Have you noticed that your tires are low? Are you having difficulty gripping the road in your vehicle in the rain? Then it may be time to get your tires assessed. If they do need to be replaced, there are some things that you need to think about when you are selecting new ones.
Many people think that tires aren’t something that needs to be invested in, just because they wear out, and the urge is to slap on the cheapest set of wheels a shop can offer. But there are safety considerations that you need to take into account before you opt for those cheaper tires.
All tires start out with a tread that measure between 8/32ths and 10/32ths, depending on the tire. As you drive on the road, the tire starts to wear, due to resistance and the weight of the car as you drive. This is completely natural, and happens over time. Each tire has grooves and siping, that aid in stopping your vehicle safely – especially in bad weather. When you’re dealing with a cheaper, entry level tire – as you drive on the tires, and the grooves wear down – you’re dealing with a tire that is not as good at stopping you safely.
This is different from higher quality tire that tire manufacturers understand that this happens, and incorporate this into their design – like the Michelin Premier.
“As that tread starts to drop, as you put miles on it, it starts to lose its ability to maintain traction like when it was new. Whereas the new Michelin Premier is designed to be safe when new, safe when worn. So when it starts to wear down, you can see some of the emerging grooves, and those grooves start to open up as the tires wear down. And some less expensive tires don’t have that,” said Rich Campbell, manager for HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire.
Once the tread hit 5/32ths and 4/32th, that’s when you will start to get recommendations from our technicians about replacing your tires.
“Once you start to reach 5 and 4/32ths, the tire isn’t going to be helping you very much in the rain. And you’ll start to feel that in your performance, and you’ll feel it kind of hydroplane a little bit. That’s because your tires are having difficulty gripping the road,” said Campbell.
A more expensive tire tends to have a higher speed rating, which also improves your safety when driving. The higher a tire’s speed rating, the softer the rubber. And soft rubber in high end tires is much better at gripping the road, than a stiffer and cheaper tire.
“The higher the speed rating, the better the grip, the better it stops,” said Campbell.
When something as minor as 1/32ths of a tire’s tread can make a huge difference in stopping time, grip and safety, you need to take replacing your tires regularly seriously. By investing in more expensive ones, you’re actually prolonging the life of your car and the tires, as they will wear down more evenly and provide less risk as they wear down because of the added safety features.
Keep yourself and your family safe, and make sure that you are purchasing high quality tires for your vehicle. Our technicians at HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire will be able to explain all of the high quality tires that we offer, and help you to choose the best ones for your vehicle.