October 5, 2022

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The Right Tires for Your Car

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The owner of a car or pickup truck should keep careful track of that vehicle’s repair and upkeep needs, from getting an oil filter change to replacing the brake pads to pounding out dents on its body. Meanwhile, what about the wheels and tires? It may be easy to take them for granted, but old, worn out, or damaged wheels and tires can cause some serious problems while on the road. Fortunately, a car owner can make a maintenance log to track when their car’s tires need rotation or replacement, and this keeps their car running better, and longer. Getting off-road tires is a fine choice for hobby driving, but off-road tires don’t do as well on paved roads. Tire shops across the United States offer everything from off-road tires to regular tires for commuting, to specialized tires for racing. Even relatively cheap tires can be better than using old and worn out tires, and newer tires are safer, too.

The Problems of Old Tires

A car’s tires will wear out over time, and when they are too old and worn, problems may arise. For one thing, older tires are prone to slowly but constantly leaking air, even if they are pumped full of air again. This constant leaking makes old tires too soft when they are partially deflated, which lowers the car’s fuel efficiency. Worse than that, these soft tires don’t perform the same as fresher tires, and they make driving sloppy and erratic, and the car might be difficult to control. In fact, studies show that many car accidents in the United States today involve one or more cars that had partially deflated tires.

Old, worn out tires also have worn down grips, meaning they are rather slippery, and this is especially hazardous during rain, snow, or icy road conditions. This might also contribute to the high rate of traffic accidents that involve very old tires on a car. Besides that, these old tires are worn thin and might be more prone to getting punctured or ruptured while driving, such as if they run over a curb, tree branches, or hard litter. A car tire might explode if this happens, and the car needs to be towed to a repair shop.

Getting Some New Tires

All of this can be avoided, though, when the car owner keeps track of the age and total use of their tires and brings their vehicle to a tire shop. For example, every time the car’s tires are rotated, the owner can note the current date, and do the same when they get new tired fitted on. Noting the odometer’s current reading can also help keep track, since cars might drive a different amount in a given time frame. New tires can be chosen from a variety of brand names and types, with many being geared toward “normal” driving on roads and highways.

Some tires are more specialized, though, and some drivers have particular needs. Why not get some off-road tires for your stunt car? Some drivers like to go off-road, and drive across sand, through a grassy plain or over rocks, or even shallow streams, which would be stressful for ordinary tires. But off-road tires are tough and have good grips designed for such wild terrain. On the other hand, during winter, a car owner may choose to get winter-oriented tires that have an excellent grip on roads that are slick with ice or snow. Doing this can lower the odds of a traffic accident or sliding out of control, though the driver is still urged to use all necessary precautions for winter driving. In some parts of Canada, in fact, drivers are required to use such tires during winter months.

Can tires be repaired? Sometimes, they can, if the damage is not too severe and if it is not on a critical part of the tire’s body. If a driver notices a small puncture on their car, they can take it to a repair shop or tire shop, and ask to have it patched up if possible. The repair workers will then remove any foreign objects that caused the puncture, then seal the hole. Otherwise, they will simply inform the car owner that a new tire is needed.