How Tire Treads Work
The primary function of your tire tread is not only to grip the ground, but also to direct water and slush from between the tire and the road as well as provide edges that bite into snow to improve traction and avoid hydroplaning on wet surfaces. The more worn your tires become, the less able they can fulfill these functions and the higher is your risk becomes to lose control of your vehicle and increase braking distances. How do I know when to change my tires? Let’s take a look at some common signs that it might be that time. You can always refer to our expert service staff at Straightline Dodge in Fort Saskatchewan, AB.
Assessing Tread Wear By Sight
Examine your tread pattern and you’ll see what are called ‘tread wear bars’. These are small rubber bridges that form between your treads that become more and more apparent as your treads begin to wear down. When you notice their height being flush with the tire’s tread, this is an indicator that you definitely need to put some new tires on your wheels.
Assessing Tread Wear By Measurement
The best way to assess your tires tread health is by directly measuring the depth of your treads. Replacement is said to occur when tires wear down to 2/32 of an inch of tread depth. However, that amount of wear requires an extra 100 feet of stopping distance than does a remaining 4/32 inches because the remaining rubber is moving that much less water from between the tire and the road. For this reason, we (and most service technicians) recommend to replace your tires when only 4/32 of in inch of tread remains.
How To Measure Tread Wear
There is a special tool called a tread depth indicator or gauge tool to measure a tire’s tread depth. If you don’t already own one, they can be purchased at a fairly low cost at most auto parts store. Though we don’t advocate using inexact measuring, a quick and dirty way to get a ballpark measurement is to use a quarter. Placed between the treads with Her Majesty upside down, the top of her head should be flush with the tread surface, and the more of her head that is obscured by tread depth the better. This can at least help you start an inner dialog about whether or not you’re close to needing a tire change.
Assessing Tire Condition From Age
Tread depth is only one indicator of a tires overall condition. Age, condition of materials and the effects of varying pressure balance need also to be assessed. The older your tires get the more the rubber breaks down regardless of tread wear. You may notice this to the effect of little cracks appear across your tires and is known as dry rot. Tires in this state can fall apart, separating from the steel belt causing damage to your car and in the worse case lead to a catastrophic failure. Tires generally remain in good condition for up to 5 years, after which they need to be inspected regularly and closely. Ten years is their maximum service life.
Assessing Tires For Damage
City streets and highways are war zones for tires. Potholes, curbs and low or uneven tire pressure take their toll over time and repetitive contact. You need to inspect tires for abnormal bulges or blisters in the sidewall. The presence of these symptoms indicates that the rigid internal frame of the tire has been damaged, allowing air to reach the flexible outer layers of the tire. Tires in this state should be changed immediately to avoid the risk of failure. Another point worth inspective is irregular tread wear from wheel alignment being veered out of position, or increased vibration in the steering wheel.
Get Your Tires Serviced at Straightline Dodge
At Straightline Dodge, our expert Service team has got you and your tires covered. Assessing the tread depth, inflation and general condition of tires is critical to ensure their long life and your safety and we are happy to do this for you if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself. Schedule a Service Appointment Online, visit us at 11116 88 Ave, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, or give us a call at (780)628-7780 today for more information.