Most of us operate motor vehicles on a daily basis and hardly ever pay any attention to one of the most vital parts of the vehicle which are our tires. Unfortunately very few of us change this bad habit until it is too late.Below you will find some very useful and important information regarding Tire Safety. This information was extracted from a presentation circulated by Pride, Mexico.
Did you know that tires expire 4 years after the date of manufacture and this date is stamped on the side of the tire? It is very easy to find out what expiration date is on a tire, if you check on the side of it you will have a 4 digit number stamped on it, this number indicates the week and the year it was manufactured, the expiration date will be 4 years later.
This number indicates that the tire was manufactured on the 7th week of 2007 or which is the same February 2007, that would place the expiration date on February 2011.
If we use expired tires these are likely to burst and result in a very serious or even a fatal accident, it would be a good practice for us to check our tires and make sure they have not passed their expiration date.
Another important point that we miss many times is proper tire inflation. Most of the gas stations will calibrate your tires at 28 PSI and if you are going to travel they will even in many cases bring your pressure down to 24-26 PSI because they will “heat up on the highway and the pressure will come back up”. DO NOT ALLOW THIS.
On the side of the tire, you will also find the maximum allowable inflating pressure for that specific tire, some tires have a maximum presure of 32 PSI, some are rated at 44 PSI and some even at 50 PSI. Check your tire to see what the maximum pressure is for your tires. It is an acceptable practice to have your tires a few pounds below the maximum allowable pressure, but not too much.
Different tires are designed for different pressures. You will find your maximum tire inflation pressure on a small number next to the rim on the side of the tire. Never exceed this pressure.
Lower pressure increases tire heat. Infrared photography of tires tested at high speed reveals that damaging heat increases as pressure drops.
Another important point to consider is the load we put on our tires, many times we overload our vehicles without paying any attention to the strain this puts on our tires, exceeding the maximum load rating on a tire may also lead to tire failure and could result in an accident.
Attached table shows the load index and maximum load carrying capacity per tire in pounds and kilograms.
The speed rating for which a tire is designed is indicated by a letter next to the load index.
Many of us have bought tires in the past and when they ask us the size of the tires we just read it from the old tire and give them to the person at the tire shop but, what do those numbers mean?
Some more information is written on tires. These include Traction and Treadwear.
Traction is a tire's ability to stop on wet pavement. A higher graded tire should allow you to stop your vehicle on a wet road in a shorter distance than a tire with lower grade. Traction is graded from highest to lowest as 'AA', 'A', 'B', and 'C'.
This number will give you the rate at which the tire wears out. The higher the treadwear, the longer it should take for the tire to wear out. Hence a tire graded at 400 should last twice as long as a tire graded at 200.