What are top 10 tire safety issues every car owner needs to know?
10 tire safety issues that every car owner should be aware of are as follows:
One should be aware that tire pressure is very important. A higher tire pressure than recommended can cause damage to the tire in the form of accelerated wear. In severe cases it can even provoke a blowout of the tire’s sidewall.
Just as excessive pressure can cause damage to a tire, a tire with low pressure can also become damaged due to under-inflation. Under-inflating a tire puts excessive stress on its sidewalls and can also lead to a blowout.
Tread depth and wear are also very important to consider. A tire’s tread is the pattern along the surface of the tire that serves as the contact patch with the road. Once the tread has worn down past a certain point, the tire begins to suffer in performance. Excessively worn tires will have less traction, which can result in decreased stability and handling, sometimes to the point of compromising the safety of the vehicle.
Uneven tire wear is another issue one should be aware of. Uneven tire wear only occurs when another component, such as a suspension or braking component, has either become excessively worn or has failed. As the suspension and tires work together, uneven tire wear may be a sign that another component may require attention.
The age of the tire is also something to consider. Tires older than six years can sometimes begin to develop cracks along the sidewalls, as well as become brittle due to old age or exposure to the elements. Weakened sidewalls and brittle tread are both problems that can lead to decreased traction from the tire, as well as the increased potential for a blowout.
It’s also important to be aware of the specific tire type recommended for your vehicle. A passenger sedan will require different tires than a sport coupe will. Equipping a sport coupe with a tire of lesser performance than required will actually take away considerably from the vehicle’s performance and handling, and even safety.
Another issue to be aware of is one with spare tires, commonly known as donuts. Spare tires are meant to only be driven on temporarily, and most are not designed for travel at highway speeds. Driving on a spare tire for too long, or on the highway may lead to a potential blowout.
Some tires, such as run flats, are designed to stay upright even when the pressure has run low. However, it is important to know that run flats are only designed to run like this for a short period of time. Running them for too long without adding air can result in damage to the tire. Because run flat tires will not blow out when they are low on air, It is important to check the tire pressure whenever indicated necessary by the tire pressure monitoring system.
It’s also important to be aware that tire plugs and patches are safe to use, but only if the location where they are installed is not too close to the sidewall, at least three inches away. A plug located too close to the edge of the tire will not be able to seal properly or reliably.
Regularly rotating your tires can help maximize vehicle safety. Rotating your tires at regular intervals helps to promote even tire wear across all four tires, which in turn will help increase traction and safety when operating the vehicle, as well as help maximize the service life of the tires.
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