Category Archives for Auto

Used Tires

Used tires many times gets a bad rep. Just because they say that they are used, does not mean that they are used up. In fact, quite the opposite. They are, more times than not, just as good as new. The only real difference is age and price.

This cheaper option could be expensive if one does not know what to look for in the used tires. Some authorities discourage used tires due to safety concerns, but if the old tire if properly examined, it can be as safe as the new one. This guide will show you how to go about the process without compromising on safety. The sure way of buying a safe used tire is to physically examine the various parts as laid down in this guide.

Tread Depth

The groove patterns on the outer surface of the tire are commonly known as the tread patterns. These grooves help in expelling water at the point where the tire gets into contact with the road to avoid a sliding effect known as hydroplaning. The minimum depth of the groove for safe operation on tarmac should not be less than 1.6mm. This depth can be measured accurately using a tread gauge. Different types of road surfaces require different types of tires and tread depth so it is prudent to ensure you have the correct tread depth for your application. If in doubt, refer to the manufacturer’s manual.

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Tread Wear Patterns

Used tires that are still in good condition should have even tread wear. Having a tire with uneven wear means it will not sit flat on the road surface leading to a low surface area at the contact point. Tires with worn treads on one side should not be used. Tires with a rectangular patch of the worn surface leads to difficulties in wheel balancing and should be avoided.

Patches and Plugs

Patches and plugs that are used on punctures should be examined to ascertain their quality. To check for patches, you need to examine the interior surface of the tire for any section that looks different from the others. Plugs are much easier to locate. While a good repaired tire can still be used, it is not easy to tell how good the repair job was done. It is therefore wise to avoid any tire with patches or plugs.

Sidewall Damage

The whole side wall should be examined starting from the bead area all the way to the tread. A worn bead area where the tire and the wheel meet prevent proper air seal. The entire side wall should be smooth without any visible cuts on both the inner and outer surface. No wires should be visible at any point. Finally, examine the section between the side wall and the tread for belt separation. Any sign of the rubber separating from the steel belts is a red flag.

Although these are the main things to look for, any tire that seem unsafe from a general appearance should be avoided. Tires that seem to have been sitting around for a long time in direct sunlight are not safe either as they tend to crack. If examining a particular part proves to be difficult, inflating the tire can be of great help. This will bring out unseen defects such as tiny punctures.

Tire Chains

Anyone who has ever made an effort to drive in sub-zero temperatures is well versed in the perils of winter roads. Although highly-frequented roadways are often salted and sanded, lesser-used roads can pose a dangerous problem regarding safe driving. Modern technology lends a hand with front-, rear-, and four-wheel drive, advanced tire treads, and other assistive devices. But what happens when they’re simply not enough? They offer a unique advantage because they alter the physics behind how tires interact with a problematic surface and can be used in conjunction with already existent technology, such as four-wheel drive.

Tire Chain Classes

Tire chains come in several different classes: SAE class S, SAE class U, and SAE class W. Each class has different minimum tread-face and side-wall clearance and is appropriate for use on a different kind of tire. Class S is well-suited for use on smaller vehicles with limited wheel well clearance, whereas class U is appropriate for lug-reinforced tires with good regular clearance. Class W is intended for passenger tires in light trucks.

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Applying Tire Chains

Depending on what kind of wheel drive a vehicle has, these chains will be installed on either the rear tires, front tires, or a combination. For cars with front-wheel drive, tire chains are typically used on the front tires-this kind of application is the most common, as passenger vehicles tend to have front-wheel drive. Cars with rear-wheel drive, such as trucks, should apply the tires chains to the rear tires. With four-wheel drive, these chains may be used on all four tires.

Vehicles with front- and rear-wheel drive can also use tires chains on all four tires if the manual specifies that it’s appropriate. Make sure to consult your vehicle manual before applying these chains. While these chain rentals are available in locations where they are most often required, drivers should not depend on a chance that the rental place will not have the best size for their tires. It’s safer for drivers to make a little investment in these chains to make sure that they will have them available when they need them, regardless of weather conditions.

When purchasing snow tire chains for vehicles, you have many options to select from. The most economical though are cable chains since they are lightweight and have galvanized steel rollers applied for increased traction on cars with least fender clearance. The other kind is highway chains made of steel with twist link design. They are made for vehicles, which have allowable wheel well clearance with the large chains giving added durability and traction.

Another kind is the snow grip chains, which are a perfect choice for winter because they offer a quiet ride and superior traction. Their square linked designs provide better standing, cornering and stopping associated with other conventional designs.

Finally yet important is the V-Bar snow chains which offer an aggressive traction for emergency vehicles and snow removal but are not to be used on cars with the constrained wheel well clearance. Use of these chains is necessary for safe driving during winter. In most states, it has been made mandatory while driving on freeways and major roads during winter.

In spite of the style or brand of snow tire chains one chooses to use, one should ensure the chains are a perfect fit and are properly installed to provide the best protection for passengers and drivers.