Archive for February, 2016
What do you imagine when you think of tire damage? You may assume that a tire is damaged when it’s flat. But tire damage is just a general, and pretty broad description for a number of issues that can happen to your wheels. These issues can be broken up into three categories which are: Sidewall, Bead, and Tread Damage.
Three Categories of Tire Damage
Your tire’s sidewalls are exactly what they sound like. In case you need the extra assurance, it’s all the rubber that surrounds the rim. What often happens is that the sidewall cracks, normally at the base of the tread grooves, due to weather. Sidewall damage may be inevitable, since weather is constant. There’s simply not much you can do to avoid it. Sidewall damage can, however, be accelerated by too much subjection to heat. Given that we reside in the Rio Grande Valley, where the summer weather seems to be our most avid season, our tires are at a constant risk.
The exposure our tires get from pressure washers, and the chemicals used to clean tires can also cause sidewall damage. Other culprits include potholes and debris. And just like the hot weather, potholes are persistent in the Valley. If you’re hitting a pretty high speed when you come into contact with a pothole, you’ll rip and/or puncture your tire’s sidewall, which will, in worst-case scenario, result in a blowout causing a serious accident. Potholes will often cause the sidewall to bulge, which will require a fast fix. Luckily, the service department at your Ed Payne RGV dealership is well-equipped to help!
If you have any questions, would like more information, or would like us to discuss any topics that you haven’t seen, then feel free to leave us a comment and we’ll be on it!!!
If you’ve ever taken your car in to get your wheels rotated or aligned, one of the first things the mechanic does is put this weird silver-measure like tube thing between the lines of your tire and then they tell you if the tread is bad or good. But while they are going on and on about how the psi levels read and stuff, you’re wondering to yourself what exactly does tread mean.
The tread refers to the rubber around the circumference of a tire, that makes contact with the road. Here is a visual aid:
All that rubber begins to wear off while you’re driving around. Why? Because your tires take a pretty good beating. Imagine all the potholes you’ve hit, or speed bumps that you’ve gone over. This will help you grasp what kind of damage your tires undergo on a day-to-day basis. This doesn’t mean that you’re a bad driver. If you aren’t aware of when your tires need to be replaced, then you could be dealing with some pretty catastrophic events, such as losing control of your vehicle while driving, or being left stranded in the middle of nowhere with no easy way to get home.
What is Acceptable Tire Tread?
First of all, in the United States, the tire tread depth is measured in 32nds of an inch. New tires normally come with 10/32″or 11/32″ tread depth. The tread on your tires should never, and I repeat, NEVER fall below 1/6th of an inch. (This translates to 1.6 millimeters for those of you the prefer decimals rather than fractions). It’s really recommended, and enforced in some states, that tires should be replaced when they 2/32″. But if you’re not in the exact mood to go down to your mechanic or dealership to get your tires checked, then there is a simple solution. It’s called THE PENNY TEST! This test determines if you’ve hit the 2/32″ threshold. Here’s how to do it:
1.) Grab a penny and put it between the tread ribs (the raised part of the tread that stretches across the circumference of your tire.) of your tire. (The tread is made up of several ribs.)
2.) Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s (The President on the penny) head is down into the tread.
3.) If the top of his head disappears between the ribs, then your tread is above 2/32″ which means you’re good! But, if you can see his entire head then it may be time to replace your tire(s) because your tread is no longer deep enough.
Inflating your tires is a must-do. It isn’t really an option, but the majority of us put it off until last minute, anyway. Don’t believe me? According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 33% of light trucks and 25% of cars have at least one underinflated tire. What’s more, 3.8% of vehicles have all four tires underinflated. But we understand that this is one of those kinds of things we overlook because it isn’t top priority. Usually inflating tires doesn’t cross our mind until we are told to do it, by a friend/family member, or mechanic.
So what do you need to know? Well, making sure you’re inflating tires correctly requires that we follow rules. But don’t stress! These are really simple, and if you ever forget you can just come on back to this post and give yourself a fresh reminder. Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you fill ’em up!
4 Rules of Inflating Tires
You need to check your tire pressure at least once a month. Normally, manufacturers would recommend that you check it once a week, but rather than writing an alert once a week on your phone, you can simply follow this rule of thumb – If you need to get gas, then you need to check your tire pressure. Just commit this to memory and you and your vehicle will be good for quite a while.
When you are going to check your tires, make sure they are “cold.” What does cold with the quotes mean? It means that your car must at least have been inactive for 4-5 hours. The best way to get a great reading when checking the pressure of your tire is to do so immediately after it has sat out overnight.
CHECK THE STICKER!!!! Usually found on the driver’s door, this sticker will give you the best recommendation on how much you should inflate your tire so that you do not pass the max PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). Too much pressure in could reduce the traction your tires have and cause a blowout.
For those that either live in areas where cold weather is persistent, or if you live in an area that is experiencing cold weather then checking and getting your tires inflated should be a priority. When wintry weather sets in, your tire begins to lose pressure, about 1 psi for every 10 degree drop.
And if in case you’re still on the fence about not following these rules, then let me lay out a little map for you that tells you the negatives of neglecting your tires. First, and foremost, underinflated tires could cause an accident that may result in your death. And, if for some reason, that still doesn’t sway you then here’s another con – underinflated tires increase your tire’s wear. This will burn through a set of $400 tires a year early than they should, and they waste gas. Yeah, not inflating your tires properly will waste your gas. According to the Department of Transportation, an estimated 5 million gallons of fuel per day are wasted due to low tire pressure.
Please don’t be a statistic. Keep your wheels in line, and keep your peace of mind.
If you’re in need of some tire assistance, not to worry! Our service department can help! Our Ed Payne auto dealerships are located conveniently throughout the Rio Grande Valley. From Mission, to Brownsville, and Weslaco in between, it’s our goal to help you find the car you’ve always dreamed of. Stop in and test drive a Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Fiat or Alfa Romeo car today!
Next to maintaining the oil in your engine, another important aspect of your vehicle is your tires. With them you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. Your car would just be sitting on those large, concrete bricks and you would have to take the bus, or worse, walk! But with great tires, comes great responsibility! Maintaining your vehicle’s tires can present quite the task for a busy person. And many times, the average person’s attention isn’t always focused on what our tires are filled with or where their pressure is. In all honesty, we really don’t give it notice until we see that it’s flat. At that dreaded moment, we begin to imagine all the things we could’ve possibly done to avoid this situation. Sound familiar?
This is actually more common than you think!
At the very least, you should have a basic knowledge of your tires, so you can be sure your safety is always first. Familiarize yourself with these tire basics before you hit the road!
Some of the basics you should know about tires include:
1.) How to inflate your tires properly
Flat tires are a part of life. As a driver, it’s important to know how to fill ’em up when they’re looking low.
2.) How to determine treading
It really is easy as 1, 2, 3.
3.) When to rotate and realign your tires
This is a common question, and one that can be quite complicated.
4.) How to look for tire damage.
Avoid a blowout by catching the issue early!
5.) When to change your tires.
Your tires are the life force of your vehicle. Knowing when to throw in the towel can do big things for your safety.
We’ll be discussing all this stuff in our following posts as well as providing you with some tips to ensure that your tires maintain a pretty good lifespan. And if you have anything else on your mind, or any questions, feel free to leave us a comment and we’ll answer it as soon as possible!
If you happen to be in the market for a new or used vehicle, feel free to stop by our car dealership to view our wide range of new models. We carry stunning models from brands like Chevy, Ford, GMC, Fiat and more! Test drive your favorite new or used model when you visit one of our Ed Payne RGV car dealership today!