I know it may not seem it, but it actually is winter. In our area, winter weather is unpredictable and finicky. But winter is still winter; it brings cold temperatures, black ice at night, and road conditions that are harder to navigate. Safety is a serious issue here in Ocean County.* So, what can you do?
Well, firstly, you HAVE to have safe tires. I cannot stress this enough. Though, it’s important for all seasons, even more for winter. Customers tend to reference mileage ad the indicator for new tires; this is a mistake. Mileage plays a part, but the actual, physical condition of the tire is what is key. New tires for you can last 30,000 miles while your neighbor, who is heavy on the brake, can only get 20,000 or less. Also, it doesn’t take into account age. A tire that only gets action on a weekend may have low mileage, but may be a danger on the road. How are you to know? Here’s what to look for when checking tire wear:
→The Tread Wear Bars are the first place to look. They are in the center of each tire tread groove – there should be at least 3 bars. They look like this:
The tread wear bars become more visible as the tread wears out, and they indicate the minimum level of tread that is safe for the road (2/32in). If you see this bar without any difficulty, your tires are due to be replaced.
→Dry Rot on tires is common in our shore area due to the sea air, but tire age and manufacturer play a big roll, too. This is what dry rot looks like:
When you see this, it is time to replace the tires…fast. Dry rot can cause slow leaks and even blow outs. There is no repairing dry rot, either. So if you were hoping to find a DIY fix, you’re out of luck. For the safety of yourself and your passengers, do the right thing and replace the tires as soon as possible.
→Uneven wear, cupping, feathering – all of these are indicators of improper alignment.
They may not expose a tread wear bar, but they can significantly compromise a tire’s safety. If the tire wear is worse on one side than the other and/or noticeably misshapen when you view the tire profile it signals issues with your car’s wheel alignment. The worst part of this is that improper alignment can turn good tires bad FAST. So, you may only have your tires for a year or less, but poor alignment has ruined them for good. And like dry rot, there is no fixing this. They need to go.
I understand it may be hard to see these things while your car is sitting your driveway or garage. These types are indicators are much better viewed while the car is elevated on a lift. For this, I suggest you come down and ask us for a vehicle inspection. We’ll be more than happy to put your car up and take a look at the tires to see what their condition is and help you determine what the next steps are.
309-315 Route 9
Waretown, NJ 08758
Feel free to call or email us to schedule your next appointment.
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM