Tires might not be the sexiest parts on your car, but they are key safety components. It is the tires that make contact between your car and the road. The friction they generate is what keeps your car firmly seated on the pavement. As such, worn-out or improperly installed tires are a safety hazard.
Tire safety is based on the following three rules:
Treads don’t exist just to make your tires look cool. Treads on what give tires the ability to grip the road. Therefore, your tires require adequate tread to fight against slipping and sliding. You need enough tread to deal with rain, snow and ice, and anything else that would otherwise send your car spinning out of control.
Tires should be replaced when the tread is reduced to 2/32 of an inch. Don’t wait until you see steel. Also be sure to check tread depth at least several times per year.
The air in a tire support the tire itself and provide the right amount of friction to maximize traction. The amount of air in a given tire is measured as pounds per square inch (PSI). Under-inflated tires improve traction but decrease fuel mileage. Over-inflated tires reduce traction. Both conditions reduce overall tire life, so check your tires regularly to ensure they are inflated to the correct pressure.
Tires must be properly balanced on their rims in order to maintain solid contact with the ground. Likewise, wheels must be aligned to maximize safety and fuel efficiency. While alignments can be done on an as-needed basis, tires should be balanced whenever they are installed.
And now you know the three rules of tire safety. Have you checked your tires lately?