Winter in Portland is a rainy time, and driving on wet roads can be very dangerous. Your first line of defense against a wet road is your tire tread, since those are the only thing that keep in contact with the road the entire time you drive. For something that does so much work while you travel, you’d be forgiven for not knowing all that much about it. Here’s everything you need to know about the humble tire tread. K&M Auto Service provides tire repair & replacement services and with several locations throughout Portland, Oregon we are bound to be nearby.
Tire Tread and Traction
As previously mentioned, the tire tread is the only part of your car that remains in direct contact with the road at all times. Therefore, your tire’s tread has a direct impact on the way your car drives in all weather conditions, from steering to handling. It provides the necessary traction you as a driver need in order to drive your vehicle. Traction, by definition, means the grip that your car has on the road. Tire tread is designed to dig deeply into a road’s surface and keep contact with the road. It also repels liquids away from the contact surface, making it particularly important in wet or rainy conditions. Without adequate traction, your car will slip, slide, or be uncontrollable and therefore a danger to you, your passengers and other road users.
Tire Tread and Handling
If you look at your tire, you’ll notice the intricate patterns and designs on its surface. Different tires have different treads that serve a wide variety of functions. Naturally, these tread designs will influence your car’s handling capabilities immensely. For example, car tires that have deep ridges and fissures in their tread will provide excellent traction and stability; whereas car tires with more streamlined and symmetrical tread designs will ride smoother and quieter at highway speeds, but they won’t offer as much traction. The type of tread you choose should be suited to the type of driving you do most often or the weather conditions that you find yourself in.
The Dangers Of Driving With Warn Tires In Wet Weather
Smooth tires, or bald tires, are used when a driver wants to gain a lot of speed. This is what makes them a popular choice for racing, but they’re best suited for dry roads as the slightest contact with liquid or oil will cause you to lose control of the car due to the lack of traction they provide. Tire tread also wears down over time and is affected by wheel alignment and your own personal driving style. Driving in wet weather with inferior or poorly tread tires is a risk you really don’t want to take.
Before you head out on the road this rainy season, why not get your tires checked out and make sure everything is in order? Not only will a better tread keep you and your passengers safe on the road, it’ll also improve your overall driving experience.
This winter, make sure you are driving safe and get your tire treads checked for wear. At K&M Auto Service we change tires, inspect warn tires and can often repair damaged tires for much less than buying new. We always recommend that you get new tires if your treads are warn down. So if you find yourself needing a Portland Tire Company this winter, give us a call and see the K&M difference. Family owned and operated, we have the Portland, Oregon community in mind.
By Matt Stewart