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The importance of tire tread [Video]

Posted on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 11:33:27 AM

Some car owners may not realize the important role important tire tread plays in maintaining performance and safety on a car. Tires are relatively low tech - simply rubber and a bit of metal and plastic - yet, as the part of your car in constant contact with the road, a bald or under-inflated tire can be extremely hazardous.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 50 percent of the 11,500 cars, pickup trucks, vans, and sport-utility vehicles the agency checked had at least one tire with half-worn tread. Even if these cars aren't driving on rain or snow, these worn tires hurt fuel efficiency because your car isn't hugging the road like it would on newer tires.

For most vehicles, Consumer Reports says tires are considered bald when one or more of their grooves reaches 2/32 of an inch deep, compared with about 10/32 of an inch for new tires. One of the easiest ways consumers can tell if their tires are in need of replacement is by inserting a penny head first into a tread groove. If the top of Lincoln's head is showing, your tires need to be replaced.