3 easy ways to check the condition of your tires
- Check the degree of wear of your tires’ tread
- Visually inspect the overall condition of your tires
- Confirm the age of your tires
No matter how you look at it, much of what impacts how you handle your vehicle involves the tires. In fact, the physics that come into play are the same for every vehicle, whether it’s a Mini or a Maserati!
heck the degree of wear of your tires’ treadExperts all agree that the greater the wear on a tire, the less effective it is. So when considering a tire’s tread, how low is too low? To check out the degree of wear, hold a quarter between your thumb and forefinger (with the head of the queen or caribou facing down) and place it between the tread grooves. If the top of the queen’s head or the caribou’s nose is visible, you should start shopping for new tires. Check out a picture here.
Worn tires are particularly hazardous on wet surfaces, as they significantly increase the risk of hydroplaning.
Visually inspect the overall condition of your tiresInspecting a tire is even easier when it’s not yet installed on a vehicle. And, no need to take out a microscope! Inspect the tire tread surface as well as both sidewalls for any cuts, marks or unusual wear. Check out the pictures here.
Once your tires are installed and filled with air, inspect the sidewalls for any visible bumps, which are a sign that a tire is damaged and a flat is on the horizon!
Confirm the age of your tiresEven though a tire may not have much “mileage”, the rubber ages with time. This has an impact on a tire’s useful life and performance, which notably drops 5 years after it was manufactured. Once a tire reaches its 10-year anniversary, it should no longer be used. Check out this picture, which indicates how to determine the manufacturing date of a tire (hint: look at the sidewall).
One last tip: make sure to keep your tires at the proper air pressure. Not only will this increase their useful life, but your vehicle be more fuel-efficient and easier to handle.
(Sources: michelin.ca, https://www.michelin.ca/en/)
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