Tires for sale at Zeck Ford
When to Replace Tires
When do you think you are supposed to replace your tires? Some people will tell you that when you put a penny in the groove of the tread to test the depth you are not supposed to be able to see Lincoln’s head and that if you do then it is time to change them. This is in part because when the tread wear is about 1.6mm is when your tires legally need changing.
The penny tread depth test has been used for year and years as an effective way of figuring out when to change them. We don’t think that this is an entirely accurate method and we know it’s not the safest way of determining when to head to our shop for a tire change.
When the roads are dry the tire tread doesn’t need much depth to keep connection to the road. However, when the road is wet the tires must be able to keep adequate contact with the road to stop them from hydroplaning.
Replacing your tires at the right time is one of the best ways you can prevent an accident, especially when you may face severe weather conditions. You especially need tire tread in the rain, sleet, and snow. What happens is, the water goes through the tread groove and then is moved out of the way quickly and easily. If your tread is too shallow, you’ve lost this effect.
Here is an example; a racing slick is basically a tire that has a smooth tread. Racing slicks are used in auto racing when the racers need grip at over 200 mph. The tires are chosen based on the weather conditions. Those same racing tires would lose grip at unbelievably slow speeds anytime there was something that stopped their connection with the tarmac.
A driver cannot control a vehicle that has no tire traction. It’s just not possible to control a vehicle that cannot keep contact with the roads. Therefore, tire tread depth is very important, and the Lincoln penny method doesn’t necessarily align with our recommendation that you should change your tires at about 3 mm of remaining tread depth. More accidents happen during the rain and we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. Changing your tires is an investment in safety.
Running on Balanced Tires
Having balanced tires is another huge factor in whether you have a good or bad driving experience. Depending on the sensitivity of the vehicle and driver, unbalanced tires can create an excessively annoying vibration.
Worse than this, if tires are not balanced it can shorten the life of the tires, shocks, bearings, other suspension components of your car, and can drastically affect ride quality. If around the 40-45 mph range you notice vibration and it increases as you speed up it is most likely due to unbalanced tires. Another primary cause of vibration problems is that the wheel and tire assemblies are not perfectly round.
We must accept that nothing can ever be perfectly round and your wheels and tires are no different. The issue occurs when the high spot on both the wheel and tire are matched to each other. This creates a double amount of jump or runout. If, for some reason re-balancing your tires does not solve the vibration issues, it’s important that you get our professional installer to check the runout of the tire.
A “hop” in most cases can be simply fixed by slightly rotating the tire. To do this, our technician will loosen the tire on the wheel in order to turn it 180 degrees, then they will re-lubricate the bead, and finally re-inflate the tire. This should eliminate or significantly reduce the runout.
However, if it doesn’t, then you will have to try again, but this time you should only rotate it 90 degrees. If that also doesn’t work, you will have to try to rotate it 180 degrees once more. If you do this, then all quarters of the wheel will have been tried for the high spot on the tire. The tire should be perfectly round and good to go at one of those points. Once all this is done, rebalance the tire, and give it a go with a test drive. If for some reason you continue to have a vibration issue, then the problem is with either the tire or somewhere else in the vehicle.
Generally, mixing tires on any vehicle shouldn’t be done unless the vehicle manufacturer specifically allows for it. If drivers want to have the best stability and control possible, they should always use tires with the same tread patterns, sizes and construction, and use the same exact kind of tires on all the vehicle’s wheels. Another thing to remember is that drivers should never mix tires that are run-flat with non-run-flat, and shouldn’t mix summer tires with winter tires.
For this reason, it’s preferable that all the tires on your vehicle wear at an even pace and need replacing together. It confirms that the maintenance practices, the design of the vehicle, and driving conditions all worked in unison to wear the tires. This helps drivers understand if the tires they bought were worth the money and if they warrant being bought again, or if they should be replaced with other tires that will maintain the Original Equipment (O.E.) capabilities.
However, wearing out all tires equally is unfortunately not always possible. Things such as different sized tires on the rear and front axles, driving conditions, poor maintenance, and/or vehicle design can all prevent the tires from wearing out evenly.
If the vehicle’s tires wear out at different rates, then drivers will most likely be forced to choose between only buying a new pair of tire replacements or buying a full new set of tires and losing two tires that are not fully worn out.
The best option is to get the same identical tire that your car already has when you buy tires for sale at Zeck Ford. This makes sure that the tread compound, tread design, internal construction, and the tire’s physical dimensions are identical to the tires being replaced.
Due to the fact that your tires are extremely important in your vehicle’s handling capabilities and comfort qualities, it is very important that you always use tires that are exactly the same in every detail, including model, size, tread depth, and brand. Using anything other than identical tires creates unnecessary compromises.
Finding the Right Size of Tire for Your Vehicle
Finding the right size of tire from all the tires for sale at Zeck Ford can be a daunting task, particularly if you want a tire that is different from your standard OEM tire size. There are a number of things to consider including the vehicle type, vehicle weight requirements, tire diameter, and “Plus Sizing.” Another very important consideration is the intended driving conditions such as seasonal conditions involving snow or ice.
Since it is such a key safety consideration, it is important that the tire size can handle the weight and intended loads of your vehicle. It is possible to buy one of the most expensive and well-designed tires only to find that it may be unsafe because it cannot handle the weight or loadings. It can become “over-stressed” and result in a disastrous failure. It is best to select a tire that is rated beyond the needed weight to have a “reserve” to be on the safe side.
The overall diameter of the tire is also of great importance. A diameter that is too small or too large can throw off the data that computerized vehicles use to compute speed and distance. Larger or smaller tires will register lower or higher speeds based on the tire circumference. A larger tire needs fewer revolutions to go the same distance as a smaller tire. As a rule of thumb, for cars and vans, staying within 3% or about 3/4” for a diameter change is acceptable. Pickups and SUVs are more lenient with a 15% allowance in diameter changes.
Plus Sizing came along to help with the selection of alternative tire sizes. Plus Sizing takes into consideration the diameters of available tire and rim dimensions to help get you closer to the appropriate tire size without doing all the research. One only needs to be knowledgeable about the wheel size, weight requirements and appropriate tire width. Using Plus Sizing does the rest and maintains an acceptable overall diameter.
Last, but certainly not least, is the consideration of driving conditions. Where and when you will be driving must enter into the equation. Planning on inclement weather for winter driving must be taken into account. If you intend to stay fairly close to home and your worst driving conditions do not involve extremes such as ice and heavy snow, chances are only one set of tires is all you will need. On the other hand, if you can expect such extremes, or even are in such a climate where snow and ice are the norm, only one set of snow tires may be appropriate. For a mix, it may be necessary to have two sets of tires – summer and winter with fall and spring using one of the two. Similarly, have a 4WD truck or SUV and your road conditions involve unimproved of “off-road” conditions, tires made for that purpose are best.