One of the most important components of a smooth and comfortable ride in your vehicle, is the correct tires for your car.
Some of the things to consider about the quality of the tires that you invest in for your vehicle are tire wear, the wear bars, and having the correct size.
As tires are used, it is normal for the tread to gradually become shallower and overall tire performance to change. In addition, irregular tread wear may occur for a variety of reasons that may lead you to have to replace a tire sooner rather than later. Regularly checking the tread depth and wear condition of each tire on your vehicle will not only let you know when it is time to replace a tire, it can also help you detect other needed maintenance and get the most value out of your vehicle and tires.
WHAT IS TIRE WEAR?
Simply put, tire wear occurs when the treads on the tire are worn down to the point where they no longer can provide you a safe amount of traction in rain and inclement weather.When tires are unable to grip the road, you can lose control of your vehicle. If you let your tires wear down too much, then they can actually fail while you are driving which can be very dangerous. So too little tire tread can create unsafe driving conditions.
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM RECOMMENDED DEPTH OF MY TIRE TREAD?
There is a funny story about how mechanics used to use a penny to check the depth of your tire treads to determine whether or not your tires were legal or OK to drive on. It is called the “Penny Test.” In this test, a police officer would place a penny, with Lincoln’s head upside down, into the groove between the treads. At this point, if you can’t see the top of Lincoln’s head between the treads, then the tread is at least 2/32-inch deep at that location, which makes it ok. But, if Abe’s whole head is visible at any groove location, you should replace that tire as soon as possible because the treads are too worn.
WHAT CAUSES EARLY OR IRREGULAR TIRE WEAR?
There are many things that can cause your tires to have an irregular wear pattern, or even an accelerated wear pattern. For starters, different tire types have different wear patterns. For example, high performance tires wear quicker than touring tires because they are softer, and as such, the treads wear out much faster.
There are also a couple of common things that can make your tires wear irregularly. The most common are over inflating your tires beyond the manufacturers recommended tire pressures. This can cause your tires to “crown” and wear the middle of the tires faster than the edges.
The other way that your tires can wear faster is when you have an alignment issue. This is when your tires are skewed inward or outward a bit. This can cause a new set of tires to be worthless in just a few thousand miles, or even less. You may need a wheel alignment if this is what you are experiencing.