You probably spend a lot of time behind the wheel of your car, but how often do you think about your tires?

Americans Spend a Lot of Time in Their Cars

In a study done in 2019, AAA  Foundation for Safety revealed that on average, drivers in the United States spend nearly an hour in their cars every day. The study goes on to point out that the average number of miles driven in a year per person, is the equivalent of driving roundtrip, coast to coast from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, California... twice!

The study also says the average American drives 31.5 miles per day. That is a lot of time and distance that we are trusting to our tires. If you haven't had new tires put on recently, how can you know if it's time to replace your tires?

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How Long Do Tires Last?

A quality tire usually lasts for about 50,000 miles or about four years. The number one indicator of needing to replace your tires is your tread depth. New tires typically start at a tread depth of 10/32nds of an inch but over time, and miles, the tread wears down. When they get down to a depth of 2/32nds or less, they are considered to be unsafe.

Measuring Tire Depth

 

Tread depth can be measured using a special gauge, or a simple DIY trick is to use a penny. Turn the penny upside down and place it into the gap in your tread. If you can see all of Abraham Lincoln's head, it's time to start thinking about new tires.

What If You Don't Drive That Many Miles?

Some of us don't drive as much as the average American, or maybe you have vehicles you don't drive regularly and still have a lot of tread left on your tires. How do you know if you need to replace them? Most tire manufacturers recommend that you replace your tires every six to ten years, regardless of the number of miles you've driven. The reason? Over time the materials in the tire can degrade, compromising the integrity (and safety!) of the tire.

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How to Know How Old Your Tires Are

If you can't remember when you last replaced your tires, or maybe you just bought a used car and you want to check the tires' age, it is actually very simple to figure out how old your tires are. There is actually a code on the sidewall of your tires that tells you when it was manufactured.

The Codes on Your Tires

There is a lot of information packed into that string of numbers and letters emblazoned on the sidewall of your tire. From the tire class to the width of the tire from sidewall to sidewall, and more, the code on your tires gives you everything you need to know, including their age. There is a smaller string of characters, that begins with the letters DOT, and the final four in that series reveal the age of your tires.

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Reading the Date Code on a Tire

When looking at the four-digit date code on your tires, the first 2 digits will range from 01-52, and they signify the week of the year that the tires were made. The second two digits tell you what year the tires were made. So for example, if the last four digits are 4020 like the picture above, your tires were made in the 40th week (so around early October) of 2020.

Being able to read the information available to you on your tires can be a tremendous help. Especially when deciding if it may be time to replace your tires. Of course, if you are in doubt, you should consult a tire professional.

[Source: KBB]

25 Personalized License Plates Rejected by the Indiana BMV

Every year the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles sifts through applications for personalized license plates, and every year hundreds are rejected below are 25 of the more than 1,000 rejected license plates that the BMV received between January and December of 2023. You'll also find a link to the full list of rejected personalized license plates below.

Gallery Credit: Kat Mykals