What Every Drive Should Know About Tire Maintenance
This Article On Tire Maintenance And Safety Was Written By Billy Stavridis NMLS 1425310
Your vehicles tires are the only part of your vehicle that has direct contact with the road. Tires affect how your vehicle handles, rides, brakes and thus performs. For optimum performance and maximum longevity of your tires, proper tire pressure, balance, alignment and tread depth make all the difference between a safe and tragic outcome in a traffic incident especially in wet or slippery road conditions.
Checking your tires on a regular basis is an important step in protecting your safety and your automotive investment. Ideally, tire inspection should be performed monthly and if you drive over potholes and debris in the road or live in a cold climate environment or drive long distances regularly, then you should inspect your tires more frequently. It is especially recommended to inspect your tires before a long trip for such things as nails, leaky valve stems and excessive side wall cracking.
Here Are Some Tips For Drivers To Watch Out For
Too much air pressure causes mostly the middle of the tire to contact the road; this creates wear primarily in the center of the tread and less contact at the tires inside and outside edges resulting in uneven tire wear.
Too little air pressure causes mostly the tires outer edges to contact the road which primarily wears down the edges and less wear in the center of the tread resulting in uneven tire wear.
ERRATIC TREAD WEAR
This is often called “Cupping” and often results from poor tire balance, failed shock absorbers and or other suspension component failure.
VIBRATION OR THUMPING
Vibration or thumping usually indicate an out-of-balance condition on one or more tires or tires that are coming apart and or failing internally.
Front tires and rear tires operate at different loads, for example: front tires (steering and braking) wear differently than rear tires thus rotating your tires every 7500 miles help maintain proper and even tire wear throughout the life of your vehicle tires.
Tire Maintenance: Checking Your Tires
Checking your tires tread depth is relatively simple and can be done with quarter and a penny. Here is how you can do it:
Insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of Washington’s head facing down. If the top of his head is not visible, your tires have at least 4/32” of tread depth and would be considered okay for continued use. If on the other hand you can see above the top of Washington’s head then perhaps it’s time to start shopping for new tires. Repeat this step in three different locations of the tire, the outer edge, center and inner edge to get an overall evaluation of tire wear.
The Penny test is applied in the exact same way, except, that if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head then your tires have less than 2/32” tread depth which is below legal federal DOT minimum requirement for road worthiness and confirms it’s time to replace your tires.
The difference between 2/32” and 4/32” may not seem like much but based on multiple studies and extensive testing the difference is significant. For example, a pickup truck traveling at 70 mph that passes the penny test can take up to 499.5 feet to stop on wet pavement. However, the same truck traveling at the same speed under the same conditions can stop up to 122 feet shorter if it passes the quarter test. This is a 24% difference in stopping distance and the equivalent of six or more car lengths. Given these facts, AAA suggests you put that penny back in your piggy bank and instead use a quarter to check tire wear and determine when it is time to replace your tires.
Good tires depend on good tread depth to maintain traction and to shed water on wet and slippery roads, therefore, checking your tires frequently or at least once a month for excessive or uneven wear is a good habit and practice to get into. Remember, the more rubber you have the better grip you’ll get.
About The Author Of Tire Maintenance And Safety: Billy Stavridis NMLS 1425310
Billy Stavridis is the author of this article on tire maintenance and safety. Billy Stavridis is a writer for Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage Resource Center and a licensed mortgage loan originator with The Gustan Cho Team at The Money Store. Billy Stavridis was in the automotive business for over 30 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of the automotive industry, from styling and designing to mechanics and technology. Billy Stavridis is also a real estate investor and due to his expertise in real estate and lending, he became a licensed mortgage banker so he can help others in realizing their dream of home ownership a reality. Billy is based in Laguna Nigel, California and represents a national mortgage banking firm who has its reputation of originating and funding FHA Loans, VA Loans, USDA Loans, and Conventional Loans with little to no lender overlays. We are looking forward to more informational blogs by Billy in the coming days and weeks.