Tires are designed and built to provide many thousands of miles of excellent service. For maximum benefit, tires must be maintained properly to avoid tire damage that may result in removal from service before the tread is worn down to minimum depth.
The following are things every driver can do to ensure long life for your tires:
Check Your Tire Inflation. Proper tire inflation is essential for safe driving and long tire life. It’s wise to check your tires’ air pressure at least once a month with an accurate tire pressure gauge. Be sure to check pressure while your tires are cold and have not been used recently. Even driving a mile will cause your tire pressure to increase and give you an inaccurate reading.
Check Your Tire Tread. There are two popular ways to check for signs of tire tread wear. One easy way is the penny test. Simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
Another way is to look at the tread wear indicator bar that’s molded into your tires. The bars are located at the bottoms of the tread grooves in several locations around the tire. When a tire is so worn that these bars become visibly flush with the adjacent tread ribs, it’s time to replace the tire.
Know What Certain Wear Patterns Mean. As tires wear, sometimes wear patterns emerge that can indicate problems with your vehicle or tires. If you see any of these patterns, have your tires checked by the tire experts at Appalachian Tire.
- Wear on both edges means UNDERINFLATION. Underinflation of a tire reduces its treadlife by increasing the tread wear on its outside edges, or shoulders. It also generates excessive heat which reduces tire toughness. Finally, it reduces fuel economy through increased rolling resistance because soft tires make your vehicle work harder. Abnormal tire wear may also be caused by misalignment or mechanical problems.
- Wear in center means OVERINFLATION. When a tire is overinflated, the center of the tread bears most of the load and wears out faster than the outside edges. Uneven wear reduces the useful life of a tire. It could also be the result of misalignment or mechanical problems.
- Cups or dips in the tread mean WORN PARTS. Cupping (also called dipping) is most common on front tires, although rear tires can cup as well. It may be a sign that wheels are out of balance or that suspension or steering system parts are worn out.
- Sawtooth edges mean MISALIGNMENT. If the edges of your tire tread take on a sawtooth or feathered appearance, it’s because of erratic scrubbing against the road. The solution is an alignment correction.
Make tire inspection and maintenance easy on yourself. Bring all of your vehicles to any Appalachian Tire store for a free tire and vehicle safety inspection*.
(* The vehicle safety inspection is NOT the annual vehicle inspection required by most states. See your nearest Appalachian Tire store for complete details).