black Side Wall. In layman’s terms, this means that the sidewalls of the tires are completely black, from the writing to the numbers. The sidewall writing is where all of the tire information is contained. It gets embossed onto the tire itself.

It is actually really important to have a sidewall on your tires to tell you, and anyone who works on your car, all the information you need about the tires. It tells you the tire size and type, which is super important to get right when you are replacing them.

Other things that the sidewall information can tell you include the construction of the tire, the diameter, the height and width, the height and width ratio, the load index, and the speed rating.

Some tires may also feature the letters M and S which tells you that the tires are competent in the mud or the snow. They are often also stamped with certification that they have been approved in the country they are being used in. As you can see, all of this information is important for you to know as well as anyone who may be undertaking a job on your car.

It can also be helpful in tracking down cars from their tire tread marks as you may be able to match the car tire to the tire marks found. As well as this, the sidewall actually works to protect parts of the tire. In particular it protects the cord plies of the tires.

Cord plies give the tire strength and make it more resistant against damage from the roads that can occur whilst the car is in use. We are sure you can see, therefore, how important it is that these cord plies are protected, deeming the job of the side wall a very important one.

Black side wall is usually chosen by car owners that desire a uniform look from their tires. The fact that it is all in black creates something that looks sleek and smart. The other option would be to get white sidewall writing and numbers.

The result of this is far less uniform (unless of course the tires are white). It looks very noticeable and does not give the car that same sleek look. Black side walls look far less distinguishable and do not take away from the overall appearance of the car.

This makes black sidewall tires a very popular choice for those car owners who have impressive looking sports cars. They are also the tires of choice for people who have just had a fresh wrap put on their car and don’t want anything to take away from the awesomeness of that.

Of course, there are downsides to having BSW (black side wall). The main downside is that black on black is a little harder to read. This is even more of an issue if the tires get worn down, which they would do eventually on all tires. It is important that this is visible and so we recommend getting your tires changed as soon as the side wall starts to become illegible.

That being said, manufacturers understand the importance of having side wall writing that is visible, and so they are constantly trying to find ways to make it more durable against being worn down.

They also know how important it is to some car owners that the black side wall does not stand out easily, and so they are trying to find a happy medium between black sidewall that can be seen when it needs to be but is not so visible that it can be seen from afar, hence not taking away from the overall appearance of the car.

Final Word 

We hope you can see now that abbreviations and codes in relation to tires do not need to be daunting. With some careful research you will be buying new tires with your eyes closed, as that is how confident you will be.

We hope that our article has enlightened you about the world of BSW specifically and told you all you need to know about it and how important it is. To recap, BSW is an abbreviation for Black Side Wall.

As simplistic as this sounds, this is actually very important, as not only does it mean that the sidewall writing will be in black, but understanding what the side wall is enables you to gain a lot of information about your car’s tires.

It is, therefore, important that even black sidewall is visible, which is why it is embossed onto the tires, often more thickly than the tires themselves. Of course, you are all familiar now with the benefits of having black side wall, and that is the more uniformed and sleek look that it enables your car to have.

For this reason they are a very popular tire choice.

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