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Tag: tire blowout

The front of a red car is parked near a leaning stack of shiny new tires
Choosing tires isn’t as complicated as it looks. Here’s a few things to look for.

One of the most essential maintenance checks on your car is your tire quality. Buying tires, and knowing when to buy, is important for your safety and to prevent unnecessary wear and damage to your car.

Most tires need to be changed between 25 and 50k miles. Not all drivers wear their tires the same. Sometimes it depends on how frequently the driver uses the vehicle. Sometimes it’s the type of terrain you drive on or even the type of car you drive. The type of tires, themselves, have different lifespans. Regardless, buying new tires is important when you have significant wear.

When do I know it’s time to get new tires?

This will depend on the kind of tires you have. There are a few signs to look for to determine if you need new tires.

  1. Tread – You should be able to stick a penny in your tread, the top of Abe’s head downward, and not be able to see the top of his head. If you can, it’s time for new tires.
  2. Age – Your tires have an expiration date on them. While this may not be the most reliable way of telling if your tires need replacing, if you drive a lot, and it’s past your expiration, it’s probably time. Also, tires should not be used after 10 years, at which point they start breaking down.
  3. Uneven wear – If your tires show more wear on the edges, or on one side more than the other, you need to get them replaced. Uneven wear can be caused by a number of factors, including under-inflation or needing an alignment.
  4. Sidewall damage – Some damage in the tread (like a nail, for example) can be repaired, but damage to the sidewall affects the integrity of the entire tire. If you see signs of sidewall damage, get new tires ASAP.

It’s important to properly maintain your tires to get the most mileage out of them and to stay safe on the road.

There are quite a few options when it comes to buying tires. A good tire shop will help walk you through your options and the benefits of certain tires. Here are a few things you’ll want to look at before you go to buy.

What size tires do I need?

Look at your car specs. Your owner’s manual should list the minimum specifications for buying tires. This is what the manufacturer recommends for safety and optimum car performance. You can also find this on the inside of your driver’s door. When buying tires, be sure to get an appropriate size.

What type do I need?

There are three main types of tires you can buy: Summer, All-Season, and Winter. Each has pros and cons. In warmer weather (like Central Texas) you’ll likely want summer or all-season tires. Summer tires often have better grip, handling, heat resistance, and less chance of hydroplaning. All-season offers a bit stiffer handling, but it can better handle snow (should you run into it) and last longer.

Here’s a breakdown:

Summer:

Best for: Sports cars, beginning drivers, summer temps, rainy weather

Drawbacks: Don’t last as long, not meant for cold temps, can’t drive well on heavy snow and ice.

All-season:

Best for: A variety of weather, drivers with trucks and SUVs, commuters, rolling resistance

Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, stiffer handling, and slightly less effective traction in rainy weather

Winter:

Best for: Regular snow driving, ice traction, road grip, SUVs and pickups

Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, more expensive, need to be switched out in the summer

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a close-up of the front right tire of a dark car parked in a garage
Tire quality can greatly affect the safety of your vehicle.

Car owners are responsible for maintaining their vehicles’ tire quality. Insufficient tread or air pressure leads to more than just a flat tire. In 2017, tire-related crashes resulted in 738 fatalities nationwide. While the number of tire-related crashes has dropped in the past decade, they can still happen and cause serious damage.

Every car owner should take a few routine steps to check and maintain the quality of the tires on a vehicle.

Maintain proper air pressure

Experts recommend checking your air pressure once a month, and every time before you take a road trip. Most vehicles have a tire pressure sensor, but it is best to manually check.

You can find your recommended air pressure on the tire, the inside of the door frame, or in your owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires can lead to tire damage, and over-inflated tires can lead to a blowout.

Measure tread

Good tire tread is necessary for traction and to maintain the durability of a tire. When tires look smooth, they need to be replaced.

A simple way to measure the tread is to insert a quarter with George Washington’s head facing down into the tire. If the top of his head shows, the tire is worn and should be replaced.

Having tires rotated regularly helps them wear more evenly and not as quickly.

Good alignment and balance

Maintaining proper alignment and balance on a vehicle can prevent a tire from wearing excessively. If your car doesn’t track in a straight line when your hands are off the wheel, you might need an alignment. Signs you may need your tires balanced include steering wheel or floorboard vibrations.

At Fogle Collision Center, we recommend everyone to maintain their tire quality to prevent a blowout. If you do get in a collision, contact our expert team to vehicle repaired and get you back on the road.

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Someone holds a blown tire upright for the camera.
Tire blowouts are a serious collision hazard.

Many drivers fear to have a tire blowout while behind the wheel. It can create a sense of panic, and loss of control if you are not prepared.

Here are a few of our tips on how to handle a tire blowout.

Recognizing when a tire blowout occurs

A driver must know the signs of a tire blowout so the driver can react quickly and properly. A tire blowout typically starts with a loud, popping sound followed by a “whoosh” of air leaving the tire. As the tire goes flat, the driver will likely feel the vehicle slow down and pulling the car in the direction of the damaged tire.

Reacting to a tire blowout

When a blowout occurs, remain calm and do not panic. It can be tempting to become startled by the sudden pop and change in the car’s handling, but quick and unplanned maneuvers, such as an abrupt turn of the wheel or slamming on the brakes, can create a recipe for disaster. Experts recommend holding on to the steering wheel and allow the car to slow down gradually. Once you know you have control, pull your vehicle over and turn on your emergency hazard lights.

Preventing a blowout before It happens

There is a simple step that drivers can take to reduce the odds of a blowout from happening. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure and look at your tires regularly. Underinflated and damaged tires are a leading blowout contributor. Most vehicles made within the last decade feature tire pressure monitors, but a quick inspection of the tire’s condition is helpful.

Remember, if a blowout happens, stay calm and drive through the blowout until you can safely and slowly pull over. Our expert team at Fogle Collision & Automotive in San Antonio is here to help you with towing, wheel alignments, and car collision repair. Give us a call today to have your vehicle checked so you can get back on the road worry-free.

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