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Friday: 7am – 5pm

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What to Inspect on the Tires

by | Oct 9, 2015 | Auto Repair, Fuel Efficiency, General Car Maintenance, Tire Repair



The tires are important because they are the only part to make direct contact with the surface of the road. The tires are designed and are built to provide thousands of miles of service. To help keep them in great condition, they must be properly maintained and inspected.

In addition to maintaining proper inflation pressure, regularly inspect the tire tread and sidewalls for irregular tread wear, cracking, scrapes, bulges, cuts, snags, foreign objects, or other damage resulting from use. Remove any stones, glass, or foreign objects that are embedded in the tread to prevent further damage. Even minor damage can lead to further injury and eventual tire failure. Tires with excessive cracking on the tread or sidewall should be removed from service. This is typically caused by under inflation, over loading, improper storage, or improper long-term parking. Consumers should check their tire tread and sidewall areas during monthly inflation pressure checks, looking for uneven or irregular tread wear or other conditions as noted above. It is recommended that tires, including the spare, be periodically inspected by a tire service professional during routine maintenance intervals such as oil changes and tire rotations.

What to look for

Check for any uneven tire wear. This can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear, or exposed steel wire. Uneven wear can be caused by problems such as under inflation, vehicle misalignment and improper balancing. Also check for shallow tread wear. Well worn or bald tires can result in hydroplaning, loss of traction and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. Replace tires when worn to one sixteenth of an inch tread depth anywhere on the tread face. To help you see when the tread is worn out, tires have a built in tread wear indicators. These are narrow bars of smooth rubber that run across the tread. When the tread is even with the bars, a tire is worn down and the tire must be replaced immediately. You can also try the penny test. You need to place a penny in the tire’s most worn groove with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the tire should be replaced. Also check for small stones, pieces of glass, bits of metal and other foreign objects that might be wedged into the tread and carefully remove them. They can cause serious problems if they are pushed farther into your tire as you drive. Look for any cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes, and bulges in the tread or on the sidewalls of the tire can indicate serious problems, and the tire may need to be replaced.

If you notice Leaks

Remember that tires lose inflation pressure when the air temperature gets colder (about 1 psi for every 10°F drop in temperature). Tires may also lose a certain amount of inflation pressure due to their permeability. However, if you find that you have to add inflation pressure every few days, have the tire, wheel and valve checked by a tire service professional and if necessary, repair or replace the tire. Check the valve caps. The little caps on your tire’s valve stem keep moisture and dirt out, so make sure they are on all your tires. Also, when you have a tire replaced, have a new valve stem assembly installed at the same time. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the condition of the tires for you.