clarksEmployees at Clark's Appliance and Tire Center prepare to replace tires for a customer. Tires are a vital component to safe driving, and routine maintenance can prevent accidents and other problems (Photo by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News).KENTUCKY (3/6/14) — Tires are the link between a vehicle and the roadway, and tire quality has a direct impact on the performance and safety of an automobile. But tire maintenance is easy to overlook. However, ignoring tire maintenance can threaten driver and passenger safety and make a vehicle operate inefficiently.

Steering, breaking ability and traction are all governed by good tires. Worn tread can result in longer stopping times and make it difficult to brake immediately in an emergency situation. Although driving tends to be the primary culprit behind worn down tires, sometimes bald or unevenly worn out tread is indicative of a larger problem, such as a misaligned wheelbase, improperly aligned tires or tires that are underinflated. The following are some common problems associated with tires and how to address these issues should they arise.


Worn tire treads increase the risk of punctures, which can lead to blowouts. Bald tires also may blowout as a result of friction on roadways that is met with minimal rubber. Getting caught on the side of the road with a tire blowout can be a hassle, so routinely check tire treads and replace tires accordingly.

Tread depth

Average new tires on cars usually start with 10/32 inch to 11/32 inch of original tread depth. When tread reaches a depth of 2/32 inch, they are considered worn out. There are different ways to gauge tread depth. Insert a penny into the tread groove with Lincoln's head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, it is time to replace the tires. Another coin test is to insert a quarter into the groove. If the tread touches Washington's head, you have at least 4/32 inch of tread left. Don't have any currency on hand? Then look at the treadwear indicator bar molded into the tires. When these bars become flush with the adjacent ribs of the tire, the tires should be replaced.


According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, improper alignment causes rapid or uneven treadwear. Tires should be aligned and balanced periodically to avoid irregular wear and having to replace tires prematurely.

Tread pattern

Tires feature different tread patterns depending on the brand of tire. They may be directional, asymmetrical, nondirectional, and directional/asymmetrical. When purchasing replacement tires, it is adviseable to match the tread pattern to the existing tires. This helps enhance the performance of the car. In fact, some newer cars require tread to match. Mismatched treads may cause problems with transmission shifting or impact control and steadiness.

Tire pressure

Underinflation of tires can cause failure, stress and irregular wear. Underinflated tires also may contribute to loss of control that leads to accidents. Always maintain the manufacturer's recommendations for the correct pressure, which should be adjusted based on the temperature.

Tires should undergo the same inspection and maintenance as other parts of the vehicle. Tires are a vital component to safe driving, and routine maintenance can prevent accidents and other problems.

SurfKY News
Photo by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Weather Sponsored by

1 DOW 16,903.90
-8.39 (-0.05%)    
2 S&P 1,991.69
-4.14 (-0.21%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,749.43
-41.72 (-0.87%)    

In Other News...

Search Warrant Leads to Discovery of Indoor Grow Operation

KENTUCKY (10/6/15) — According to a Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force report, on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, PNTF assisted by… Read More

Work Zone Lane, Load Width Restriction for I-69 Upgrades Update

KENTUCKY (10/6/15) — Two contractors for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet continue to be active in an extended work… Read More

Most Read This Week

October 06, 2015 4559

County Passes Occupational Tax Ordinance

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 4040

Alleged Attempt to Hide Meth in Doughnuts Results…

by SurfKY News
October 05, 2015 3910

Four Charged with Drug Offenses after Motel…

by SurfKY News
October 06, 2015 3396

Dawson Man Charged with Cultivating Marijuana,…

by SurfKY News
October 02, 2015 3122

Mahr Park Project Manager Describes Present,…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

September 16, 2015 13131

Mining Accident Fatality - Update

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
September 30, 2015 11188

Dawson Woman Dead After Princeton Factory…

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

October 07, 2015 4040

Alleged Attempt to Hide Meth in Doughnuts Results…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 2628

Vehicle Overturns during Two-Car Collision

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
October 07, 2015 2064

3 From Greenville Indicted On Drug Charges

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 882

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 869

McConnell Bill To Help Families Adopting Children…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 605

Lt. Gov. Urges Continued Healthcare Path for…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 588

MCC Participating in Used Mobile Phone Drive to…

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 456

Kentucky Lottery Results for Tuesday Oct. 6, 2015

by SurfKY News
October 08, 2015 454

UPDATE: Mortons Gap Boil Water Advisory Lifted

by SurfKY News
October 07, 2015 417

Two Arrested On Drug Charges After Investigation

by SurfKY News