How Much is Enough for Goleta Auto Owners? Tire Tread Depth
Posted August 25, 2019 10:05 AM
Most Goleta drivers know that tires wear out and that the wear has to do with tread depth. Most of us have heard that “bald” tires are dangerous, but most of us picture a tire with no tread at all when we think of a bald tire. And when we take our vehicles in for preventive maintenance, the technician tells us they're need to be replaced long before all the tread is worn off. Just how much tire tread wear is too much? And how can you tell? Tires are and their condition is important to the safe handling of a vehicle, so it's for Goleta vehicle owners to know the answers to these questions.
First of all, it's important to understand that there may be a legal limit to tread wear. If your tires are worn past this limit, you have to replace them to be in compliance with GA auto safety laws. That's why measuring your tread wear is part of a vehicle safety inspection.
In some jurisdictions, tread must be at least 1.6 millimeters or 2/32 of an inch thick. This standard has been in effect since 1968. But this standard has recently been called into question, and some GA professionals are arguing that it be changed.
The safety issue that has brought this standard under scrutiny is the ability of a vehicle to stop on a wet surface. When a vehicle has trouble stopping, most Goleta drivers immediately look at the brakes as the source of the problem. But tires are crucial to safe stopping distances because they provide the traction required in a stop.
A tire's contact with the road surface creates traction, which allows for effective braking. On a wet surface, a tire only has traction if it can get to the road's surface. So tire tread is designed to channel water out from under the tire to allow it to stay in contact with the road. If the tire can't shift the water, then it starts to “float.” This condition is called hydroplaning. It is very dangerous for Goleta drivers since the vehicle won't stop no matter how hard the driver presses the brakes. Steering control is also lost.
A recent study tested the stopping ability of a passenger car and a full-sized pick-up on a road surface covered with only a dime's depth of water (less than a millimeter). The vehicles were traveling at 70 mph (112 kph) when they stopped on the wet surface. At 2/32 (1.6 mm) tread depth, the stopping distance was double that of a new tire. The passenger car was still traveling at 55 mph (89 kph) when it reached the stopping distance it experienced with new tires.
Let's suppose that you're on a busy Goleta road in a light drizzle and a vehicle stops suddenly in front of you. You just bought new tires and you brake hard, missing the vehicle with only inches to spare. If you hadn't bought those new tires, you would have crashed into that vehicle at 55 mph (89 kph). That is a major difference.
What if your tires had a tread depth of 4/32 (3.2 mm)? You would have crashed into that vehicle at 45 mph (72 kph). Still not a good situation. But it's better.
Now what if you were driving that pick-up truck? You wouldn't have missed that vehicle in the first place, and you would have crashed at higher rates of speed in both of the other scenarios. The heavier your vehicle, the longer its stopping distance. It's a matter of physics.
The results of this test has led Consumer Reports and others to ask that the standard for tread wear be changed from 2/32 (1.6 mm) to 4/32 (3.2 mm). The increased standard will improve safety on the road and save lives here in GA and nationally.
Of course, until the standard changes, you'll have to decide whether you'll be willing to replace your tires a little sooner.
You can use an American quarter to tell if your tread wear is down to 4/32 (3.2 mm). Place the quarter into the tread with George's head toward the tire and his neck toward you. If the tread doesn't cover George's hairline, you're under 4/32 (3.2 mm). With a Canadian quarter, the tread should cover the digits of the year.
You can measure the 2/32 inch (1.6 mm) tread wear with a penny. If the tread touches the top of Abe's head, it's at 2/32 (1.6 mm). Tires are super important when it comes to vehicle care. But their condition has a major impact on safety. We need to decide whether to sacrifice safety for economy. Keeping our tread wear above 4/32 in (3.2 mm) is good auto advice.
ASC Automotive Service Center 299 Orange Ave Goleta, GA 93117 (805) 683-1050 ascautomotiveservicecenter.autotipsblog.com
It's been so hard for me to find a nice car shop with people who can communicate with me in a friendly and comfortable manner. These guys have aced it - they are so friendly, easy going, and quick!
