When’s the last time you checked your tires? So many vehicles on the road today are equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems; they give owners a sense of security, albeit it false. The reality is that until an alarm goes off or a tire blows out, you’re really not as secure as you think. Your car’s tires have a story to tell about their integrity, and if you truly want to determine how well the tires are doing, then you’re better served to familiarize yourself with what the tire wear patterns mean and how to optimize the maintenance of your tires.
Here are the three (3) main things you need to check:
Tread: Check your tires using the “quarter test,” wherein you insert an upside-down U.S. quarter between your tires’ tread walls. If you can see the top of George Washington’s head, your tire has less than one-eighth of an inch of tread left, and it’s time for a replacement. When you are checking tread, this is also an excellent opportunity to check tire pressure. Read the information on the side of the tire to determine the proper tire pressure and adjust accordingly.
Wear: In a perfect scenario, all four of your tires would wear evenly, and equally; however, this is unlikely due to front-wheel drive versus rear- wheel drive. We suggest having tires rotated every 8,000 miles for even wearing, and here are some additional excess wear signs to check for:
- Excessive wear on the inner or outer edge of the tire suggests something may be wrong with the wheel alignment. You’ll need to make an appointment with a mechanic.
- If the center of the tire is quicker to wear than the edges, then the tire is likely over-inflated.
- If the outer edges of the tire wear faster than the center, the tire is likely under-inflated.
- A diagonal scalloping on the tire, known as “cupping wear,” suggests the suspension may be worn, bent or somehow compromised. This is a serious concern, and you need to make an appointment with a mechanic immediately.
- Patchy wear implies the tire is out of balance. Have a mechanic spin and rotate your tires, as this will help equalize the wear.
Age: All tires have a date code stamped on the sidewall. Tire rubber degrades and dries out over time. This can cause cracking and create stress on the tire’s structural composition possibly resulting in failure including blowouts and tread shredding at higher speeds. Older tires often have problems maintaining proper inflation which can cause gas consumption to rise, wasting valuable fuel. If your tires are more than five years old, you should have your auto service professional inspect the tires and check the date code. If you need to buy new tires, AAA recommends not buying tires that are more than a year old.
Whether you drive a four-wheel drive Ford pickup truck or a front-wheel drive Volkswagen, visit our Putnam County, NY new tire center. Our professional sales associates and service technicians are ready to help you with all of your tire needs.
You will find our prices competitive. Our tire shop offers a complete line of quality new brand name tires: Michelin, Pirelli, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Continental, Dunlop, General and more. “In addition, for every set of 4 tires, you will receive lifetime tire rotations for the life of the tires.”
You can also visit our tire shop at any time to have the air pressure checked, free of charge.
Give us a call today to learn about our Goodyear tire mail-in rebates worth up to $160 on select tires.