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At least once a month, inspect your tires closely for signs of tire damage such as cuts or punctures as well as uneven or excessive wear. Uneven wear patterns may be caused by improper inflation pressures, misalignment, improper balance, or suspension neglect. If not corrected, further tire damage will occur. If you discover uneven wear, bring your car to us for evaluation. In many instances, we can correct the problem so you can continue to use your tire.
When the tread is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch, the tire is worn out and it is time to replace it. Built-in tread wear indicators, or “wear bars,” which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will appear on the tire when that point of wear is reached.
Other Things to Look For:
- Look for any stones, bits of glass, metal, or other foreign objects in the tread or sidewall. These may work deeper into the tire and cause air loss.
- If any tire continually needs more air, let us check to find out why it is leaking. Damage to the tire, wheel, or valve may be the problem.
- If you have any further questions please stop by and see us.
TIRE DAMAGE – REPAIR OR REPLACE?
Which types of tire damage are serviceable? The answer to that question depends upon the injury itself. Every injury, including punctures, scrapes, bulges, separations, or cuts should be evaluated. Often, small punctures isolated to the tread of the tire can be repaired by a professional. It is important that the tire is repaired using the Rubber Manufacturer Association’s guidelines for permanent repair.
Ignoring a damaged tire and continuing to drive on it can turn an inexpensive fix into an expensive problem. Damaged tires lose air, causing their operating temperature to rise, which can cause some components to separate, or damage the tire body in ways that ruin it.
You can never play it too safe; if your tire shows visible damage or you suspect hidden damage due to small punctures or impact, make an appointment for an inspection today.
TIRE WEAR – IS IT TIME TO REPLACE?
Tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32nds, or one-sixteenth of an inch. Checking the tread depth of your tires costs just a penny! Take a penny and insert it into the tread with President Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of his head your tires are at or below 2/32nds. If a portion of his head is covered, you have more than 2/32nds. Built-in treadwear indicators, or “wear bars,” which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will also appear on the tire when that point of wear is reached. Tires may need to be replaced sooner, if there is excessive uneven wear, meaning one area of the tread is significantly more worn down than other areas. This uneven wear can cause further damage. If you have questions or are uncertain about the tread depth remaining on your tires, bring your car in and we will show you what’s going on.
TIRE AGE – IS MY TIRE TOO OLD TO BE SAFE?
Most major tire manufacturers recommend that all tires, including full-size spares, that are 10 or more years from their date of manufacture, be replaced with new tires.
Tire service life is not determined by chronological age. The useful life of a tire is a function of service and storage conditions. For each individual tire, this service life is determined by many elements such as temperature, storage conditions, and conditions of use (e.g., load, speed, inflation pressure, impacts and road hazard damage) to which a tire is subjected throughout its life. Since service and storage conditions vary widely, accurately predicting the service life of any specific tire based on calendar age is not possible.
We are not aware of scientific or technical data that establishes or identifies a specific minimum or maximum service life for passenger and light truck tires. However, we recognize a consumer benefit from a more uniform, global industry-wide approach to the tire service life issue. Accordingly, we recommend that all tires, including full-size spares, that are 10 or more years from their date of manufacture, be replaced with new tires. Tires 10 or more years old should be replaced even if the tires appear to be undamaged and have not reached their tread wear limits. Most tires will need replacement before 10 years due to service conditions. This may be necessary even if the tire has not yet reached its tread wear limits.
Under no circumstances should a “maximum” service life recommendation for a tire be considered as an “expected” service life. Tires must be removed from service for several reasons, including tread worn down to minimum depth, signs of damage (cuts, cracks, bulges, impact damage, vibration, etc.) or signs of abuse (under inflation, overloading, improper repair, etc.).
In some cases a vehicle manufacturer may make a recommendation for tire replacement earlier than 10 years for their products based upon their understanding of the specific vehicle characteristics and application. If so, the consumer should follow those vehicle manufacturer’s specific recommendations for their vehicle.
Determining the Age of a Tire:
A tire’s date of manufacture is located on each tire. A consumer can determine the date
of manufacture by examining the series of letters and numbers called the Tire
Identification Number (TIN) which follow the letters “DOT” on the tire sidewall.
For tires manufactured after the year 1999, the last four numbers of the TIN identify the
week and year in which the tire was manufactured. The first two numbers identify the
week and the last two numbers identify the year of manufacture. Thus, a TIN ending
with “3005” indicates that the tire was made during the 30th week of 2005 and would
appear as DOTXXXXXXX3005 on the sidewall of the tire.
For tires manufactured prior to 2000, three numbers instead of four indicate the date of
manufacture. The first two numbers reflect the week and the last digit reflects the year of
manufacture. Thus, a TIN ending in 308 indicates that the tire was made in the 30th
week of 1998 (or possibly 1988) and would appear as DOTXXXXXXX308 on the
sidewall of the tire.