In Auto Mechanic Training? 3 Signs Tires Need Replacing
Among the knowledge and skills you will learn in auto mechanic training, identifying when vehicle tires need to be repaired or replaced is an important skill to have. Damaged or worn tires can be unsafe on the road, so ensuring clients’ tires are in good condition is critical for any auto industry professional. Throughout your courses, you’ll learn to identify signs indicating that tires need to be repaired of replaced. Here are three signs to look out for during your career.
1. Look for Bulges and Cracks on Tires After Auto Mechanic Training
Bulges and cracks are two of the most common and easily recognizable signs that a tire needs to be replaced. Bulges can look like lumps on the sidewalls or tread of the tire and indicate the location of a weak spot on the tire. This could lead to a tire blowout; thus, it is recommended that a tire with bulges on it be replaced as soon as possible.
Similarly, cracks on the sidewall of tires show that there is not as much structural integrity left in that part of the sidewall and that there may be a leak. This lack of structural integrity could also lead to a blowout due to the rubber eventually failing and splitting apart. Cracks in a tire’s sidewall may be caused by several factors, such as natural wear and tear, improper wheel alignment, or if the tire was driven against a curb. Auto mechanic school teaches you how to spot these signs and successfully service the tire.
2. There is Significant Tire Tread Wear
Tire tread is the car’s contact patch with the road, and a lot of tread means that the car grips the road better. Auto mechanic training teaches you that if the tread is worn down, then the traction provided by the tires may no longer be ideal. Modern tires offer an indicator when the tire tread is wearing down. These indicators are small bars built into the tires, which will be invisible or hardly visible when the tire is new. They will begin to show when the tread wears down. When a client brings their car in, and you notice more than one or two of these, it is best to recommend new tires. You will be shown examples of this during your training, allowing you to identify it on a client’s car when working at an auto shop.
Older tires do not have this technology, but there are effective ways to determine whether the tire tread left is enough, often using professional equipment. One way to test the tread using no equipment at all is to put a nickel or a quarter in the tread, and if a part of the figurehead is covered by the tread, then there is enough tread left on the tire. If the figurehead is exposed and is completely visible, then that means new tires are likely needed.
3. There are Vibrations When Driving Both Slow and Fast
Just because a car is vibrating does not mean you will need to recommend new tires to the client immediately. If it vibrates at both fast and slow speeds, it is a cause for concern, especially if it vibrates more than normal on a smooth road. Vibrations at fast speeds may mean that the wheels are not aligned properly or are out of balance. During your training, you will learn wheel alignment theory, which will help you know if this is where the problem lies. However, if the car vibrates at slow speeds as well, that means there may be an internal problem with the tires, and you may need to recommend that the tires get replaced. To truly understand the situation though, you will need to drive the client’s car at both slow and fast speeds. This will help you indicate where the problem lies and if they need a new set of tires or to align the wheels.
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