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Have you checked your tire pressures recently? Do you know the birth date of your tires? When did you last run your hand over the tire’s surface and look for cracks or uneven wear? Have you checked to see if the treads are a healthy distance above the wear bars?

If you have answered no to any of these questions, you are neglecting one of the most important friends you have! Without your tires, your car won’t go anywhere! And if your tires are not treated well, you may end up with a problem on your hands that could result in serious injury, even death.

Here’s why:

1.Tire pressures: if the amount of air in your tires is too low, there is an increased chance of tire failure. There will also be a decrease in mileage as well as an increase in contribution to air pollution. More gas is needed to move the vehicle, thus contributing to more emissions in the air. If the amount of pressure is too high, the tire has less contact with the ground, leading to a less comfortable ride but also risking a catastrophic event in case the tire hits an object in the road or a pothole. It can also negatively impact braking time. Both low and high tire pressures will negatively affect mileage.

Note: Over-inflated tires have been a major cause of SUV roll-overs.

2. Birth date: Since 2002, the tire manufacturer marks each tire with the date the tire was crafted. It is on the sidewall of the tire as an alphanumeric code beginning with DOT. The first 2 numbers following DOT indicate the week, and the last two the year. Rubber deteriorates with age, so you should consider replacing any tire that is 5 years or older, regardless of tread wear.

3. Tire condition: A simple visual and manual check of your tire’s outer condition will tell you if there are cracks in the sidewalls or between treads. It will also show you if the tire is wearing unevenly. Any of these conditions indicate the tire should be replaced.

4. Wear bars: Between the treads at various intervals are “tread bars” that indicate the minimum depth at which your tire tread should be. If the your tire tread is not above that wear bar, it is beyond time to replace your tires.

Tires tend to be forgotten, but it is critical to stay in touch with their health if you want to maximize your comfort and your safety. To see the four points above in action, please check out our video on Tire Maintenance on YouTube at for an illustration of the above 4 points.

Donna McCord
Dean’s Automotive, Inc.


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