DEBUNKING THE 7 MOST COMMON TIRE MYTHS
Tires are one of the most important parts of your car when it comes to safety. They are also something most car owners don't research until it is time to have them replaced. Because of that, several myths about tires exist in common culture and are accepted as fact. However, in reality, they couldn't be further from the truth.
Here are the seven most common tire myths that drivers tend to fall for:
1. You should only buy tires in sets of four.
Fact: While it is recommended that you replace all four car tires at the same time, it's not always feasible or even necessary. For instance, if your tires are relatively new - about 8/32' of tread depth or more - and you suffer a blowout in one, it doesn't make sense to replace the other three. Additionally, replacing tires can be costly and not every driver can afford to replace all four at the same time. If this is the case and two of your tires are still safe for driving - tread depths of 3/32' or more -then buying two tires will help improve your safety.
2. When buying two tires, they should be placed on the front axle.
Fact: New tires should always be placed on the car's rear axle if they are bought two at a time. Maintaining control of your car, particularly on wet roads, is easier with new tires on the rear axle, because they have deeper tread, better grip, and evacuate water more effectively. Deeper tire tread keeps your car more stable on wet surfaces, especially during emergency handling, and helps prevent hydroplaning.
3. TPMS systems eliminate the need to check tire pressure.
Fact: Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) doesn't trigger your car's warning light until tire pressure is 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation. You should check your tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge at least every month. If not, you could be driving on underinflated tires, which causes uneven treadwear and risks your safety.
4. If the tire is the same size as the original, it can be safely used on my vehicle.
Fact: Several variables are used by the car's manufacturer to determine the right tire. Size is one, but speed rating and load index are also factors. Consult your vehicle's placard, located inside the doorjamb, or owner's manual before selecting replacement tires.
5. With all-season tires, there is no need to buy snow or summer tires.
Fact: All-season tires are designed to perform adequately in all conditions, but they do not offer features specifically for any season. In deeper snow and ice or exceptionally cold weather, for instance, winter tires offer much better traction and handling than their all-season counterparts.
6. Provided the tire tread is deep enough, they don't need to be replaced.
Fact: As with anything, the older a tire gets the more prone it is to damage. Older tires that have been exposed to the elements will degrade over time and eventually should be replaced. Other factors can damage tires as well, such as running over potholes or into curbs. Damaged tires are unsafe and should be replaced as soon as possible.
7. Punctured tires always must be replaced.
Fact: Commonly, punctured tires only need to be patched. If the puncture isn't on or too close to the sidewall, your tire will most likely just need to be repaired, which is much cheaper.