Are Your Tires Keeping You Safe? Three Facts You Might Not Know

    Buckled alloy wheel repair

    A recent CBS investigation has found that there are millions of unrecovered recalled tires. In many instances, these tires are still on the road, being driven by unsuspecting drivers. This fact is especially worrisome when you consider that, according to safety experts, wheels are one of the most important protective agents in a vehicle.

    Some of these recalled tires are the infamous Firestone tires. In 2000, an incredible 6.5 million tires were recalled because of reported issues with blowouts and tread separation. Over 250 people died as a direct result of these tires. Yet, as it turns out, many of these tires, as well as tires from more recent recalls, are still on the road. According to the Tire Safety Group, keeping track of tire recalls could potentially save your life. The group says that, of 5.5 million recalled tires in the last 12 years, under 20% have actually been removed from the road.

    “Even one tire left on the road that could kill somebody is too many. What we’re dealing with is hundreds of thousands, if not millions,” explains Matt Wetherington, who is part of the Tire Safety Group.

    There are many things that can go wrong with your tires, whether or not you realize it. Here are three facts you should know so that you’re driving safely on the road.

    1. How to Recognize an Old Tire

    You should always check your tire’s tread to make sure it hasn’t become under (or over) inflated. The “quarter trick” helps you determine acceptable tread. If part of Washington’s head is covered by your tire’s groove, the treat is at least 4/32″ in depth. At 2/32″, you run into trouble. Also important to note, though, is that even with safe tread, a tire can be old, and old tires are not safe. After six to 10 years, the compound holding tire treads together is no longer reliably safe.

    2. How Autobody Repair Shops Can Help You With Wheel and Rim Repair

    What can a wheel repair specialist do for your vehicle? They can refinish or repair the rim, or fix cracked wheels. While most tires cannot be fixed after becoming punctured, issues like bent rims can be handled by a professional using a hydraulic press. What’s the point? A rim repair, which usually includes rim refinishing, will cost $75 on average, while fully replacing a rim will be closer to $400.

    3. Always Register Your Tires

    In 2013, almost 36 million used cars were sold, versus about 16 million new cars. When vehicles change ownership, registration doesn’t always follow. Re-register your vehicle and tires under your name with the manufacturer. This way, you’ll be far less likely to never hear about an issued recall. Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issues around 20 tire recalls.

    How new are your tires? Do you need rim repair for your car? Let us know in the comments.