One of the biggest safety features on your car is where the
rubber meets the road, literally. Neglecting your tires is a safety
hazard – period.
Angie’s List, the nation’s premiere provider of
consumer reviews on local
service companies, asked its highly rated
service experts for advice on keeping your tires rolling
- Tire pressure: Tire pressure is key to safety on
the road. If there’s not enough air pressure, you could
blow a tire going down the road. Have your tires checked at an
auto service shop or you can do it yourself with a tire pressure
gauge and an air pump available at many gas stations.
- Tire tread: The tread on your tires gives your
vehicle the traction it needs to navigate safely through
virtually any weather conditions. Here’s a quick test that
can help you figure out whether it’s time to visit the tire
shop: Take a penny, with Lincoln’s head upside down and
facing you. Place it in the tread of the tire. If you can see the
top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to see a tire
specialist and get new tires.
- Tire rotation: Rotating tires every 6,000 miles
helps them last longer and keeps the tread from wearing out in
spots. There are different methods and patterns of rotating tires
depending on the type of car and whether it is front wheel drive,
rear wheel drive of all wheel drive. The owner’s manual
will spell that out for you.
- Tire code: The string of letters and numbers you
see on the side of your tires can tell you a lot about them.This
is important, because the wrong tires on your car could be a
safety hazard and affect other areas of the vehicle, like the
Look on the side of the tire and you may see something like
P205/70R15. Here’s what that means:
- “P” stands for passenger. If you see
“LT”, that stands for light truck. This is important,
because the wrong tires on your car could be a safety hazard and
affect other areas of the vehicle, like the suspension.
- 205 is the width of the tire in millimeters.
- 70 refers to how tall the tire is compared to how wide it is.
In this example, the tire height is approximately 70 percent of
the width of the tire.
- R stands for radial. Radial tires have a series of strong
fabric layers called cords or plies under the rubber. Most tires
these days are radial construction, but you may see B for
bias-belted or D for diagonal or bias ply.
- 15 represents the rim diameter in inches.
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