Tires, tires, tires, tires, tires!

“Tires tires tires tires tires…it’s all about the tires….no matter what you do to that car, none of it matters more than those four black donuts on the corners.” Such was the wisdom from a veteran Saturday night short track stock car driver to a 25-year-old me two decades ago. Better shocks, better springs, more power, a better setup, heck, even a better driver, can not make a racecar improve more than a new set of good race tires.

Over the course of the last 100 years the amount of research and development put into the automobile defies the imagination. Countless billions have been invested into better brakes, better suspensions, steering, weight savings, efficiency, all with the goal of building more fuel efficient, faster lighter cars that stop better, handle better and are less expensive while being more fun to drive. However, nothing makes enough of a difference to overcome poor traction from worn tires, particularly in wet weather. This article illustrates this, specifically regarding wet weather. Good tires are literally life and death difference on your car.…/driving-on-worn-tires-i…/….

How to save money:

When it comes to saving money by waiting to replace your tires, the math simply does not hold up. This article (…/safety-tips-bad…)Automotive Fleet, shows that over 700 fatalities and 11000 accidents occur each year due to bad tires.

The true story is likely much more serious as well because the causes of accidents are usually determined by police officers who have little to no training in using scientific analytics to determine the cause of an accident. The report will likely say “Following too closely” attributing the cause to operator error rather than to improper equipment. The true number of deaths to improper equipment is likely exponentially larger.

Even in states like Virginia, where we have a well run State Safety Inspection program (even our small shop performs over 400 inspections per year) often have tire wear standards far below industry recommended standards. Virginia State Safety Inspection guidelines specify that to fail for wear a tire must be worn below 2/32nds of an inch at three points across the tread at three points around the tire. That standard ensures that any tire that fails must be very, very worn. By comparison the Consumer Reports advocacy group says here (…/when-to-replace-your…/) that tires should be replaced at 4/32s of an inch to avoid severe reductions in wet weather tractions.

How to stay safe:

Here at Professional Auto Diagnostics and Repairs, Inc we flag tires as RED (needed soon, safety issue) at below 4/32nds of an inch. Getting an extra 3000 miles (7%) out of your tires is not worth the life of you or your family.
So to sum up, as we approach the rainy season, get your car’s tires checked (we do it for free) and keep your family safe and protect your investment! Thanks for reading,

Michael Leech
ASE Master Tech L1,L2,L3
Owner, Professional Auto Diagnostics and Repairs, Inc