Safety First

How to tell if your tires are safe

It may be time to buy new tires even if they look okay on the surface. Goodyear/Facebook

With so many of us depending on our cars, I wanted to share a safety tip with you. This one is about old tires.

Tires last a long time, a lot longer than they did when I was a kid. Back then, it seems like we had to buy tires every couple of years, or 30,000 miles. But nowadays tires might have 60,000 miles on them and the tread still looks good.  But that doesn’t mean the tires are really good.

Tire companies recommend replacing our tires when they are 6-8 years old, even if they look good. This is because tires degrade with exposure to heat and sunlight. This is called oxidation, and it can cause tires to fail without warning. But, even before they get that old, sometimes they just don’t “feel right.”

Have you ever noticed that your car seems to ride rough, and you can feel every crack in the road? You probably think you need shocks, but the real culprit is old tires. But there is another problem: Stopping distances increase as tires age and the tread wears.   

As tires age, the rubber gets hard and loses its “give.” Because tires are your only contact with the road, this causes problems with grip, especially on wet roads. A rough ride is one thing, but skidding on wet or slick pavement is another.

So, before you hit the road for your next adventure, stop at your tire shop or your local auto shop and have them take a good look at your tires.  If you want to look at the date on the tires yourself, look on the sidewall and you will see the letters “DOT” followed by a series of letter numbers: DOT X000 XXXX 4014 The last set of numbers representing the week and year the tires were made. In this case it was the 40th week of 2014. This is good knowledge to have. Never buy tires that are more than two years old. I have found more than once that the “Big Tire Sale” at XYZ Tire Center & Nail Salon is really them selling four year old tires they got really cheap.

Check the tires on your vehicles and if they are getting close to the six years old mark. If so, go ahead and replace them before you take a trip. In any case get all of the households tires looked at. Shops will do it for free, and it could save your trip, or you.

 

Mike Herzing is an ASE Master Technician, Former Automotive Instructor, and Current Host of Let’s Talk Wheels with Mike Herzing heard on ESPN 97.5 Houston and The Lets Talk Wheels Radio Network. Saturday Mornings.

Email Mike: Mike@letstalkwheels.com

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome