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LET'S TALK TIRES
Your tires are the only things separating you from the road. Do you know if your tires need replacing? Do you know what tire wear conditions will exist to indicate that you need new tires? Do you know how to maintain your tires in order to extend their life? These are some of the questions that I will be answering in this guide.
Here are some guidelines to follow regarding what conditions will indicate that it is time to purchase a new set of tires for your vehicle:
- Edge Wear - When the inside and outside edges of the tire are worn it generally indicates an under-inflated tire or hard cornering.
- Center Wear - When the center of the tire is worn, it generally indicates an over-inflated tire.
- Shoulder Wear - When the shoulder of the tire has a thin line of wear, it usually indicates misalignment.
- Irregular Patch Wear - Flat spots and patchy or scalloped wear generally indicate improperly balanced tires or bent/worn suspension components.
- Worn Tread - Narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread are wear bars, designed to indicate that the tire is worn and needs replacing.
If you have any of these conditions, Apple Auto Group will provide a free evaluation and recommend the proper tire options that will fit best for your vehicle at the best value to you. Most companies do recommend that you select tires of the same brand, line, size, speed rating, load index and load range.
What if you don't need new tires...Do you know how to extend the life of your tires? Below are some important guidelines:
- Maintain good driving habits. Observe speed limits, avoid fast starts and sharp turns, avoid potholes and park carefully when near a curb.
- Always maintain correct inflation pressure. Check the air pressure at least once a month and before any long trips when your tires are cold. Tires can lose 1 psi per month under normal conditions. They can also lose 1 psi for every 10 degrees (F) temperature drop. See your owner's manual for proper cold-tire inflation pressures. By doing this you can also help improve your ride and save fuel. Apple Auto Group’s Quick Lane and Quick Lube facilities check tire pressure on every visit for your convenience.
- Rotate your tires regularly. This can extend tire life by up to 20%. Tires should be rotated during every other oil change, or more frequently depending on your driving habits. Your owner's manual will have a rotation schedule listed.
- Make sure you observe vehicle-loading guidelines. These guidelines can be found in your vehicle's owner's manual or on the tire placard located inside the front driver-side door.
- Inspect your tires regularly. Place a penny between the tread on your tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the treads are worn and the tires need replacing. Do this once a month when you check your air pressure, and don't forget to check the spare. Look for wear and damage and make sure all tires have valve caps, which will help keep out dirt and moisture.
- Maintain your vehicle. Many vehicle components such as shocks, struts and brakes can affect tire performance, so have your vehicle inspected regularly.
Finally, the last bit of information I'd like to pass along are the Federal Tire Speed Ratings. These appear on the tire sidewall if the tire is rated. Please keep in mind that a tire's speed rating becomes void if the tire is repaired, retreaded, damaged, abused or otherwise altered from its original condition. If any of these events occur, you should treat the tire(s) as non-speed-rated.
- Speed Rating M - Maximum Speed of 81 mph or 130 Km/hr
- Speed Rating N - Maximum Speed of 87 mph or 140 Km/hr
- Speed Rating P - Maximum Speed of 93 mph or 150 Km/hr
- Speed Rating Q - Maximum Speed of 100 mph or 160 Km/hr
- Speed Rating R - Maximum Speed of 106 mph or 170 Km/hr
- Speed Rating S - Maximum Speed of 112 mph or 180 Km/hr
- Speed Rating T - Maximum Speed of 118 mph or 190 Km/hr
- Speed Rating H - Maximum Speed of 130 mph or 210 Km/hr
- Speed Rating V - Maximum Speed of 149 mph or 240 Km/hr
- Speed Rating V* - Maximum Speed of 149+ mph or 240+ Km/hr
- Speed Rating W - Maximum Speed of 168 mph or 270 Km/hr
- Speed Rating Y - Maximum Speed of 186 mph or 300 Km/hr
- Speed Rating Z* or ZR* - Maximum Speed of 186+ mph or 300+ Km/hr
*Some V rated tires may have a speed capacity greater than 149 mph (240 km/hr). If your vehicle capability exceeds this speed, consult your tire retailer for the maximum speed rating. Z or ZR rated tires are designed for use on care with maximum speed capabilities in excess of 149 mph (240 km/hr). W and Y speed ratings are sub-categories of Z.
Please note that these speed ratings are based on laboratory tests under specific, controlled conditions. Your tire's actual speed capability may be less than its rated speed, since it is affected by things such as inflation pressure, load, prior alteration or damage, driving conditions, alignment, wear, vehicle condition and the length of time for which high speed is sustained.
Your tires are the only things separating you from the road! Please drive safely and if you ever have any questions or concerns regarding your tires, contact Apple Auto Group immediately!