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Hey, you're in the vehicle / car zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cars / Trucks / Vans Category: Tires

Maintenance Issues:

How to make use of the tire tread rating system

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

Guide:

Over the course of your ownership of your vehicle, you will go through many sets of tires--that's a given.  Knowing that, it would be smart to have some factual understanding of tires in general, particularly of what standards tires are required to meet and what tires are consequently right for your safe use.  Obviously, not all tires are alike, since there are many different tires specially designed for many different purposes and environments.

When you are seeking to buy tires, do not be misled by salesmen who claim that a certain set of tires can last on the road for at least a certain X amount of thousands of miles--that's simply not the case; charts/displays of any kind that indicate the mileage you will get are also just as not credible.  The reason being is simple:  No one--not even tire manufacturers--can accurately predict how long a set of tires will last you because the longevity of tires is completely dependent on a variety of factors that are different for each vehicle driver.

Factors that determine the longevity of tires include the following:

  • Driving behavior

  • Road surface conditions;

  • Tire inflation maintenance;

  • Tire rotation maintenance;

  • Adherence to maximum tire-load bearings; and

  • Alignment of wheels, among other factors.

 

These factors ultimately determine the longevity of your set of tires and, in effect, how many times you will replace your vehicle tires.  The federal government, through its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, requires tire manufacturers to list helpful information on the side of each tire, including specifying the tire's relative treadwear rate, traction grade, and temperature grade.  Such tire information that is required to be displayed to consumers is a part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Uniform Tire Quality Grading System.

A direct way of understanding this system, and how you can use it to your advantage in ascertaining the quality of the tires you are intending to purchase, is to visit the following government site maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that explains the system in great detail:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/TireSafety/ridesonit/brochure.html

There, you will be given convenient information about essential tire information.

Ed the Handyman

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Your Handyman Zone Team

 

                                                         

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