Managing PSI and Tread Depth is Essential for a Safe Ride
As the weather changes here in the Winston-Salem area, you must check your tires. This area of the country gets an average of 45 inches of rain each year, which is seven inches more than the national average. Did you know that it takes your car 2-3 times longer to stop on wet roads than on dry ones?
Though we only get a few inches of snow in the region, the cooler temperatures and rain can cause nightmares for travelers. Your tires work with the brakes and road to use frictional force to stop the vehicle. Adding rain to the mix increases the stopping distance, which means you must be proactive and ensure your tires are in good shape.
Now, to further complicate things, if your tires don’t have the proper tread or air, they cannot grip the road as it needs to, and this adds to further delays in stopping.
Understanding Tire Tread
Your tires are at their best when they’re new. The tread starts to diminish as you run on them for a while. Rotating your tires is essential as the front tires do all the pulling in a front-wheel drive, and the back ones are just along for the ride.
There’s more wear and tear on the front tires. Rotating them ensures they’re evenly worn. Your tread depth is 8mm new but keeping the depth around 4.8mm for a used tire is recommended.
If the depth of your tire goes below 3mm, it’s time to replace them. A low tread means that your braking distance is longer, so if someone slams their brakes in front of you, it’s harder to stop. Additionally, having the appropriate tread keeps your car from hydroplaning and sliding when it’s raining outside.
The overall handling of your automobile is better when your tires have the proper tread. The tread is specifically designed to lead the water away from the tire, which helps you stop without sliding. Once those grooves wear out, the vehicle has a more challenging time stopping.
Understanding Tire Pressure
Every vehicle has a suggested tire pressure that helps it to run efficiently. Your tire pressure may seem just like a number, but it’s vital to many aspects of safety and a smooth ride. There are many things affected by incorrect pressure, and here are a few things to consider.
1. The Lifespan is Greatly Diminished
First, it will affect the lifespan if you don’t run your tires on the proper psi or pounds per square inch of air. Since tires are pretty expensive these days, you want to keep them rolling as long as possible. Here are some other things your tire pressure affects.
2. The Comfort of Your Ride
If your tire pressure is too high or too low, it will affect the ride. When it’s too high, less of the tire is meeting the road’s surface, so the ride will be bouncy and uncomfortable for passengers. If it’s too low, it can be bumpy due to more tire hitting the road. The psi recommended by the manufacturer is for optimal performance and comfort.
3. Gas Consumption Increases
When your tires aren’t properly inflated, they will develop a bulge in the middle, which means more rubber meets the road. This makes it harder for your car to go, and thus it requires more power. The more energy you use, the more gasoline your vehicle will consume.
Even if your tire’s psi is off by a mere one percent, it can have a three percent effect on your gas consumption. It probably doesn’t sound like a whole lot initially. However, if you consider that the average person drives 12,000 miles a year, this will cause an increase of $145 at the gas station.
Now, what if the tires were off by 2-3 psi? The amount of gas used would only grow. With gas prices constantly increasing, saving where you can is essential.
4. There are Numerous Safety Concerns
If your tire pressure is too low, there will be more friction because the tire is touching the ground more. All this friction means more heat and wear on the tires. Have you ever experienced a blowout?
You may have hit something on the road, but it might have been caused by your tires not being correctly inflated. See, the tread can separate under the intense heat from working harder and cause a blowout.
Final Thoughts on Tire Pressure and Tread
There are more than 250,000 people that call Winston-Salem home. When you consider how many folks are on the roads each day, it’s imperative to have a car that’s road worthy. When the colder season sets in, you want to ensure that your automobile is safe for you and those driving around you.
While this area doesn’t get much snow, we certainly get a lot of rain. Any moisture on the road slows your stop times and reduces visibility. It would help if your tire tread and pressure were according to manufacturer recommendations to ensure optimal performance.
If you need a tire inspection or to ensure that your tires are at the right psi, stop by and see us. We can quickly identify tire issues that can keep you from having an accident on NC’s busy highways.