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Cracked and Bulging tires usually comes from hitting something. Under-inflation and over-inflation put tires at a greater risk of damage from impacts. Large cracks in the sidewall that runs along the rim are either impact-related or caused by chronic under-inflation. Many small cracks in the sidewall or tread blocks come from exposure to the elements and age. Rubber, much like your leather interior needs treating to prevent cracking, by using a tire and rubber protectant. Bulging is what looks like a pimple in the tire, most often in its sidewall. It happens when there’s an impact that causes internal damage, but the damage doesn’t show up until weeks or months later. With bulging, you’re looking at buying a replacement and the tire should be removed from service, regardless of the cost. Eventually, it will fail.

Feathered tread blocks are shaped like a series of ramps in a directional wear pattern that goes sideways across the tire. The lower edges of the ramps are rounded while the higher edges are sharp. If you can’t tell by looking, run your hands across the tread blocks. The Diagnosis: Most often, feathering means the car’s toe setting (a measure of the car’s alignment) is off. If the toe setting is correct, a worn or damaged suspension bushing could be causing the car’s alignment to shift as you drive. Check for worn or damaged ball joints and wheel bearings as well.

Tire Cupping happens when worn or damaged suspension components cause the tire to bounce as it travels, coming down harder on some spots of the tire than others. Bad shock absorbers are the usual cause, though anything that connects the wheel to the rest of the car could be a culprit. Be careful with your diagnosis, though. Even tire shops sometimes incorrectly identify feathering or heel-toe wear as cupping. A wheel that is out of balance may also cause cupping or bald spots to form, though there will be fewer hills and valleys than you’d see with cupping caused by a failed shock absorber.

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TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM

It is ok if you don’t. It has only been around and on cars built after 2008. TPMS is your cars Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The TPMS symbol is either a cross-section of a tire with an exclamation point in it or an overhead view of a car with all four tires exposed. The feature is standard on all 2008

A/T TIRES VS. M/T TIRES

All-terrain tires are as they say for ALL types of terrain! They are not as aggressive as an MT. They have smaller tread blocks, a narrow void and less-robust internal construction. The tread on all-terrain tires is also permeated with sipes for traction, making them a great choice for wet, snowy or icy conditions.