About Me

Talking About Automotive Maintenance

Hi there, my name is Nancy. Welcome to my site about automotive maintenance. My car has lasted for more than 10 years without any major problems due to the strict maintenance schedule I follow. Vehicle maintenance includes oil changes, tune ups, tire rotations, alignments and a host of other important services. These services protect the vehicle’s components from excessive wear and unexpected failure. I will use this site to explore all of the different maintenance procedures and schedules available. I hope you can use the information on my site to keep your vehicle in great shape over the years. Thanks for visiting. Come back soon.

Talking About Automotive Maintenance

Stay Safe On The Road By Checking Your Tires Regularly

by Saira Tanis

That small patch of rubber on your tires that grips the asphalt keeps you on the road safely. When your tires lose traction, braking and cornering can become hazardous actions. Make it a habit to check the tread on your tires regularly. When it's time for new tires, get to an auto service center quickly. Here is what you need to know about how your tires keep you safe and when it's time for replacements.

Tire Design

Each manufacturer creates designs for their tires and tests them for safety. You'll notice a variety of styles in the tire shop, including those for special road conditions, such as wet or icy roads. Regardless of the design, all tires use the following basic elements.

  • Lugs - The raised portion of the tire that actually touches the road is the lug. This is the part of the tire that wears down and determines when you need to replace a tire.
  • Voids - This is the open space between the lugs on your tire. This space allows the lugs to flex as the car turns, allowing them to grip the surface of the road. Without the voids, your tire would look like a solid mass of rubber, and you would have no traction on the road.
  • Grooves - These are channels running across the tire. The channels push water away from the tire, improving traction on wet surfaces. This prevents your car from sliding across the surface of the water, called hydroplaning.

Checking Your Tires for Wear

The lug on the tire must be a certain height for your tires to be safe. Check the tires when you fuel up so you'll always know the condition of your tires. There are two easy ways to determine how safe your tires are.

  • Using the wear bar - This is a small strip of rubber that runs along the width of the tire. It represents the minimum safe height that your lugs should be for safety. Compare the lug in several spots against the wear bar. If the lug is at the same level of the wear bar, it's time to plan on getting new tires soon. If the lug is higher than the wear bar, your tires are still safe.
  • Using a copper penny - Place a copper penny into a void next to a lug with Lincoln's head pointed down. If the top of his head is covered, your tires are safe. If you can see the top of his head, the tire has worn down to the minimum safe level and it's time for new tires.

You can also visit a tire shop. They have a special gauge with which they can check your tires. They can give you an estimate of how much tread you have left on a tire and how long you may have before you need to replace the tire. For more information, contact Foster's Auto Service Inc or a similar company.