There are plenty of great tire tips that help keep your vehicle on the road and in safe condition. However, there are plenty of tall tales told about tires and tire safety, many of which could work out disastrously if you take them at face value. If you want to keep yourself and your passengers safe and sound, then you'll want to steer clear of these myths:
Always Replace the Front Tires First
Many people believe that if you're only buying two tires, then those new tires should go on the front wheels. After all, the front tires usually wear out first since they handle the steering and, on front-wheel drive vehicles, the acceleration. However, there's a very good reason why you'd want those new tires mounted on the rear wheels instead of the front.
Under wet road conditions, the pair of tires with the least amount of tread will begin to hydroplane sooner and with less water on the road surface. If the hydroplaning tires are on the front, it's much easier for you feel the skid and take measures to regain control of the vehicle. If those tires are at the rear, then not only are you less likely to notice the loss of grip until it's too late, but you're more likely to over-correct and lose control of your vehicle.
For this reason, the tires with the most tread always go on the rear wheels. Just about every tire manufacturer is in agreement with this piece of advice.
Your Tires are Safe as Long as They Have Tread
There's more to tire safety than just tread depth. The rubber can also deteriorate with age and use, leaving it less pliable and more prone to cracking. This happens often on vehicles that aren't driven a whole lot or parked in areas where the tires are constantly exposed to UV radiation from sunlight, which can also deteriorate the rubber.
If you see a lot of cracks in your tires, then they aren't safe as you thought. The general rule of thumb is to have your tires inspected by your mechanic after 5 years of use. After 10 years, your tires should be replaced regardless of how much tread remains.
It Only Takes a Few Kicks to Gauge Air Pressure
Ever see one of those old car dealership commercials where the prospective buyer kicks the tires? Many people believe that you can gauge your tire's air pressure simply by giving it a few good kicks. Too bad it doesn't work.
The best way - and the only way - you can accurately see how much air your tires need is by measuring them with a good air pressure gauge. Otherwise, you're just playing a guessing game by eyeballing or kicking your tires.
You Can Just Rely On Your TPMS
Nearly every new vehicle sold in the United States is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system or TPMS for short. This system helps prevent blowouts and tread separation events by alerting you whenever your tires are underinflated by 25 percent or more.
While TPMS can keep your tires from going completely flat, it doesn't monitor exactly how much air you have in your tires. This means it won't tell you if your tires are underinflated until they reach that critical level. While you're not at risk of a blowout, you could lose in terms of fuel efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, under inflated tires can lower your fuel economy by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure.
It's always a good idea to periodically check your tires' air pressure with a reliable analog or digital air pressure gauge. If you need to add more air to your tires, you can always find the proper tire pressure for your vehicle by reading the sticker on the driver's side door jamb or the information within your owner's manual.
However, don't be tempted to completely ignore your TPMS. Doing so could cause serious damage to your tires over the long run.Share