When was the last time you took a look at your tires? Sometimes it seems that tires are one of the least noticed items on a car, but they are also one of the most important.
Those round rubber shoes at each corner of your car help to keep your car safely on the road. In fact, tires are the only part of your vehicle connecting you to the road, so it's super important you know that they are at an adequate tread depth to safely stop your car when you need them to.
AskPatty is partnering with Cooper Tire to create additional awareness of, you guessed it: tire maintenance and safety. When was the last time you checked your tread depth? Grab a penny for an easy way to measure your tread depth:
Place the penny upside down in the most shallow tread groove. Your tread depth should be greater than the distance from the top of the penny to the top of Lincoln's head. That's 2/32nds of an inch, and it's the minimum recommended tread depth you should be driving on. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the tire should be replaced. Check in several places around the outside of the tire to look for uneven or irregular tread wear from the inside to the outside that could indicate improper inflation or possible wheel alignment issues.
While examining the tread, also look for signs of uneven wear or damage, including cuts, cracks, splits, punctures and bulges. These conditions shorten the life of tires and could cause further tire damage if left unnoticed.
Check all four tires. Your front tires do all the steering and take the brunt of most braking, so they may wear more quickly than the rear unless you rotate them frequently. Check all four tires and your spare for a complete picture of your tires' wear.
If any of these checks signal a need for tire maintenance, or if drivers are doubtful about the condition of tires, vehicles should be brought to a tire dealer for a professional inspection.
Even without Lincoln's help, it's usually pretty easy to see when a tire has reached the end of its useful life thanks to the wear indicator bars built into the tire tread. These bars, which are barely visible when the tires are new, gradually begin to appear as the tread wears down. When the tread is even with the wear indicator bars, your tires are worn out and need to be replaced with a new set.
Cooper Tire has launched its new CS5 Touring tire targeted at modern sedans and SUVs, which features an innovative new Wear Square™ that allows consumers to approximate tread wear on their tires with just a visual inspection. As the tire wears, this visual tread wear indicator transitions between five stages, beginning with a full square on new tires and ending with an exclamation mark when the tread reaches 2/32s of an inch, which corresponds to the standard 2/32nds of an inch tread wear indicators located on the tire signifying the tire is worn out and should be replaced.
Located at three points of reference around the inside and outside of the tire, the Wear Square™ may also signal uneven tire wear and possible wheel alignment issues. If your Wear Squares are unevenly worn, you should bring in your tires and vehicle for a professional inspection.
Wear Square™ does not replace using a physical tool to measure the tread depth of your tires, but it is an easy, visual tool to assist the vehicle owner in proper tire maintenance.
“Our new Wear Square™ underscores Cooper's commitment to tire safety,” said Scott Jamieson, Cooper's Director of Product Management. “Consumers will appreciate this new and easy way to generally gauge the tread remaining on a tire, which is a key part of overall tire health and vehicle maintenance, which is important to safe operation.”
Is it time for new tires?
Just in time for summer travel, Cooper Tire is encouraging drivers to get the summer travel season rolling with its national reward event. The Cooper Tire national Summer Event is happening now through July 15, 2014, providing consumers the opportunity to take advantage of special savings on select Cooper tires.
Consumers are eligible to receive up to a $70 Visa® prepaid card when purchasing a new set of four qualifying Cooper tires through participating Cooper Tire retailers in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
-$70 reward is available for CS5 Touring, Discoverer CTS, Discoverer A/T3, Discoverer ATP*, Cooper Zeon RS3-A, Cooper Zeon RS3-S and Cooper Adventurer A/T* tires
-$50 reward is available for CS3 Touring and Cooper Response Touring* tires
Complete terms and conditions are available at CooperTireRebates.com. Consumers can obtain a rebate form from their local Cooper Tire dealer or download and track their rebate at www.coopertirerebates.com.