December 4, 2012
Westerville Tire Tread Depth – Washington vs. Lincoln
Filed under: Tires — westerv227 @ 10:03 pm
Today’s Westerville Automotive article discusses the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, Westerville drivers tend to focus on brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isn’t enough. Westerville motorists have to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.
Let’s focus on stopping in wet or snowy road conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water and snow out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.
That’s called hydroplaning. At Westerville Automotive we want our customers to know that if it’s really bad, you can actually spin out of control. At best, you won’t stop as fast.
So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at a tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.
And the deeper the channel, the more water and snow it can move. A brand new tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop on wet Westerville roads.
So that’s why it’s so important for Westerville drivers to replace the tires on their family cars when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.
By comparison, you’ve probably seen the wear indicator that’s molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely worn out tire.
And that little bit of additional tread makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet roads. A safe stop from OHIO freeway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.
There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
You’ve probably heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount.
Of course, tires are a big ticket item for Westerville car owners. Most of us want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.
At Westerville Automotive in Westerville Ohio (43081) we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 614.890.0707. or 890.6700 To learn more about NAPA AutoCare, visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.
Westerville Automotive providing top automotive repairs and service in Westerville Ohio for 20+ years with top trained ASE technicians in 2 locations. From oil changes to transmission repairs, our team will get you on the road and keep you traveling safely. Our goal is your complete customer satisfaction. Westerville Automotive is a Preferred Jasper Engines & Transmissions Owner Installer with NAPA AutoCare Center backed by exceptional customer services. SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY:Our Main Shop - Westerville South: 5591 Westerville Road | (614) 890-0707 | Email | Schedule OnlineOur Uptown Shop: 31 East Main Street | (614) 890-6700 | Email | Schedule Online