Welcome to the Lube Town automotive blog. Today, let’s talk about the effect of tire wear.
Let’s focus on stopping in wet Alberta conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it can’t move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.
That’s called hydroplaning. If it’s really bad, Alberta drivers can actually spin out of control – endangering themselves and the other drivers around them. At best, you won’t stop as fast.
So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your vehicle tire and you’ll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. They’re designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.
And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Lube Town tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your vehicle on wet Alberta roads.
So that’s why it’s so important for Alberta drivers to replace their vehicle tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.
At Lube Town, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Alberta streets. A safe stop from Okotoks speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.
There’s an easy way to tell when a tire’s worn to 4/32 of an inch.
Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesn’t cover George Washington’s hairline, it’s time to replace your vehicle tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
Many Alberta residents have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincoln’s head – the old method. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch – half the suggested amount. Of course, vehicle tires are a major purchase. Most of us in Alberta want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But there’s a real safety trade-off. It’s your choice.