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TireCheck

Tire pressure monitoring systems can save lives.

Most people ignore their tires, yet tires are undoubtedly a critical safety component on a vehicle. Where the rubber meets the road affects traction, handling, steering, stability and braking. Because of this, a sudden tire failure can have serious consequences, especially if it occurs when operating at high speeds.

 

 

  • Nearly 250,000 accidents occur in the United States per year due to low tire pressure.
  • About 75 percent of roadside flats are preceded by a slow leak or under-inflation.
  • According to a recent survey, America could reduce its fuel consumption by 10 percent and save a collective $2 billion a year by keeping tires properly inflated.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that tire pressure monitoring systems could prevent as many as 79 deaths and 10,365 injuries each year in the United States.

What are the effects of under-inflation?

Annually, an estimated 23,000 accidents and 535 fatal accidents involve blowouts or flat tires. Maintaining proper tire air pressure is not only a major safety concern but can also affect the handling and performance of your vehicle.

Why is it more expensive and time-consuming to have tires serviced rather than rotated?

Technicians use special diagnostic tools to test and recalibrate sensors any time a tire is moved from one location on the vehicle to another. A sensor must be tested to make sure it is functioning correctly and also must be reprogrammed whenever tires are moved from one position to another during rotation. OEMs recommend a sensor service kit be installed every time a tire is serviced. These kits include replacement parts to properly service the sensor. Sensors are powered by a battery that usually has a life of 6 to 8 years. The sensor has to be replaced when the battery fails because the sensor’s batteries are not replaceable.

Tire Guide and Tips: Understanding Your Tires
For example, the number may read P225/70-R15, 89H:

  • P = Passenger Tire (LT = Light Truck)
  • 225 = Overall width of the tire in millimeters
  • 70 = Sidewall height (distance from rim to tread) as a percentage of the tread width (known as aspect ratio)
  • R = Tire construction; this one is Radial (also, B = Belted Bias, D = Diagonal Bias)
  • 15 = Represents the size of the wheel in inches
  • In this example, the tire has the number 89H. This is the weight capacity of the tire. However, in most cases, you will not see this heading on the sidewall.
  • A speed rating is sometimes put in front of the R (or B or D). A straight R rating means that it is rated for speeds of up to 100 mph. The manufacturer does not recommend this tire for speeds greater than 100 mph. Other speed ratings are: S=112 mph, T=118 mph, U=124 mph, H=130 mph, V=149 mph and a Z-rated tire is for speeds in excess of 149 mph.
  • The V- and Z-rated tires have excellent dry pavement grip/traction, but due to their soft rubber compounds, they do not have a long life.
  • A tread rating indicates how long a tire should last. This figure is written in small letters on the sidewall of your tire. The higher the number, the longer the tire should last. 100 is the basic tread wear rating.
  • The traction rating works just like grading – ‘A’ being the best, ‘B’ is good, and ‘C’ is acceptable. This number is also found on the sidewall.
  • Temperature ratings work the same – ‘A’ best, ‘B’ good and ‘C’ acceptable. If you drive your car very hard, you want a temperature rating of ‘A’ because a ‘C’ would fail faster under these conditions. Again, look for this number on the sidewall.

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Thank you for visiting Master Tech Automotive Inc in Taylors, SC. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer. Schedule your appointment today (864) 292-9010 or schedule online.

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