Bald isn’t “Beautiful,” when it comes to your tires


December 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

A study finds about one in ten cars on Iowa’s roads is riding on at least one bald tire, creating a potentially-dangerous hazard when wintery weather arrives. Kim Webber, spokeswoman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, says Iowans should closely inspect their tires for two things — wear and proper inflation.

“Check your tire pressure once a month and before every long trip and don’t forget the spare tire,” Webber says. “Check your tires when they’re cold. To determine how much air should be in the tires, look in the owner’s manual.” There may also be a white sticker on the driver’s side door jam, detailing proper inflation levels. Webber says tires that are out of alignment can wear unevenly and she says you should have your tires rotated by a professional.

“By regularly rotating your tires, we recommend every five- to eight-thousand miles or whatever your owner’s manual says,” Webber says. “By rotating your tires, you will maintain that even tread wear on all four of those tires.” Webber says use a penny to check your tires’ tread. Put the penny in the tire groove head-first and if you can see all of President Lincoln’s profile, it’s time to replace the tire. While replacing worn tires may not be in the budget, Webber says you need to put safety first.

“Bald tires are not being replaced most likely due to the vehicle owner putting off tire replacement due to tough economic times and, in turn, creating more dangers on the road,” she says. An on-line survey shows 64-percent of car owners didn’t know how to check tread depth, while nine-percent never checked their tread depth.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)