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Five Things Your Tires May Be Trying To Tell You

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On: Tue, May 28, 2013 at 11:40AM | By: Bill Wilson

Five Things Your Tires May Be Trying To Tell You

Tires are to cars are feet are to bodies. We need them to get where we want to go, yet we fail to check them for signs of trouble. Unfortunately, that can cause us to miss important messages they’re trying to send us. The results of such carelessness can include hefty repair bills, safety issues, and even traffic accidents. So here’s a look at six things your tires might be trying to tell you.

1. Center wear: This refers to a worn spot that runs down the central tire treads. The rest of the tread usually looks fine. If you see this, then it’s a sure sign that the tire is over-inflated. To correct it, first find out the recommended pressure for your tires by checking your owner’s manual. Then reduce the pressure to that level for all four, using a tire gauge (preferably a digital one) to check it. You can also have an auto technician do this for you.

2. Outer tread wear: This refers to wear that occurs on the tire’s edges, while the central tread looks fine. This is almost always caused by under-inflated tires. The solution is simple. Check the pressure in each tire and increase it to the level recommended in the manual. It’s important that you do so as quickly as possible, however, to avoid possibly throwing off your car’s alignment.

3. Scalloping: Also known as cupping, this refers to flat spots that run across the width of the tire. The problem is caused by damaged suspension components that make the tire bounce along like a basketball as you’re driving. Potential causes include worn shocks and unbalanced wheels. In either case, the remedy is the same. Get the vehicle to an auto repair center as soon as possible.

4. Single-side wear: This occurs when one side of the tire is worn more than the other. This is a sure sign that your vehicle’s alignment is off. Take it to an alignment specialist to have the problem fixed.

5. Low tread: Running width-wise across the tire are low-tread indicators. If the tread has worn down to the level of these markers, then you need to buy new tires as soon as possible. The consequences for not doing so can include loss of traction on wet roads or even complete tire failure while driving.

How Often Should Drivers Check Their Tires?
Once a month is usually fine. Park your vehicle on a hard surface and give them a good looking-over, checking for any of the problems mentioned in this article. Also, check the pressure in each tire to make sure it’s at recommended level. If you see any problems that cause you concern, then have a qualified professional inspect the tires. Remember, your tires are as important as any other major component on your car, and deserve to be checked regularly. Doing so will keep you and your passengers safe, as you cruise down the highway of life.

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