Posts Tagged ‘tire safety’

Tire FAQ: Is it Safe to Drive on Old Tires If They Still Have Their Tread?

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Myths around automobiles abound, and in the case of cars it can be dangerous to base your approach on myths or assumptions. So let’s quickly dispel one common car myth, namely that it’s safe to use old tires that still have a lot of tread:

Wheels, you be getting too old for my Mercedes. You're retired!

Question: Can’t I Use Old Tires with Tread?

Answer: you’d better not. The bottom line is this: tires can reach the end of their lives without being used as much as they could. why is this? Because rubber, like most everything else, deteriorates whether it’s being used or not. And in the case of tires, which of course are the only part of your car that ever regularly touches the road, driving on worn-out tires, however much tread they have, is never advisable.

How old are your tires? You can find out by looking at the sidewall. Find the letters DOT and a sequence of numbers. The final four numbers tell you the age of the tire. 2007 indicates your tire was made in the twentieth week of 2007.

Hold old is too old? If the tire is older than five years, you probably shouldn’t drive it. Better safe than sorry – it’s a cliche’ for a reason!

Looking for tires in Santa Monica? Visit Discount Tires Center! And leave us a comment: how often do you check your tires’ tread and wear?

How to Prevent Your Tires from Catching on Fire

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Everyone knows about flat tires, and no driver wants one. Still, most people know what to do when you get a flat: You pull over ASAP! But what happens when your tire catches on fire? Yikes. Here’s a quick primer:

Fire Hydrant

How Does a Tire Catch on Fire, Anyway?
Tire fires begin when some heat source causes the tire to reach combustion temperature. The typical cause is faulty brakes, resulting in the break drum heating the tire. It may be counter-intuitive, but tires will often catch on fire after the vehicle has come to a stop. Why? Because the loss of airflow means more heat.

How Hot are We Talking?
If your tire reaches 600 degrees F, it will probably catch on fire.

How Can I Avoid This?
The simple answer: make sure your breaks are maintained.

If it ever happens to you, make sure you pull over (if you haven’t already) and get a fire extinguisher or use a steady stream of water.

Looking to buy tires? Check out Discount Tire Centers! And leave us a comment: what’s your worst tire story?

Photo courtesy of Michael Holden.