Hank Silverberg, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - There's more to car tire safety than just checking the tread and pressure levels.
There are some new ways to spot a dangerous tire. Any safety check should also include a review of the tire's sidewall for cracks. Extreme weather will cause the cracks and separate the steal belt and tread.
Edmunds.com consumer advice advocate Ronald Montoya says the age of the tire is a factor, no matter how much mileage is on the rubber.
"If you ask the car manufacturers, they will tell you six years," says Montoya. "If you ask the tire manufacturers, they will tell you 10 years with a regular inspection after every five years."
You can find out how old a tire is by checking the code on the inner wall. The first number is the week in a year the tire was made, the second number is the year. So, 11-10 would mean the eleventh week of 2010.
Some tires have the code on both sides. Newer tires have the code on the inside wall. Tires made before 2000 don't have a code at all.
That is really important if you are buying a used car or checking on the lifetime of your spare tire. Montoya even suggests you check the age of new tires because they may have been in a warehouse for a while.
Vibration while driving is a sure sign of an aging tire.
For a graphic of what to look for and more information on tire safety, visit Edmunds.com.
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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