-Corrie Jimenez - Santa Barbara, CA
I have 290,000 miles on my Chevy Pickup and with Richard an companies help plan to go another 200,000 miles. He has done everything on the truck from transmission replacement, computer problems, water leaks requiring major engine work, etc. He has helped me receive the benefit of parts warranties and always explains exactly what my repair options are. If you want the job done right this is the place to go.
-George Emory - Goleta CA
Richard does excellent work! He explains the problem so I can understand and always gets the job done quickly and extremely well.
Our Buick had a stubborn electrical problem - a fuse would burn out at irregular intervals. This kind of problem is a real mystery to solve, but Richard worked tirelessly to fix it. I'm so pleased with the work at ASC and happy to recommend them.
I recently had my car serviced by ASC, I can tell you Richard the owner is one of the best at this business, no one knows more about cars then Richard, I would recommend ASC to all my friends and any one looking for honest and trust worthy shop, One of the best.
We were driving home from Northern California the day before Thanksgiving and the engine starting whining and losing power. Talked to one the mechanics on the phone and he told us to bring it in. He test drove it, looked at it and gave us great customer service. Would recommend these guys in customer service alone.
Great service! They really came to my rescue!
I am very pleased with the work done at Automotive Service. I am forever a customer.
Professional and honest regarding service required and what the cost will be. No Surprises! Have been going to Automotive Service Center for over 10 years and will continue to do so.
ASC has been servicing our cars for the past 5 years. ASC has always provided top quality professional service. We have no complaints; and we highly recommend ASC.
-Carl & Deeje
The service is always done well. Never in the 9 years have I ever had a problem or a complaint. I appreciate the reminders about what service is coming up because with an older car some of the things are major and costly and it helps to be able to anticipate what needs to be done.
I particularly appreciate the ride home and the pickups. I don't mind asking friends to drop me off but it is easier if I don't have to disrupt someone else.
Richard accommodated my time constraints (must have car back by 11:45) for a regular service (oil etc) but also added his innovation to fix a broken plastic handle in my van -- better than new.
Kudos and thank you to Richard for maintaining my car for the past few years. The frustration of the dealer seemed to never end. I consulted with my nephew and he recommended automotive service center. He is a builder and Richard takes care of his vehicles.
In my 70+ years, I have never been as positively impressed with any other auto repair shop. You and Luis are extremely pleasant, courteous and patient. I want to sit sincerely thank you for being such a gracious gentleman, professional businessman, competent mechanic an excellent teacher. The time you have spent blaming the mechanics, computerization and diagnosis on my car, instilled in me the trust that you are open "on the cutting-edge. Your shop indicates your values and attention to detail. It is supremely clean and organized an apparently well supplied. I shall not hesitate to recommend you to all my friends.
Just wanted to send you a quick thank you for your awesome customer service. When you look at my Jeep the other day I really appreciated your honesty and not ripping me off. It is nice to know that there are still some nice people out there! I will definitely bring my car back to you for service when there is actually something wrong with it. Thanks again.
I first brought my card automotive service center in November, 1995. What's kept me coming back ever since, whether for regular maintenance or to solve a problem, is the expertise and integrity with which they do business. I learned early on that I can always trust and expect an honest and thorough assessment of what might be needed. As a single older woman, having a trusted place to service my car is just invaluable.
Hey Richard, Thanks for everything. You and your staff always take care of us. It's always a small business that seems to provide the best service.
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your diligence and sincerity while working on my car! After three mechanics, you successfully diagnosed and repaired the problem and I truly thank you. I hope to be a continuing customer!
I wanted to thank you again for going so far out of your way to get my car working again. It was truly a blessing to have you do that for me. It is a tremendous assurance to have you working on my vehicles! Thank you again. God bless you.
Thank you for all the time you put into finding the elusive oil leak. I am going to purchase a new car and will trust you to keep it in perfect condition. It means a lot to me to have a mechanic I trust.
Thank you so much for all the help to get my car rolling again. Anna wants me to sell it, but I feel better having it sit in the driveway in case of an emergency -or even to have someone drive me to my doctor appointments. Thank you again.
An elderly car(1990 gray Toyota) and an older driver made the trip to and from UCLA medical without a complaint after your maintenance work. That's a big trip for us. Thank you for all your work to keep us going.
