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

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Texans fall to Browns. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans kept it closer than the experts thought they would, but couldn't pull out a victory. Here are 11 observations from the loss in Cleveland to the Browns.

1. The game looks totally different if Texans quarterback Tyrod Taylor finishes the game. Taylor left at halftime with a hamstring injury. He was playing exceptionally well against his former team. Taylor is not expected to play Thursday according to NFL Network.

2. Davis Mills had a rocky NFL debut which was to be expected. Mills looked to have the wrong elements of a few plays. He also couldn't hit backup wideout Andre Roberts over the middle and threw an interception. It was a fine performance considering what Mills showed he could do in the preseason.

3. Mills didn't work with a full load of offensive weapons in the second half. Rookie wideout Nico Collins didn't return to the game after his lone catch and big run early in the game. Veteran slot receiver Danny Amendola left the game with an injury. Tight end Anthony Auclair left with an eye injury. The Texans entered the game without wide receiver Anthony Miller who was inactive.

4. Brandin Cooks is a monster through two games. He is the most dangerous skill position player on the team, and defenses still have trouble covering him and staying with him. Cooks turned in yet another impressive day for this team and hauled in a Davis Mills touchdown pass.

5. The Browns did a solid job against the ground game of the Texans. Mark Ingram averaged under three yards per carry and Tyrod Taylor was the only rusher to have a big play on the ground. This led to a fair number of third-and-long situations which the Texans usually had trouble converting.

6. Justin Reid was set to increase his payday on his next contract with his early play. Reid forced a fumble and had an interception in the first half. Unfortunately, Reid would leave the game multiple times with injuries. The knock on Reid has always been his health.

7. The Texans were worn down by the Browns rushing attack all day. Once Cleveland committed to the run they saw the success of their work culminating in a 26-yard scamper by Nick Chubb for a touchdown. The Browns didn't run as much as I excepted them to run early.

8. Tim Kelly had another nice day calling plays. Kelly remains creative in finding ways to get the ball out of Taylor's hands quickly as well as manufacturing matchups where the Texans can win and pick up yards. He even got creative to get Davis Mills a passing touchdown late in the game. Kelly has been very impressive through two games.

9. Andre Roberts was inexcusably bad today. The Texans defense held on the opening drive and his muffed punt eliminated the momentum from the defensive stand. He also had poor returns on kickoffs. His lone job is to be a solid returner, and he failed at that on Sunday.

10. David Culley had a head-scratching decision foregoing an offsides call on a third down. The head coach opted for the result of the third down, and a punt on fourth down, instead of another third down. He did not explain himself well postgame on the decision either.

11. The Texans hung tough and should feel solid about where they could have been without the injury to their quarterback. With no Taylor in the short week, it will not be easy to beat the Panthers who upset the Saints on Sunday.

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