MICHELIN Defender All Season Radial Tire
Last updated date: May 10, 2019
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An Overview On Car Tires
No matter how well you take care of your car, how often you inspect it or meticulously you change the oil, there’s one part that’s going to need to be replaced regularly: The tires. Hop from a car with old tires into a ride with new ones and you’ll instantly feel the difference. It might be the most important safety feature on any automobile, so before you slap on that cheap replacement set, there’s a few things to consider. Putting the proper tires on your car will ensure that the speedometer is accurate and the transmission doesn’t take any loads it can’t handle — not to mention the piece of mind that comes with healthy, road-gripping wheels.
First and foremost, let’s answer the question: Do you need a new set of tires at all? Most buyers replace their tires on one of two occasions: When they get a flat or when the mechanic tells them they need it. While you’ll certainly be able to sense the change in handling as your tires lose their tread, there’s a number of easy visual cues that can alert you when your tires are on their way out.
Most modern tires come equipped with tread wear indicators. While the exact placement of them can vary, they should be fairly obvious. Just look for tiny bars in the grooves of your tread, running perpendicular to the tread pattern. In a new or slightly used tire, they should be well beneath the top of the tread. Once they are flush with the outer surface of the tread, it’s definitely time to replace the tire.
Failing that, there’s an old fashioned trick to test the depth of your tread, and therefore the wear and tear on your tire. Take a penny or quarter and insert it into the deepest tread you can find on your tire, making sure to align it in succh a way that you’re dipping Abe Lincoln (or George Washington) into the canyon headfirst. If you can still see the top of their head, it’s time to go tire shopping.
Newer cars can back all this up by alerting you to changes in tire pressure, but there’s still good reason to periodically check the tread up close and personal. The way your tread is worn can even be a red flag for alignment or misinflation issues. Is the tread worn more on one side of the tire than the other? Get your alignment checked. Is there more wear on the shoulders (outer edges) of the tire versus the center? Your tire might be underinflated. Losing tread on the center but not the shoulders? It could be overinflated.