Today, we’re taking a detour from our regular programming to discuss an essential but often overlooked component of your vehicle – the tires. They’re the only point of contact your car has with the road, which makes them incredibly important for safety, performance, and even fuel efficiency.
Know Your Tires
Every tire has its story told right on its sidewall, albeit in code. With the combination of letters and numbers, you can determine the type of tire, its width, aspect ratio, construction, wheel diameter, load index, and speed rating. For instance, let’s decode P225/50R17 98H.
- P indicates the tire is intended for passenger vehicles.
- 225 is the width of the tire across the tread in millimeters.
- 50 is the aspect ratio of the sidewall compared to the width.
- R indicates radial construction.
- 17 is the wheel diameter in inches.
- 98 is the load index, or how much weight each tire can support.
- H indicates the speed rating, or the maximum speed the tire is certified to carry a load.
By understanding these codes, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right tire for your vehicle.
Importance of Regular Tire Maintenance
Regular tire maintenance is key to extending the life of your tires. Here’s what you should focus on:
- Tire Pressure: Underinflation can lead to tire failure and poor fuel efficiency, while overinflation can make your ride harsh and affect your handling. Check your tire pressure monthly and before long trips, always ensuring they are at the manufacturer-recommended level.
- Tire Tread Depth: The tread on your tires is crucial for maintaining traction, especially in wet conditions. If your tread depth is below 2/32 of an inch, it’s time for new tires.
- Tire Rotation: Regularly rotating your tires can help evenly distribute wear and improve the lifespan of your tires. It’s recommended to rotate them every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, or as indicated in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
- Wheel Alignment: Improper alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely. It could also lead to handling issues. If your vehicle is pulling to one side or the other, it may be time for an alignment check.
Investing in Quality Tires
Investing in quality tires from reputable brands is always a wise decision. They might be more expensive upfront, but they often offer better safety, performance, and longevity. Remember, at Own A Car Fresno, we stock a broad range of high-quality tires for all types of vehicles.