Tire Talk

Your car’s tires are arguably one of the most important parts of the car. Without proper tires and air pressure, your automotive vehicle may run the risk of malfunction during use or you may run the possibility of having an accident while driving and we do not want that! Below we will take a look at a few topics relating to automotive tire care and how you can ensure that your commutes will run smoothly.

One thing to keep in mind is that all vehicles are different and as a result, there are many different types and sizes of tires. I will be doing an overall comprehensive guide to caring after your car’s tires.

Without further ado, let's start our tire talk!


Tire Pressure

One of the most important aspects of your vehicles tires is the tire pressure. Having the correct tire pressure is unquestionably vital for suitable vehicle handling. Along with keeping the appropriate pressure, you minimize the risk for premature degradation and complete tire failure. One thing you must be aware of as a car owner is that your tires lose air every day as you drive your vehicle. There is no need to be alarmed though because your tires do not lose pressure at a fast rate unless there is a leak. If your tire does have a leak, your car might have a tire pressure warning system which will engage only when a tire drops down to a severely low pressure level.

Remember how I mentioned that tires can lose a small amount of pressure over time? This can also happen as the seasons change, and the outside temperature changes. It's solely your responsibility to ensure that your tires are properly inflate and be aware of when you need to add air to them. For this I would recommend that you have your own tire pressure gauge and keep it in your car. Being prepared means having a good tire pressure gauge on hand so that you can accurately assess the vehicles tire pressures precisely.


Tire Alignment

Your vehicle relies on you and precision in order to function properly and safely. Your tires and wheels can easily become misaligned due to incidents ranging from bad road conditions and driving habits or hitting a big bump or even getting into a minor collision. If your tires and wheels are out of alignment, a number of problems can develop within a vehicle's system. Your vehicle may pull/drift one way or the other. In other words, if you let go of the steering wheel and the vehicle immediately steers to the left or right, there's a good chance that there's an issue with your wheel alignment. Misalignment may also cause a rough vibration that you'll feel in the steering wheel.

A wheel alignment is a service that must be performed by a professional technician. It's recommended to have a tire alignment any time you have a new set of tires installed on your vehicle. It is also smart to schedule regular alignments according to your automaker's specifications for your particular model. Check your vehicle owner's manual for more information about your service schedule or contact your local auto dealership.


Tire Tread

Your tire’s tread consists of several components including, the shape of the tire, the tread blocks, the tread grooves, tread voids, wear bar, and any extra features such as a rain grooves or sipes. I know it seems like a lot, but I’m here to break it down and help you understand. Tire tread isn't a singular piece, but the whole of the tire that stretches from shoulder to shoulder where the tread meets the sidewall.

When people mention tread blocks, they are most often referring to the tread. Tread blocks are the lumps of rubber that protrude from the surface of the tire. They're the part that actually touches the road. Between them are the grooves, wear bar, and tread voids.

Tire tread wear bar

One way to check tread depth is to look at the treadwear indicator bar that's molded into most tires. These bars are located at the bottom of the tread grooves in several locations around the tire. When these bars become visibly flush with the adjacent ribs the tire has little operating tread remaining. This is a visible indication you to replace your tires.

Tire tread does provide a tire its ability to grip the road. However, this fact only begins to describe the effect that tread has on performance. Vehicles and tires are engineered with a particular kind of performance in mind, and there is a variety of tread patterns and types that match each kind of intended performance. Tire tread is capable of allowing vehicles to corner tighter, accelerate smoother, and brake quickly.