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Car Tire Facts and Information

by Mark Stull, Oct 13, 2016

   Car Tire Facts and Information

  Ever wonder how to maximize your car tire life or know when it’s time to replace them? The performance of your tire is critical to your safety. At some point in time, your tires start to loose there ability for traction and braking. Here are a few tips that should help you maximize their life and understand when it’s time to replace them.

1. Check your tires at minimum once a month using a quality gauge. The proper inflation level is printed by the vehicle manufacture on a sticker inside your driver’s door.  Proper inflation will give you maximum tire life, a comfortable ride, and maximum fuel economy.

2.  Don’t ignore that tire warning light on your dash. As of 2008, all motor vehicles under 10,000 pounds are required to have a warning light monitor. This is for you safety and also for your maximum fuel economy. There is a tire sensor located in your tire that monitors your pressure. Adding the proper air pressure should turn the light off. If the light remains on, something is wrong with the system and it needs to be checked by a certified mechanic to find out why it is malfunctioning.

3.  Check for any abnormal bulges or bubbles in the sidewall. A sidewall bulge indicates the internal frame of the tire has been damaged. This occurs if the tire gets pinched from hitting a curb or a pothole. The structure integrity has been compromised which significantly increases your chance of a blowout at highway speeds.

4.  Look for the wear bars. All tires have what is called “wear bars”. These are small bridges that connects the tire tread. If these are even with the tread. It’s time for a new set of tires.

5.  Notice a vibration in the steering wheel? This is generally due to a balance problem with your tire. You may have some irregular wear or even have a wheel weight fall off the tire. Its time to have your tire balanced using a computerized wheel balance. Another possibility is that if you had a tire leak and you installed a sealant in the tire. This will also change the tire balance. If that is the case, the tire will need to be dismounted and the sealant removed and the tire properly repaired and balanced.

6.  Check for dry rot. If you see cracks developing on your tire, it means the rubber is breaking down. Tires with dry rot can blow out and be dangerous. It’s time for a new set.

7. Choppy or uneven wear? This means you have worn out suspension components or are in need of a wheel alignment. This can cause your tires to wear at a rapid pace. Time to have your mechanic take a look and see what the matter is.

8.  Check the tread using a penny. Take a penny and place it upside down into the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s hair, it’s time to purchase some new tires.

9. Do I need to replace all 4 tires at the same time?  Most tires should be replaced in at least pairs if you still have two good tires. Buying one tire at a time can cause handling problems with your car. If you own an all-wheel drive car, it is recommended replacing all four tires at the same time. If you don’t, you risk causing damage to your vehicles drivetrain.

10.  Look for the tire rating. The higher the number, the longer life expectancy. For example, a tread rating of “500 is better than a “400”.  Traction ratings are another thing to watch out for. Tires are rated from “AA” to “c’’. So an “A” rated tire will have better traction than a “C”.


   For any of your tire concerns, you can contact Auto Lab of Troy at 248-343-7690 or stop in at 2790 W. Maple road east of Coolidge. We have a variety of tires to meet your needs. We also balance tires using a computerized wheel balancer and have the ability to perform a computerized wheel alignment which is recommended when you purchase new tires to maximize tire life.