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Tires - What you need to know!
If you are concerned about the performance and safety features of your vehicle, you should be concerned about your tires!
|Specialpoints of interest:
I. Buying Tires
Choosing the best tires
There are countless varieties of tires available. Choosing the best one for your vehicle can be difficult.
First, determine whether you require a passenger or light truck tire. Passenger tires are sufficient for most car owners and many pick-up and SUV owners. However, some pick-up and SUV vehicles require more robust light truck tires for hauling heavy loads and driving on rough road conditions.
Next, determine your own driving needs and what benefits you hope to get from the tires, such as long mileage, wet traction, winter/snow traction, superior handling, right comfort, fuel efficiency, and noise levels. This will help you narrow your focus.
New tires should be the same size and have the same load capacity and speed rating as the original tires. This information is printed on the tire. If it is too difficult to read what is written on the tire, check the tire information placard which is usually attached to the edge of the drivers door. Install the same type of tire on all four wheels to ensure proper ride comfort and performance handling.
|Drivers tend to forget that the tire is the only point of contact a vehicle has with the road...|
II. When to replace your tires
Tires are manufactured with "wear bars." The bar becomes exposed when there is less than 1.6mm of tread depth remaining on your tire. Tires must be replaced when the ware bar is visible.
There is also a quick simple way of testing to see if your tires need replacing:
Here's the 3-step "penny test."
III. Simple Tire Maintenance
Tires are often the most neglected parts of a vehicle. And yet they are among the most important and easily cared for. By adapting these few simple tire maintenance practices, you can increase your vehicle's fuel efficiency, reduce harmful emissions, save money and make your vehicle safer.
- Measure your tire pressure monthly using a good quality tire gauge. A visual inspection is not sufficient to detect under or over-inflation problems.
- Have your tires aligned annually.
- Tires should be balanced when a driver feels a vibration.
- Rotate your tires regularly.
- Monitor tread wear and replace tires when your tire tread is worn out.
- Conduct a visual check for embedded stones, glass and other foreign objects that could work their way into the tire and cause a leak.
Did you know?
Under-inflation is a leading cause of tire failure.
Six good reasons to measure your tire pressure once a month:
Reduced Tire Failure
Improve Vehicle Handling
Improve Stopping Distance
Improve Tire Life
Improve Fuel Economy
Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Proper alignment is an important part of tire maintenance. Poor alignment will cause your tires to wear unevenly and you may experience handling problems, such as "pulling" or vibration. Poor alignment will also increase your fuel consumption. Check you alignment often as many unexpected everyday factors such as hitting a curb, rocks, and potholes can misalign your wheels. Common practice is to have your alignment checked annually. Warning signs include your car pulling to one side or another, and irregular tire wear.
There are several alignment types including both two and four wheel alignments. Four wheel alignments are always recommended, but some vehicles are not able to have the rear alignment adjusted. Consult with your service advisor to find out what is best for your car.
Regular rotation will minimize wear and prolong the life of your tires. Rotation will also reduce the risk of sudden tire failure.
Front tires work harder than rear tires as they must bear the scrubbing action of steering as well of rolling wear. You can prolong the life of your tires by rotating according to the vehicle manufacture's recommendation. Found in the owner's manual. Or, talk with your ASM to find out how; and how often; the tires on your vehicle should be rotated. Common practice is to rotate tires every 5,000 miles.