If we hit the tire hard when parking, for example, we can damage its sidewall. The most common damage to a cover can be cuts, bulges or hernias. In the same maneuver we can also cause some damage to the rim. This is where the rim protector comes into play. Do all tires have rim protectors? Before asking ourselves this question, we need to know what a rim protector is, what it is for and if all tires have it or need it.
What is rim protector?
The rim protector is a rubber profile (also called a ring or cord) located in the lower part of the sidewall and attached to the tire bead. This profile that runs the entire circumference of the tire and that protrudes from the wheel has the function of protecting the rim, especially in bumps with sidewalks.
What tires do not usually have a rim protector?
Tires with high profiles, greater than 55, normally do not have this rim protector. The function of the protection of the rim is made by the same rubber, since having a high or lateral profile can cushion the blows against the sidewalks. We have to keep in mind that many of these tires are mounted on iron rims with plastic trims or, commonly called, hubcaps.
What tires usually have a rim protector?
On the other hand, tires with a profile less than 55 and, especially profiles such as 45, 40 and 35, usually carry it, since with these low profiles the rim is very unprotected and is more likely to receive blows.
How can we identify if a wheel has a rim protector?
There are many tire manufacturers and each one uses different markings to identify whether or not a wheel has this protection:
- DUNLOP: The British manufacturer uses the MFS (Maximum Flange Shield) marking to give maximum protection to the rim
- CONTINENTAL: The German tire brand marks its wheels with rim protectors with the acronym FR (Fringe Protector).
- VREDESTEIN: For the winter tire specialist brand the name used is FSL.
Other tire brands such as Pirelli, Michelin or Bridgestone do not distinguish tires with a rim protector with a certain acronym, although in profiles less than 50 they usually have a protective rim.
If the tire has a rim protector, can we be less attentive?
In any case, although the tires that we carry in our vehicle have this extra protection, we have to be careful when parking or approaching the sidewalk. Although the rim is more protected than with a cover without a protective cord, we must approach sidewalks with great care because we could damage the tire causing a cut on the sidewall or a hernia and have a blowout.