Just wanted to let you know how happy I am with the work you have done on my car in all the years I've been coming to you. Your work is excellent and I always feel safe when I drive away from your shop, and as someone who knows nothing about cars, that's a great feeling. Your shop gets my car back to me quickly, in many cases the same day. I love that you're parking lot isn't full of dead cars. Cleanest shop I've ever been in and the nicest people. So count on me to keep coming back and please don't retire. Happy holidays, and a big thank you for me.
I first heard about Richard and his automotive service center from a fellow member of Santa Barbara Newcomers club who had what he thought was a major problem with the big Buick. He found automotive service center by chance. Richard found the problem to be minor, fixed it within minutes, and charged the gentleman next to nothing. At that time, the company that sold me my SUV had recently in for me that I needed an expensive repair. Knowing the reputation of auto dealers, I was ready to search for another opinion. So I went straight to Richard's establishment. Richard assured me that no such repair was needed now or anytime soon and that he would let me know when the time came. Several times I have suspected a problem was big and returned to Richard for my car to find out that the problem and the bill were small. Now-don't count on that every time, but the point is the honesty of automotive service center. I know Richard and his employees to be not only honest but highly competent-that rare combination is the dream of every car owner who does not do his or her own repairs. Richard is continually taking courses for continuing education, and it shows in his work. He and his team are courteous and helpful. In my opinion automotive service center is the ideal place for car care.
Around 20 years ago, my wife and I were looking for a good mechanic. A friend gave us a glowing recommendation: go to Richard Esqueda-he's the best mechanic in town. And so we went to Richard, and we were impressed by the way he could explain car issues in laymen's terms, the quality of his work, and his honesty. In those days Richard was working for a service station, so we were excited when we heard he was opening his own shop. We've taken our cars to him ever since and have always recommended him to our friends. His communication is always clear and precise, he will explain all your options, and he'll never try to talk you into something you don't need. I hope he'll still be fixing cars another 20 years; if he is, I'll still be a loyal customer. Sincerely,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard and his staff for their outstanding service. A friend recommended Richard to my husband and I and we are very grateful that she did. He has a very clean shop and he is both trustworthy and honest. A VERY HAPPY CUSTOMER!
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According to recent studies, 5 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities are clearly caused by automobile maintenance neglect.
The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of coolant should be checked. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.)
Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled. The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps and hoses should be checked by a pro.
Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual, or more often (every 3,000 miles) if you make frequent short jaunts, extended trips with lots of luggage or tow a trailer.
Replace other filters (air, fuel, PCV, etc.) as recommended, or more often in dusty conditions. Get engine drivability problems (hard stops, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good shop.
A dirty windshield causes eye fatigue and can pose a safety hazard. Replace worn blades and get plenty of windshield washer solvent.
Have your tires rotated about every 5,000 miles. Check tire pressures once a month; let the tires cool down first. Don't forget your spare and be sure your jack is in good condition.
Check your owner's manual to find out what fuel octane rating your car's engine needs then buy it.
Keep your tires inflated to the proper levels. Under-inflated tires make it harder for your car to move down the road, which means your engine uses more fuel to maintain speed.
Lighten the load. Heavier vehicles use more fuel, so clean out unnecessary weight in the passenger compartment or trunk before you hit the road.
Use the A/C sparingly. The air conditioner puts extra load on the engine forcing more fuel to be used.
Keep your windows closed. Wide-open windows, especially at highway speeds, increase aerodynamic drag and the result is up to a 10% decrease in fuel economy.
Avoid long idling. If you anticipate being stopped for more than one minute, shut off the car. Contrary to popular belief, restarting the car uses less fuel than letting it idle.
Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. For example, driving at 65 miles per hour (mph) rather than 55 mph, increases fuel consumption by 20 percent.
Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.
Keep your engine tuned. A fouled spark plug or plugged/restricted fuel injector can reduce fuel efficiency as much as 30 percent.
Inspect the engine's belts regularly. Look for cracks or missing sections or segments. Worn belts will affect the engine performance.
Have the fuel filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent rust, dirt and other impurities from entering the fuel system.
Change the transmission fluid and filter every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. This will protect the precision-crafted components of the transmission/transaxle.
Inspect the suspension system regularly. This will extend the life of the vehicle's tires.