Why Your Tire Tread Health Matters

tire tread is important, here's why it matters and how to check tread on tires

You know your tires are one of the most important parts to your vehicle and to your safety on the road, but do you know a few reasons why tire health matters? There are three main reasons why it is important for you to know that your tires are in their best shape.

1. Safety

Safety may sound like an obvious answer, and it is. If you are driving with tires that are not inflated enough with air, or are flat without your knowledge, you could be risking a blowout. If you blowout at high speeds, you could lose control of your vehicle. That is a very scary situation, and on that can be avoided by checking your tire pressure often. Most Nissans come with an automatic tire pressure screen in the display between your driver gauges, and can alert you of low pressure, high pressure, and even help you refill your tires’ air by honking when they’ve reach optimum capacity! Check out this video to watch more info on this feature.

2. Gas Mileage

When your tires aren’t inflated fully, or under optimum pressure, it creates a drag. This force automatically works against your car and slows it down, which will negatively impact your gas mileage as your car works harder to get going. This also happens when your tire treads are wearing thin, or developing uneven wear. As a result, your car has to work harder to get moving (or slow down, see below), and, again, your mileage is being impacted and decreasing–all because of your tires.

3. Traction

Tires are the number one force, alongside your breaks, in driving safely. When you drive on worn-out or old tires, your ability to stop decreases over time. Check out this infographic for an example of how much quicker you can stop on fresh tires versus older, worn-down tires:

how tire tread affects your ability to stop infographic

So, how do you check your tire treads?

Our team would be happy to check your tire tread for you, alongside your next tire rotation, but if you are in-between service appointments, and want to check it yourself, it’s pretty simple using a penny or a quarter!

 use a penny to measure tire tread depth use a quarter to inspect tire tread depth

The penny is the first place to start. Place a penny with Abraham Lincoln’s head facing you into the shallowest groove on your tire. The goal here is to cover up his head with your tread. If you aren’t seeing his head, you are good. As it gets more covered up, you know your tires are beginning to wear down. Once you see his entire head, your tire has reached the end of its life and needs to be replace.

Use a quarter if you drive more frequently, drive in the rain more often than not, or just want an earlier notice that it is time to replace your tires. Place George Washington’s head upside down and facing you in the shallowest groove. Again, you want your tread to cover his head. If you can see his whole head, you are almost at the end of your tire tread depth, and should get your tires checked and replaced soon.

We’re here to help you with all your tire needs, serving Shelbyville & Murfreesboro! Schedule your appointment today.

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