Understand How to Check the Life of Your Tires
One of the most important things to keep up with on your vehicle is its tires. Of course, you can't prevent a flat because you ran over a nail or otherwise damaged the tire, but you can eliminate other tire issues that could leave you stranded or getting your hands dirty. Checking the air pressure, looking for a separated tire, tread life and wear patterns can help prevent your vehicle from an unexpected flat.
Checking Tread Life
Most auto technicians recommend replacing tires when the tread depth is 2/32 of an inch or before. Some recommend replacing tires when the tread depth reaches 4/32 of an inch. It's easy enough for you to check the tire tread depth yourself:
Stick a penny between the tread with Lincoln's head pointing down into the tread. If any part of his head is covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32 of an inch of tread depth.
Flip the penny over, putting the top of the Lincoln Memorial into the tire tread. If the top of the Memorial is covered, you have more than 6/32 of an inch of tread depth.
Stick a quarter in the tread with Washington's head facing you. If part of Washington's head is covered by the tread, you have at least 4/32 of an inch of tread depth.
Fall is a great time to check your tires. To play it safe, you should have at least 6/32 of an inch of tread depth. The more tread a tire has, the more traction it gives you on snow. Changing the tires earlier allows you to pick the day, instead of having to head into town on a bad day because you need new tires immediately.
Watching tread wear is important as it could tell you if something is out of whack, including the alignment and suspension.
If the tire tread is wearing on the outside or inside only, you most likely need an alignment. In some cases, you may have something wrong with the suspension. The technicians at AutoTek will be able to tell you if the problem is just the alignment or if you have a worn suspension part.
If the tire tread is wearing evenly on the inside and outside of the tire, but not wearing at all in the middle, the air pressure in the tire is too low. Air the tire up to the proper air pressure. Always check the pressure, as different types and sizes of tires require different pressures.
If the tire tread is wearing only in the middle, the tires have too much air. Release some of the air until you have the proper air pressure in the tire.
If you need new tires, an alignment, to have the tires balanced or you suspect a separated tire, contact AutoTek to schedule an appointment.