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Tire BasicsTires are engineered to deliver optimum performance and handling geared to your specific vehicle and driving habits. Naturally, you want your tires to last as long as they can. One of the ways to extend the life of tires is through proper care and maintenance, which is also important for safe operation, and may even help improve fuel efficiency.
Tire Tread DepthTires should be replaced when tread depth is 1/16” (2 mm). Here’s an easy way to check your tread depth with a toonie. Slip the toonie in between the tread blocks. If the silver part of the toonie is covered, your tires are about half worn. If the tread only reaches the words ‘CANADA’ or ‘DOLLARS’, it’s time to replace your tires.
Sidewall Wear & TearWhile tread depth is an important indicator of tire wear, some signs can also appear on the sidewall. It’s important to check the sidewalls regularly for bulges and cracks as these can lead to slow leaks or even a blowout when driving at high speeds. Sidewall cracks and bulges can occur after driving over potholes or hitting a curb.
Tire SizeIf you drive a 2017 Ford Escape S, your tire size would be 235/55R17. Here’s what those numbers mean: 235 is the width in mm from sidewall to sidewall; 55 is the aspect ratio, so this means the height is equal to 55% of the tire’s width; R stands for radial construction; and 17 is rim diameter in inches of the wheel from one end to the other.
Load Index & Speed RatingUsing the 2017 Ford Escape S example, you would see 99H on the sidewall. 99 represents the load index – a number that corresponds to the maximum weight a tire can support when properly inflated (for 99, the maximum weight is 775 kg). H is the speed rating that tells you the maximum service speed for a tire, in this case. H stands for 210 km/h (but is not a recommendation to exceed speed limits!).
When you purchase tires at your Ford dealer, our expert technicians will keep service records to let you know of any necessary tire maintenance, but feel free to ask your technician any of the following questions when you come in for service.
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