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How to Interpret Your Vehicle's Tire Tread Wear

Last updated 5 years ago

There are dozens of maintenance tasks that need to be performed to ensure that your car, truck, or SUV is roadworthy. Unfortunately, one of the most important aspects of routine automotive maintenance is also one of the most neglected: tire care. Your tires are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about vehicle performance, but they play a large role in your car’s handling, safety, and fuel efficiency. To ensure that your tires are in good shape, check for tread wear at least once a month. Here’s what to look for:

Worn edges. If both edges of any particular tire are worn down, it could indicate that the tire is underinflated. When a tire is underinflated, it tends to run “flat” against the road, causing both edges of the tread wall to become worn down. Stop by your local tire store to have the tire inspected for leaks and to determine whether the wear is severe enough to warrant buying a replacement tire.

Worn center tread. If the center treads are worn significantly more than the edges, that tire could be overinflated. When a tire is overinflated, it becomes elongated along the center tread line, causing that specific tread pattern to take most of the abuse. As long as the tire is still in good shape and the center tread line is not too worn down, you can let air out to manufacturer’s specifications and continue driving on the tire.

One-sided wear. If one side of a tire is noticeably more worn than the other side, it means that your vehicle is not properly aligned. Ideally, your tires should run perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. When your vehicle is out of alignment, it causes the tires to “toe-in” or “toe-out,” thus increasing the amount of tread wear on one particular side of the tire. Stop by Dekalb Tire and let our alignment experts ensure that your vehicle drives smoothly and safely.

Whether you are in need of a new set of tires, wheel alignment, or routine automotive maintenance, Dekalb Tire is here to make sure that your vehicle runs smoothly. We have five convenient Atlanta locations, including facilities in Smyrna and Buckhead. Contact us online or call (404) 252-9895 for additional information.


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