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Monday, November 15, 2010
Tire Safety Tips
Should tires have an expiration date?
This is a question being asked by some of the traffic safety organizations. Right now there is a system in place that includes just the date of manufacture. The newest reports tell you to be sure to check the dates on each tire and that they recommend that a tire be no more than 10 years old. Although, there are some car makers that suggest that tires not be used after 6 years. There is a date that appears on the tire, it usually has 4 numbers, the first two numbers show the week that it was made, and the next two the year of manufacture. (Example – 1510 – would be April 2010 or the 15th week of 2010). When older tires are used they can split open, cause a blowout, not hold the road during bad weather, and cause a skid. Although your car might have many other safety features, tires can control your comfort and safety so make sure they are in good condition and they will take care of everyone in the car.
Tire pressure should be checked once a month and before every long trip. Under inflation of tires affect the handling of your vehicle as well as fuel consumption. It can cause structural failure, uneven tread on the outer edges of the tire and possible tread separation. Look for wear, damage cracks or bulges, punctures, nails or an object that becomes imbedded in the tire. Also, loss of pressure can come from the valve stems. All of these can make your tires look low or flat.
The use of nitrogen to fill the tires instead of just air has some advantages. Although, there is a cost factor involved because many of the tire stores do charge extra to remove the air and put in nitrogen. The advantages of having nitrogen include having a more constant tire pressure and eliminating any moisture that could build up and cause damage to the wheels, possibly giving you a little better mileage and preserving your tires a little longer.
If a tire needs to be repaired, external plugs should not be used. If a plug is necessary it should be an inside plug. Other factors to keep tires in good condition are having them balanced, alignment to prevent uneven wear, rotate when you change your oil or about every 6000 miles, never overload or overheat the tires, put the correct size tires on your auto and replace them when needed.
Of course, always think of SAFETY FIRST!