Knowing tires keeps you on the road

By Galen Guidry,
ASE Master Certified Technician
CEP, Today’s Car Care

How long should tires last?
How often should they be inspected?
Do you know the thickness of your tire treads?

Did you know there is a production date stamped on the tire sidewall?

Here are a couple basic, but important facts about your vehicle’s tires:

•    When your tires are near 3/32” tread depth or less they can no longer effectively remove water to maintain proper traction during rainy weather, which can cause hydroplaning.

•    50% of yearly tire wear occurs during the 3 summer months due to excessive heat!We often take for granted the importance of tires to a vehicle. Tires are the only contact points that connect your vehicle to the road! If your tires are worn you will not have full control of steering or breaking of your vehicle. Common causes of irregular tire wear are lack of tire rotations and alignment changes. Some of our customers have had a tread depth of 5/32” in April and the tires have worn to 3/32” by the winter due to excessive heat during the summer and a lack of rotations.

Do you remember every pothole or every piece of trash in the road you may have hit while driving? Hitting anything in the road will cause alignment changes to a vehicle’s suspension. Vehicles ride so well today due to better steering and suspension, as well as better designed tires. This can give us a false sense of security. Remember, you never know when someone will pull out in front of you, and you don’t want that to be the moment you realize you have suspension issues. This is why regular tire inspections by certified technicians are needed.

Rotations every 6,000 miles are important. Lack of rotations can create irregular tire wear and decrease the life of the tire. Signs of tire wear from lack of rotations can include abnormal vibrations and pulling to one side. It is always recommended to have an alignment when buying new tires to ensure optimum suspension angles and increase the life of the tires. Low tire pressure can also create irregular wear.

Regular rotations are a simple way of inspecting your tires, as well as steering and suspension. You cannot simply bend down and see clearly the condition of a tire. When you remove it from a vehicle you will be shocked how much clearer you can see the actual condition of the tires.

Having tires off of the vehicle allows technicians to inspect the inner sidewall for cuts, nails, wear, etc.When was the last time you had your vehicle’s tires inspected? Once a year is simply not enough due to the weather conditions impact on tires. Tires can be a costly, but necessary, investment. It is important to protect your investment and safety by having your tires inspected regularly.

 

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