Stopping power

Brake Specials June 13, 2013

Welcome to the Triangle Auto Service blog. Today, letís talk about the effect of tire tread depth on braking. When talking about stopping power, most of us Norwood park drivers tend to focus on our brakes. But our tires are where the rubber meets the road. So having good brakes isnít enough. Safe Norwood park drivers need to have tires with enough traction to translate braking power into stopping power.
Letís focus on stopping in wet Norwood park conditions. In order for a tire to have good contact with the road, it has to move the water out of the way. If it canít move the water, the tire will actually ride on top of a thin film of water.
Thatís called hydroplaning. If itís really bad, Norwood park drivers can actually spin out of control. At best, you wonít stop as fast.
So how does a tire move water? It has channels for water to flow through. Look at your Minivan tire and youíll see channels: channels that run around the tire and channels that flow across the tire. Theyíre designed to direct water away from the tire so it can contact the road better.
And the deeper the channel, the more water it can move. A brand new Triangle Auto Service tire has very deep channels and can easily move a lot of water. As the tire wears down, the channels become shallower and can move less water. When it wears down enough, it can seriously affect your ability to stop your Minivan on wet Norwood park roads.
So thatís why itís so important to replace our Minivan tires when they get worn. Consumer Reports and other advocate groups call for a standard of 3/32 of an inch and they have the studies to prove it.
By comparison, youíve probably seen the wear indicator thatís molded into tires. When tires are worn 3/32 of an inch, the tread wear bar is visible. So the recommended standard has twice the tread depth as a completely worn out Minivan tire.
At Triangle Auto Service, we want our customers to know that the deeper recommended tread depth makes a big difference. Stopping distances are cut dramatically on wet Norwood park roads. A safe stop from Illinois freeway speeds with 4/32 of an inch of tread would result in a crash with worn out tires.
Thereís an easy way to tell when a tireís worn to 4/32 of an inch. Just insert a quarter into the tread. Put it in upside down. If the tread doesnít cover George Washingtonís hairline, itís time to replace your Minivan tires. With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the numbers in the year stamp.
Many Norwood park car owners have heard of this technique using a penny and Abe Lincolnís head. That measure gives you 2/32 of an inch Ė half the suggested amount. Of course, Minivan tires are a big ticket item. Most of us in Norwood park want to get as many miles out of them as we can. But thereís a real safety trade-off. Itís your choice.  Triangle auto service, 4060 N. Elston, Chicago Il 60618, 773-539-5858,,


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