For a safe drive, it’s vitally important to inspect your tires from time to time! Any good tire shop in Texas can perform a tire inspection, and sometimes it’s even a free service. It’s usually best to let professionals handle this inspection since they’ll have the experience to spot problems that a layperson might overlook. However, in a pinch, you can also inspect your own tires – especially if you have reason to think they may have been damaged.
So what are the most important items to focus on, in a tire inspection?
Four Must-Dos In A Tire Inspection
1 – Measure your tread depth
Tread depth is the most important factor for on-road safety. Your tires need to have deep treads which are capable of gripping as much road as they can, to improve your traction and handling. Tires with worn treads will be much more likely to lose control, particularly during fast maneuvers or in slick conditions.
Standard new tires will have treads around 8-9mm (10/32 inch) deep. This will wear down over time. The absolute minimum for treads to still be usable would be around 2mm or 3/32 inch, but we’d strongly recommend not even allowing them to wear down that much.
When measuring the tread, be sure to check several places around each tire, since the tread can wear down unevenly. If it’s too low, don’t wait – replace or retread your tires ASAP.
2 – Verify tire inflation
Every tire will have a manufacturer-recommended inflation, measured in Pounds-per-Square-Inch or PSI, which is done with a basic inflation gauge available at any parts shop. This will vary depending on the tire, but your owner’s manual will list the recommended PSI. You can also look it up on numerous websites.
Driving on tires that are either over- or under-inflated is equally dangerous. Also, keep in mind that PSI will change depending on the weather. PSI will go up in hot weather and go down in cold, so you may need to change the amount of air depending on the season.
3 – Look for damage
This one is fairly obvious: inspect the tire for any visible damage such as punctures, embedded objects, cracks, or bulges in the side wall. Any such issues should be repaired as soon as possible, at a good Texas tire shop, since otherwise, they represent a real risk of a tire blowout or other damage on the road.
4 – Check the date
Finally, look at the numbers around the rim of your car. The last four will be in a format like 3118. The first two digits indicate what week the tire was manufactured and the last two digits are the year. So 3118 means it was made in early August 2018.
Tires over a decade old should never be driven on, and anything above 7-8 years is risky.
Keep these things in mind, and you’ll be able to ensure your tires are in good shape!