Evaluating your Tire Wear with @FordCanada
Most of the year Canadians can get away with the same tires but there are some weather driving conditions that put your vehicles tires to the test. Before you travel this holiday your vehicle should be serviced and make sure your tires aren’t overlooked either. To ensure your vehicles tires are at the optimum driving best, tires should be checked for wear, maintained throughout the year and changed out to replace summer tires with winter specific tires.
>> Make sure your tires are in fact winter tires. When you look at them, the tires should have a mountain and snowflake symbol. This symbol of the Rubber Association of Canada’s approval is a guarantee that your tire is designed for driving in difficult winter conditions. Check the general wear of you tires. Observe the flat of your tire around its entire circumference and note any of the following:
* unusual wear patterns on the ends – not enough air
* abnormally worn in the center – too inflated
* unusual wear patterns on one side – problem with permutation or parallelism
There are three ways to check for unusual wear patterns:
>> Check your tire pressure. Tire pressure decreases with falling temperature, and it’s important to check all four tires regularly and keep them at the pressures recommended in your owner’s guide.
>> Use a quality gauge – guessing at tire pressure by sight is like guessing the amount of gas in your tank by how your car sits. Never reduce tire pressure for “extra traction” on snow or ice – it doesn’t work.
1. The traditional way – Using a quarter, it is possible to determine if your tires are still good enough for the following season or approximately another 10,000 km. Take the quarter; put the muzzle of caribou between the blades of your tire. Your tires are fine if you see the tips of the animal’s nose.
2. The manufacturer’s way – All tires sold have a wear indicator groove called witness. The latter is a small square elevation, and rubber located inside of the main grooves. When your treads are worn to the point of being the same height as the indicator (1.6 mm or 2/32 of an inch), this is the time to change your tires.
3. Using a Tire Tread Depth Gage – The tire tread depth gauge is a small tool to measure the thickness of the tread in 32nd inches or in millimeters. This is also the most accurate way to determine whether or not it is the time to buy new tires. It is strongly recommended to change tires when the tread is less than 4 mm (5/32 inch).
>> Finally, check the manufacture date on the tires. Even if the tread is still deep enough for operational use in winter conditions, if your tires are more than 6 years old, its useful life is probably over. The DOT (Department of Transportation) demands that tires manufactured have an alphanumeric code imprinted on the sidewall which has the week and the year it was made. That guideline is also recognized in Canada. If the alphanumeric code is DOT GUNB A1B6 1008 for example, the 10 in the last four numbers indicates the week the tire was made (10th week of the year) and the 08 is the year, in this case 2008.
Disclosure: I work with Ford Canada on reviews; I have not been paid for this post. All opinions are 100% those of This Lil Piglet.