Fall Tire Check

Fall is in the air! As temperature drop and rain and snow start appearing in Mukwonago’s weather forecast, take the time to make sure your tires can handle the changing conditions.

First, check your tire pressure. As an estimate, for every 10 degrees that the temperature drops, your tires will lose about 1 psi of pressure. That means that as temperatures drop 30 to 50 degrees, your tires can quickly become under inflated by 3-5 psi.

Driving on a tire with too little air is extremely dangerous. Underinflated tires shift the shape of the tire so that the road comes in contact with the thin side wall instead of the treaded part of the tire. Meaning, if you continue to drive on low tires, you’re risking faster wear and tear, irreparable damage, and a blow out or flat tire on the road!

Next, check your tread. If your tire has less than 2/32 of an inch of tread, it is bald and needs to be replaced. Check this at home with a penny – simply place the penny upside down in the groove of your tire. If you can see Lincoln’s head, you need new tires… The distance from the edge of the penny to the top of Lincoln’s head is 2/32 of an inch.

You can perform the same test with a quarter. The distance to the top of Washington’s head is 4/32 of an inch, which is the same as the recommended tread for snowy and icy conditions. Unless you switch to winter tires, consider replacing your tires when the tread falls below 4/32 of an inch.

Finally, check for worn spots. When tires are properly aligned and inflated, all four tires should wear evenly and maximize the life of your tires. Worn or bald spots are a warning sign for issues like alignment or underinflated tires. Check and compare the tread depth on all four tires, but also check the inside and the outside of your tires.

Stay safe on wet, icy, slippery roads this fall with proper tire care! Stop by SS Research and ask our certified auto repair technicians to inspect your tires. If you notice any warning signs, contact us at 262.968.3324 for car care advice right away. Schedule an appointment for an alignment inspection, tire rotation, or new tire purchase.