If you were to name the most important piece of safety equipment on your car, what would you say? If you said tires, that’s correct. While features like traction control and your brakes are vital to improving your safety, these are useless without your tires. That is why having the proper tires and taking good care of them is so important.
One of the simplest things you can do to prolong the life of your tires is to have them inspected regularly, at a minimum at every oil change. In addition, making sure your tires are properly inflated and having them routinely rotated can make them last even longer.
In addition to being critical to your vehicle’s overall safety, tires impact ride quality, handling, braking performance, and fuel efficiency.
To determine when a tire is coming close to or has reached the end of its life, vehicle technicians measure its tread depth. Anything more than 6/32 of an inch is optimal. When you’re at 4/32 or 5/32 of an inch, you need to consider replacement. And, at 3/32 of an inch or less, you need to replace your tires to maintain your vehicle’s safety and performance.
When a tire’s tread gets too low, it loses the ability to funnel water away from the tire. This means a car is more likely to hydroplane on a wet road. Hydroplaning is when tires are actually separated from the road by a layer of water. This causes a vehicle to lose traction and could lead to a total loss of control.