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Tire Failures

This week I want to talk about tire failures. I was getting a load of scrap tires ready to go to the recycling place and I separated out these two tires, which I've changed on customer's car on the side of the highway this past summer. I thought they'd be interesting for you to see because they were completely avoidable tire failures. Not all tire failures are avoidable, you can have four brand new tires properly aligned, and balanced with the proper air pressure going down the road and a piece of debris pops out from underneath another vehicle. You run over it, cut the tire and now you've ruined a perfectly good tire. You'll never avoid that, but these two tires were totally avoidable. You've probably already figured out that the driver of this car was not checking the tires.

These were completely bald. This particular tire failed because it wore completely through all the cords. They continued to drive on the tire even after it was deflated until this side of it was completely disintegrated. This was a case of never taking a look at the tires. They came off a Volvo 850 in good shape and there is no reason why these tire shouldn't have been checked and replaced much sooner.

This other tire came off a heavily loaded pick-up truck and it's what we call a "P metric tire". If you look at the part number of this tire it's a P205 75R14. "P" meaning passenger car. So, it's a passenger car tire on the rear of a heavily loaded pick-up truck, on the highway traveling at high speeds on a really hot day. That's a formula for disaster. An overloaded or under inflated tire on a hot day is going to fail sooner or later. And sooner was what happened in this case. Make sure someone is checking your tires regularly. You want to check them with a tread depth gauge to make sure that there is adequate tread depth.

When they get down to three thirty seconds they are considered worn out.

A brand new tire for a passenger car will have ten or eleven-thirty seconds tread depth. If it's a light truck tire, it can have anywhere from thirteen to fifteen thirty seconds tread depth. So I suggest you check your tires on a regular basic and be responsible for your tire pressure. Keep a pressure gauge in the vehicle and check them once a month.

Till next time I'm Bill Gardiner for Motoring.


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