Tread depth is crucial to your safety! Once the tires on your car get below a certain minimum tread depth, your steering, handling and traction are compromised seriously enough that your car is considered unsafe to drive. Most states cite 2/32” as a minimum tread depth, but the truth is that your traction in wet weather or snow can be treacherous long before the tread makes it to 2/32”.
Most tire brands have “wear bars” embedded in the tread grooves, at a right angle to the tread. Once the wear bars start to show through, it’s definitely time to replace the tires.
The oldest rule-of-thumb test is the “Lincoln head penny” test – insert a penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If the tread doesn’t come to the top ...[more]Read More
Tires are something that many drivers take for granted…but they shouldn’t. Tires are as big a part of your car’s overall safety as anything else. These are all things to keep in mind when it comes to tire safety:
- Proper inflation – Underinflated tires will cost you money in premature tread wear and increased rolling resistance (which means a hit on your gas mileage). Worse than that, though, underinflated tires will compromise your vehicle’s handling and steering, and can dangerously overheat on hot days or long trips. Modern radial tires won’t begin to show signs of deforming until they are at least 30% low on pressure, so just eyeballing a tire won’t tell you if it’s underinflated. Rubber is porous and even brand-new tires lose air, so make a poi ...[more]
You may be wondering when you should get new tires…they are a big investment and you don’t want to jump the gun, right? You also don’t want to push your luck with tires that are worn-out and running on borrowed time. Here are some tips:
- Run your hands along the surface of the tires. Feel for any irregularities like unevenly-worn spots or a rippled edge to the tread (also called “feathering”). These are indicators of suspension or steering issues that can contribute to tire wear, or an indicator of tires that haven’t been rotated frequently enough. Feel for any tread separation or possible bulges or cracks in the tread surface. If you detect problems like that, the tire is in imminent danger of failure and needs to be replaced right awa ...[more]
Those of us who live in cold climates often need tires specifically for winter driving, which then need to come off the vehicle in the warmer months. Did you know there are requirements for storing winter tires? Here are some do’s and don’ts to prolong their life:
· If a vehicle is in storage for months on end, don’t leave the weight on the tires for lengthy periods. Either put the vehicle on jack stands or take it out and drive it once a week or so to flex the tires and disperse the inner chemicals and oil within the rubber compound.
· Avoid commercial “tire dressing” products. Tire compounds are designed to resist dry rot, ozone cracks or weather checks ...[more]Read More
Tire inflation is something that is neglected by many drivers, and it’s easy to understand why. Modern radial tires deform very little until they are drastically low on air pressure. A tire can be as much as 30% underinflated and still look completely normal. But why is proper inflation so important?
- Underinflated tires have increased rolling resistance, which can affect fuel economy.
- Increased rolling resistance will also lead to overheating, which can be downright dangerous and possibly cause tire failure on a long highway trip.
- Underinflated tires will affect your car’s steering, drivability, ride and handling. If your car’s steering seems heavy and clumsy, or if your vehicle is pulling to one side ...[more]
Lawn and garden tires, of course, are a different design altogether.
Think about what a riding mower does…it doesn’t ever go fast, it has to get good traction on grass, and it has to be gentle on the surface of the grass itself. Lawn and garden tires, then, are usually fairly wide to disperse the weight of the mower or tractor as much as possible. They also typically will use an inner tube and don’t have an especially robust construction since they don’t have to hold up at high speeds (believe it or not, there’s actually a designation in the tire speed rating system that applies to lawn and garden tires).
Lawn tires will usually have a turf tread pattern and balanced profile, for residential zero-turn mowers, golf carts, riding mowers, utility vehicles and the like, designed to baby the most delicate turf conditions. ...[more]Read More
Driving a car is a calculated risk. Your car can be dependable and well-maintained with great tires and mechanicals, you can be safety-minded and have your head in the game, but you are still in control of a couple of tons of plastic, steel, rubber and glass traveling at about 80 feet per second. Chances are nothing is going to happen, and obviously you hope it won’t – most people put in their entire years behind the wheel without a serious incident. But if something does happen, you should be ready to handle an emergency. We’re not even talking about something catastrophic like a collision…it could just be a dead battery, a minor mechanical problem or a failed tire. Better to have your car safety supplies and not need them, than to need them and not have them.
- Jump Starters – Nothing’s more disheartening than getting behind the wheel, turning the key and hearing the engine turn too slowly to start (or worse yet, the dreade ...[more]
Balancing a tire is a very simple and easy process that I'm sure anybody can do. If you can follow instructions and simple measurements then balancing tires will be easy for you.
There are many different types of tire balancing machines out there and they all typically work the same way. The tire balancing machine we will be referring to today is the Hunter GSP9200. We are referring to this specific model because it is one of the most commonly used tire balancing machine in most tire and auto service shops.
Let's get started! With so many different types of wheel designs out there, how you balance a wheel assembly will differ. The weights used for tire balancing are tape weights as well as clip weights.
Tape weights ar ...[more]Read More
We hear questions all the time about what specific tire numbers mean that are shown on tires. Information on speed rating, tire width, load rating and more are quite common on every tire you look at. This information is shown on the sidewall and is easy to read, but more importantly, needs to be understood. Feel free to watch this video which demonstrates simply what these numbers represent. You'll become a tire professor in no time!
The graphic to the right has four numbers and two letters, and all of them are important. Here's each number and letter in order, as well as what it represents. A more detailed explanation of each characteristic is below.
- 255 - Thi ...[more]