Tire Knowledge for Women

Vehicle maintenance isn't just for guys. Women can and should sharpen up their auto knowledge! For their own safety and know-how, here is some tire knowledge that all women should know.

Step 1

Know what the numbers on your tires mean. Not all tires are the same. Each tire comes imprinted with a special number on its side that provides valuable information to mechanics and car owners. First look for numbers on your tire that refer to its measurements. Tires come in all sizes, so if you need to buy tires for your specific vehicle, you'll need to know this number so that the tire salesman can match your tires exactly. An example of a tire number is P 235-60R-17. Here's what all those crazy numbers mean: P stands for passenger vehicle, 235 is the tire's width in millimeters, 60 refers to the tire's height as a percentage of its width and R means that your tire is a radial one. The number 17 is the size of rim that your tire will fit, in inches.

You should also find the manufacturing date of the tire. You want to buy newer tires that haven't sat around and become brittle. Look for a DOT number on your tire. If the number ends in ‘3605', then that particular tire was made in the 36th week of the year 2005. Keep in mind that the manufacturers' warranty may already be up on older tires like these, so look for a more recent manufacturing date.

Step 2

Proper tire inflation is critical. In order to drive safely on the road, women should also have knowledge of proper tire inflation. The required tire pressure for each specific tire is written or molded into the side of each tire. But it is not ideal to fill tires to this pressure without considering the vehicle.  Women need to fill tires according to the manufacturer's suggestion as outlined in a vehicle's owner's manual. Front and rear tires will often have different pressure specifications. Proper inflation allows for a smoother ride and less fuel consumption.

Step 3

Tires need to be rotated. Women should also have knowledge about tire rotation. It's not ideal (or safe) to leave a tire on the same wheel for the duration of its use. Actually, a tire will become worn out in certain places over time, depending on what axel and side of the vehicle it was mounted. Women can extend the life of a tire by up to 3 times simply by rotating tires from back to front and side to side (in most vehicles).

Step 4

Tire tread is important. Tires are made with several different treads. Some treads are intended for harsher weather, some for wet conditions, and some for all-purpose driving. The tread of a tire helps to direct snow, rain and mud away from your wheel's surface so that you can have a smooth ride because your tires will maintain a good grip on the road. Tread is vital to your safety while you're on the road. Once the tread on your tires starts to wear away ladies, it's time to replace your tires. This is a safety measure that is absolutely necessary, since all tires wear out. Check with your state's guidelines on minimum tire tread depth. In general, put the Lincoln side of a penny upright in your tire's tread and if it is below his eyebrow, then your tire needs replacing. Your mechanic will have a more accurate tread-measuring tool.

Step 5

You get what you pay for. When shopping for tires, women also need to a little knowledge when it comes to tire price. In general, the more you spend, the better quality your tire will be. Good-quality tires range anywhere from $150 to $400. Even though tires may seem expensive, women need the knowledge that tires are a very important purchase that keeps them safe while driving.


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