-- Advertorial --

Many automotive experts consider tires to be the most important components on a vehicle. After all, they are the only contact points where the vehicle touches the road surface. Even the best automobile will fail to provide a good ride or expected levels of braking and cornering performance if the tires are in poor condition. If you keep your tires properly inflated and rotate them on a regular basis, they should provide mile after mile of trouble-free service.

NO NEED TO DREAD TREAD

Knowing when it’s time to shop for a new set of tires is really a simple thing. You might notice a loss in grip or traction on the road, especially in wet and slippery conditions. Or your trusted tire technician might tell you that your tire tread depth is getting too low.

But when are replacement tires needed? Many tires have wear indicator bars molded into the tread. The bars are located at the bottom 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 is time to replace the tire.

Obviously, a worn tire will not perform like a tire with new tread. That’s why at this time of year, it’s a good idea to consider the benefits of new tires and full-depth tread.

TIRE INFLATION

Along with checking tread depth, Goodyear urges motorists to also check their tire inflation. Properly inflated tires will benefit the vehicle’s performance, provide even-wearing tires for longer tread life and even help improve fuel efficiency.

Remember, as we drive during winter, the temperature falls and tire inflation typically falls, too. Proper tire maintenance—especially tire inflation—is the key to maximizing the life of your tires. 

Research reveals that motorists rank tires as the second most important safety feature in vehicles next to brakes, yet only a third of consumers properly check their tire inflation pressure. Improper air pressure in tires can lead to a multitude of problems—from uneven and accelerated tire wear to structural damage and poor gas mileage.

Goodyear recommends that motorists check inflation at least monthly or before a long trip. Tires should be inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations printed on the vehicle door placard or in the owner’s manual, not the maximum limit stamped on a tire sidewall.

Drivers should not simply rely on tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) for reminders to check tire inflation. Government-mandated TPMS is a system that identifies when a tire is 25 percent or more underinflated. So, if someone relies on TPMS to tell them when their tires are underinflated, those tires can be as much as 20-24 percent underinflated before the TPMS light goes on—a less than ideal tire maintenance practice.