880 Walkers Line, Burlington, ON, L7N 2G2
My Garage

How to tell if your summer tires are fit for purpose

How to tell if your summer tires are fit for purpose

640 × 480
Now most of us are back to using summer tires, it’s a good time to talk about monitoring and maintenance. Tires are the only part of your car that (should) ever touch the road so are critical to the comfort and safety of your journey. They are also very easy to take for granted and to not give the attention they deserve.

When you change over from winter to summer tires, you would spot any obvious problems such as tears or splits. But would you notice the other signs that your tires need changing?

Tire wear
The most obvious check to make is for wear. Tire wear reduces the available tread depth which decreases overall grip but can seriously impact wet weather driving. Lower tread means less water can be dispersed, meaning more chance of aquaplaning or losing grip in adverse condition.

Use a penny to check tread depth. Have the Queen’s head facing away from your fingertip and place it in the centre of the tire. If the tread comes over her head, you’re good. If the tread does not cover any part of her head, you need to have the tire inspected.

Hopefully you checked the tires over when you switched from winter to summer. You should also check them periodically throughout the year. Your tires go through a lot so a regular inspection could literally save your life. Make it part of your home maintenance schedule and it should take less than five minutes. That is time well spent in my opinion.

Check the tires for cracks, splits, debris and uneven wear. Get under the car and check the inside wall of the tire too as damage there can be much harder to spot. If you see damage of any kind, get it inspected.

Tire age
Tires are made of a number of rubber compounds that have to balance grip, all-weather ability and be hard wearing. Rubber degrades with age and exposure to sunlight so tires have a finite life. Many manufacturers recommend a maximum operating life of between 5 and 6 years.

Most tires will have the week and year of manufacture on the sidewall near the size and PSI information. If your tires are nearing their end of recommended life, get them changed.

Driving experience
If you begin to feel vibration when you drive, especially across different road surfaces, or your car pulls to one side, your tires could be at fault. More specifically, tire balance or wheel alignment. Both can impact the quality of the ride and braking efficiency so need to be addressed as soon as possible.

These issues can also cause uneven tire wear, meaning one side of the tire wears much faster than the other. As well as a safety issue, this is also a cost issue. Tires will wear much faster and cannot be rotated as they normally would. If you begin to feel a difference in how your car drives, inspect your tires or have them inspected.

Car Nation Canada performs tire checks as part of our service program. If in doubt, book a service at your nearest Car Nation Canada location and we can take care of everything for you.

Categories: News