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David
02-13-2012, 11:26 AM
Making sure your tires are in good shape is important for a number of reasons: safety, handling, fuel economy and the environment. Apart from tread and pressure, you should also keep an eye out for splits, cracks, bulging, or items caught in the tread. Ask a garage to check the vehicle's tracking every six months, or after any collision or heavy curb impact. Incorrect tracking leads to uneven and accelerated tire wear.
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CHECKING TIRE TREAD

U.S. coins can be substituted for a tire tread depth gauge as tires wear to the critical final few 32nds of an inch of their remaining tread depth.



Place a penny into several tread grooves across the tire. If part of Lincoln's head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 2/32" of tread depth remaining.








Place a quarter into several tread grooves across the tire. If part of Washington's head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 4/32" of tread depth remaining.








Place a penny into several tread grooves across the tire. If the top of the Lincoln Memorial is always covered by the tread, you have more than 6/32" of tread depth remaining.






Once you have determined the approximate remaining tread depth in the first location, you can complete your measurement of each tire by placing the coin into additional locations at lease 15 inches apart around the tire's central circumferential groove, as well as in its inner and outer grooves. This will help detect uneven wear caused by mechanical or service conditions.

The Law

According to most states' laws, tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/32" of remaining tread depth. To help warn drivers that their tires have reached that point, tires sold in North America are required to have indicators molded into their tread design called "wear bars" which run across their tread pattern from their outside shoulder to inside shoulder. Wear bars are designed to visually connect the elements of the tire's tread pattern and warn drivers when their tires no longer meet minimum tread depth requirements.


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CHECKING TIRE PRESSURE


Check your tire pressure every couple of weeks. And don’t forget the spare! For an accurate reading, wait until your tires are cold after your car has been parked for three hours (after a long run, tires will read about 4psi higher than they really are). All the information you need to know about your tires’ optimum pressure will be written in your vehicle handbook. Measure the pressure with an accurate gauge of your own or at a garage – although they’re not always 100% reliable. If the pressure is too low or too high, inflate or deflate to the correct pressure.

Mark12
02-14-2012, 12:42 PM
This is a very thorough guide, and this is definitely a very important vehicle issue to address. I was wondering if you also had an oil-changing guide? That might help me right now.

Mark12
02-22-2012, 05:38 PM
My tires look a little bit worn. I might for sure need some new ones. Thanks for the helpful info.

RacingRenee
02-22-2012, 06:11 PM
I go through tires like most people go through underwear. I'm no stranger to checking my tires. :)

nemo
04-03-2012, 10:46 PM
I think I should teach my mom how to check her tires. I don't think she ever does that.