BOWIE, Md. (Aug. 1, 2008) — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has released a list of the top five consumer myths about tires to help consumers get the most out of their tires.
Myth #1: Just because a tire has low tread depth, it's still OK to drive.
The Bowie-based trade association said that driving on tires that are below 2/32-inch tread depth is potentially dangerous. TIA advises consumers to visually inspect tires and check tire inflation pressure monthly.
Myth #2: Motorists will get better gas mileage by exceeding a tire's recommended pressure.
TIA said inflating tires at or beyond the maximum recommended pressure not only decreases tread wear prematurely, but it also can make tires more susceptible to impact breaks from potholes. It recommends tires be inflated to the pressure indicated on the tire placard found on the vehicle's door.
Myth #3: If a nail or other foreign object punctures a tire, it still can be repaired without taking the wheel off the car.
The only correct way to repair a tire is by taking it off of the car and dismounting it because on-the-wheel repairs do not ensure the tire's structural integrity, according to TIA.
Myth #4: It's OK to drive on tires that have a slow leak, as long as they're frequently refilled with air.
This is potentially dangerous, TIA said, because water can seep into a penetration causing the leak—resulting in permanent internal damages to the steel belts.
Myth #5: Using petroleum- or silicone-based tire cleaners or shiners won't damage tires.
TIA noted that silicone and petroleum are used in many tire cleaners and will damage rubber. Tire manufacturers add a wax-based compound to help protect the tire against ozone, which causes tires to deteriorate, crack and form dry rot. The wax is forced to the surface every time a tire is flexed as it rolls. However, the silicone ingredient in tire shine products dissolves the wax safeguard, increasing the vulnerability of the tire to dry rot.
“These are just a few of the common myths that are costing consumers gas, money, and even their lives,” said Kevin Rohlwing, TIA's senior vice president of training. “As with battling most myths, the best weapon is knowledge.”