Tires Atlanta, GAIt’s far too easy to ignore your tires until it’s too late and you’re stuck by the side of the road with a shredded tire. Normal wear is one thing, but abnormal wear is a reflection of problems with other parts of your vehicle. You should check the tires visually, run a hand over the tread to feel for abnormalities, and check the inflation with a pressure gauge – the dial type is better and more accurate than the pencil type. Try to check every week, or at least every two weeks. 
  • Overinflation will show itself with excessive wear down the center of the tread. It means that the tire’s profile is changed from being overinflated and the car is actually riding on the center of the tread and wearing it prematurely. Overinflation also results in a hard ride and jittery handling. 
  • Underinflation will lead to excessive wear at the outer edges of the tread. Underinflation is one of the worst things you can do with your tires. It leads to excessive drag and rolling resistance, which costs you in fuel economy; in addition, the heat buildup will lead to premature metal fatigue in the tire’s steel belts, making complete tire failure more likely. 
  • Feathering results from poor wheel alignment; it shows up as a sharp edge on one side of each tread rib, with a slightly rounded effect to the other edge. This can usually be felt as a ‘sawtooth’ profile as you run your  hand over the tread. Feathering is a result of incorrect toe-in angle, possibly due to worn suspension bushings. 
  • Edge wear, with the inner or outer edge and possibly a couple of ribs wearing first, is another indicator of poor wheel alignment. The misalignment could be due to worn suspension parts on high-mileage vehicles. 
  • Cupping will appear as a ‘scalloped’ pattern of dips along the inside or outside edge of a tire. Cupping is usually a sign of worn suspension parts such as springs, ball joints or bushings, which are allowing too much play in the front wheels as they travel down the road.

When is it Time To Replace Tires?

All tires feature ‘wear bars’ molded into the rubber at the base of the tread grooves. These bars are at a right angle to the tread, and will begin to appear as tread reaches minimum depth. If you can see the wear bars plainly, it’s definitely time for new tires. 
States require a minimum tread depth of 2/32”, and here’s an easy way to measure that minimum depth. Take a penny and insert it into the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If it doesn’t touch the top of Lincoln’s head, you’re below minimum depth. Now, try it again with a quarter. Does the tread touch the top of Washington’s head? Then your tread depth is 4/32”. One more time with the penny – does the tread touch the Lincoln Memorial? Then your tread is greater than 6/32” deep and you’re in good shape for awhile. 
Remember that frequent tire rotations and proper wheel alignment are both crucial to the life of your tires – and that neglecting either one can cancel your warranty coverage. Got any questions? Need tires or tire maintenance? Give us a call at Goodyear of Buckhead in Atlanta GA and set up an appointment