Tires should never hit the pavement without an automotive pro giving them the go ahead.
Professionals in auto careers can read tire sidewalls like safety manuals, identifying the information they need to keep clients safe. DOT (Department of Transportation) and UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) codes provide details on tire expiry dates, treadware, traction, and temperature grades. Specs codes reveal each tire’s type, load index, speed rating, and more.
And this just scratches the surface! A good automotive course will teach you the essential facts you need to know about tire safety. Start off by checking out our handy infographic, a Quick-Guide to Automobile Tires.
Types of Tires
Different types of weather-specific tires have been developed to optimize safety all year round. They are tested through exposure to extreme cold and heat under controlled indoor conditions.
- Winter: mud and snow capable, flexible tread, short tread life, safe below 0⁰C
- All-Weather: water-repellant, maximized traction, safe for temperatures above and below 0⁰C
- All-Season: optimized wet-grip tread channels, long tread life, quiet ride, safest above 7⁰C
- Summer/Performance: superior grip, short tread life, rougher ride, safest above 7⁰C
Optimal pressure levels are essential for preserving the life of automobile tires, promoting a safe and steady ride, and helping to prevent flats.
- According to the Canadian Rubber Association, improper tire inflation causes 75% of flats and 250,000 Canadian road accidents per year.
- Low tire pressure increases road friction, wasting up to 5% of each tank of gas or $500 of gas money per year.
- Under inflation causes rapid wear and tear of the tread shoulders through excessive flexing
- Over inflation boosts impact damage risk and tread deterioration by putting too much pressure on the centre of the tires
- Proper inflation produces a smooth, flat tread surface, encouraging a safe and steady ride
Typical tires lose up to 7kPa of air pressure per month. Use a tire pressure gauge to check your tires every few weeks and after each seasonal temperature change.
–Overloading vehicles beyond load rate requirements (common in trucks, pickups, and SUVs)
–High Speeds that surpass a tire’s km/h ratings – leading to burnt treads and tire blowouts
–Environment hazards like potholes and road debris often cause unavoidable tire damage
Signs + Advice
– Uneven tread: bald spots and uneven channel depth obvious to the touch
– Bulges or blisters: extreme weak spots and ruptures that mean tires need replacing ASAP
– Tire color: browning around the sidewalls or grey edging on the tires’ shoulders