Your tires could be illegal! Here's how to tell...

You've probably seen the SVG commercial where our friendly, helpful employees are singing and dancing to tell you about our special tire sale where we give you two tires free when you buy two. It's probably time to take advantage of this great sale if your tires are old because if your tires are worn out they could actually be illegal! This fact comes as a surprise to most drivers, but it's very true.

All US States, including Ohio, have laws to protect motorists from the consequences of driving on worn-out tires. Tire manufacturers have included several features to indicate when a tire is no longer safe for use. They include having "wear bars" built into the tire so that it's easy to identify when tires need replaced. In Ohio, drivers of vehicles with worn-out tires can be subject to fines of up to $1000 for driving on bald tires! While this may seem excessive, Ohio lawmakers have everyone's safety and best interest in mind.

The state of Ohio declares a tire unfit for road use when, "The tire is worn to two thirty-seconds of an inch tread depth or less on any area of the tread."* Ohio is a lenient state, as many other states say 1/8th inch of tread is unsafe. Even though Ohio allows a greater degree of wear than other states, it's always a better idea to replace tires sooner rather than later. For example, to be able to maintain proper control of your vehicle when driving it in rain, you should have at least 1/8th inch of tread. Without it, your tires cannot siphon off water on the road fast enough to prevent you from hydroplaning. If you're driving in the snow, you'll need at least 3/16th of an inch to get any traction.

You might be saying to yourself, "I don't know how to measure my tread depth, I can't fit a ruler in the tread!" We've got an easy trick to help with this issue if you've got two coins - a quarter and a penny. If you stick a quarter in the tread of your tire and part of Washington's head is always covered, you've got enough tread to drive in the rain. To see if you have enough tread to drive in the snow, use the penny. Hold the penny with Lincoln’s head facing you. Insert it into the tire treads until the top of the coin touches the rubber at the bottom of the groove. If the top of Lincoln’s head disappears, you should be safe to drive in winter weather (although your tire may still be considered illegal depending on which state you're in). If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you've don't have enough tread for winter roads and you should replace your tires immediately.

You may be thinking, "I can't afford new tires!" However, when you consider that you're risking a $1000 fine from the state if you get caught driving on bald tires, the cost of a new set seems minimal, especially since every single SVG dealership is offering the Buy-2-Get-2-Free sale. It's not a gimmick, either. This is a legitimate discount. Every customer who orders a set of 4 tires and has them mounted, balanced and aligned at the time of purchase at any SVG Service Department will get 2 of the 4 tires absolutely free! There are a few limitations, such as vehicles with staggered tires are ineligible, but just about everyone can benefit from this sale. If you have any questions about this deal, feel free to call our friendly service representatives at 937-548-7643 and they'll gladly fill you in on all the details.

Are you thinking you're safe from a fine because your tires have decent tread? That may not be true. Ohio state law says that improperly repaired or damaged tires are illegal, too. Specifically, here is the Ohio Revised Code regarding passenger vehicle tires:

  • Sec. 1345.022. (A) As used in this section: (1) "Multipurpose passenger vehicle," "passenger car," and "truck" have the same meanings as in section 4513.021 of the Revised Code. (2) "Unsafe used tire" means a used tire, to which any of the following criteria applies: (a) The tire is worn to two thirty-seconds of an inch tread depth or less on any area of the tread. (b) The tire has any damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including cuts, cracks, punctures, scrapes, or wear. (c) The tire has any repair in the tread shoulder or belt edge area. (d) The tire has a puncture that has not been both sealed or patched on the inside and repaired with a cured rubber stem through the outside. (e) The tire has repair to the sidewall or bead area of the tire. (f) The tire has a puncture repair of damage larger than one-fourth of an inch. (g) The tire shows evidence of prior use of a temporary tire sealant without evidence of a subsequent proper repair. (h) The tire has a defaced or removed United States department of transportation tire identification number. (i) The tire has any inner liner damage or bead damage. (j) There is indication of internal separation, such as bulges or local areas of irregular tread wear indicating possible tread or belt separation.
As you can see, it's much easier to err on the side of caution and go ahead and get a new set of tires rather than risk your safety or potential fines. Call today to schedule an appointment to get new tires for your ride and save a bundle on them, too!
Categories: Service
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