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.

Blowouts

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.

Alignment

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

e-max.it: 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.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

August 24, 2015 11315

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 6244

Alleged Burglar Calls 911 to Report Fire

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 5147

UPDATE: Four Dead, Two Survive Boating Accident

by SurfKY News
August 27, 2015 4698

All is Well after MNHHS Lockdown

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 4450

MPD Coducting Sobriety Checkpoints

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

August 06, 2015 16803

Muhlenberg Woman Reportedly Suffers Violent…

by SurfKY News
August 24, 2015 11315

Teen Reports Slasher Attempted to Attack Him on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

August 30, 2015 3142

UPDATED: 'He Fought the Law ... but, the Law Won'

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 1745

UK Part of First Study on Marijuana Compound…

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 1661

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Following Week

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 1265

Kentucky State Park Camping Deal Offered in…

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 1156

All Occasions Formals to Host Celebration to…

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 29, 2015 1091

Police Searching for Suspect for Attempted ATM…

by SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 1082

UK Student Gaming System to Support Learning for…

by SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 1021

Commission Recommends Zoning Changes at Mahr…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
August 30, 2015 837

Smoke Fills Business, Upstairs Apartment on Center

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
August 29, 2015 599

Keeping the Faith - 'The Wisdom to Wait'

by SurfKY News