There are a lot of myths floating around about your car's tires, and It’s important to know the facts because tires are your car’s only connection to the road. If you break that connection you could lose contol of your vehicle and wind up with some costly repairs. The team here at Fleet Services has busted 5 common myths people believe about their tires.
Myth: Budget-brand tires are as good as big-name brands because they're built by the same company.
The Truth: Tires are like any other product you buy. If you buy cheap Wi-Fi, you’ll get the slowest Wi-Fi. If you buy the lowest priced steak, you’ll usually get a really tough steak. So, when it comes to buying tires, it's important to know that each tire company has a premium brand upon which it focuses research, development and testing. As you look down their list of budget brand tires you’ll notice the development and testing they put into the tires drops. What you’re left with are tires that you can legally use, but may not be the best to use. Things like traction, tread life, noise and comfort will in most cases, be mediocre.
Myth: When replacing only two tires, the new ones go on the front.
The Truth: Rear tires provide stability. Without stability, steering or braking on a wet or damp surface might cause a spin. New front tires will easily disperse water and the half-worn rear tires will just glide off the road. What this means is, if you’re turning a corner you will spin out, which is what we are trying to avoid with the new tires. So, you should always replace the rear tires if you are only replacing two, without question.
Myth: A tire is in danger of bursting if pressure exceeds the "max press" number on the sidewall.
The Truth: The "max pressure" number has nothing to do with a tire's burst pressure. The "max press" and "max load" numbers designate the pressure at which the tire will carry the highest amount of weight. A new, big-name tire will not pop at a pressure higher then the "max press." However, hitting a pothole with super-high pressures may cause a tire to burst or fail.
Myth: The tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) in my new car makes sure my tires are adequately inflated.
The Truth: TPMS doesn’t have to issue a warning until tire pressure is 25 percent below the manufacturer's recommendation. That's "well below the pressure required for safe driving," according to AAA and "barely adequate to carry the vehicle's maximum load," says the Rubber Manufacturers' Association. TPMS is more of a last-minute warning before imminent tire failure, it is not a monitor for your tires.
Buy a quality tire gauge and set your tire pressure to at least the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation, which can be found on the driver's door jamb.
Myth: Plenty of tread means plenty of remaining tire life.
The Truth: Tires can reach the end of their lives without having gone far or done much work. The individual parts of a car usually reach the end of their useful life in seven or eight years, so some auto manufacturers recommend replacing tires every five or six years, regardless of tread depth.
Here's how you can tell how your tire is ready to be replaced:
Check for hairline cracks in the sidewall. Cracks are a strong indication the tire needs to be replaced. Inspect your tires for deteriorating rubber, which can be a big problem for rarely driven vehicles, such as vehicles operated by charitable organizations.
From everyone here at Fleet Services we wish many miles of safe driving.