Tires are one of the most important safety features on every vehicle. They're designed to take a fair amount of punishment, but they'll let you know if you're pushing them past their limits. If you know what to listen -- and look -- for, they'll alert you to potential problems in plenty of time.
Your tires are telling you you're pushing too far when:
- They squeal: Your tires will give you a noisy nod when they reach the limits of their traction capabilities. You may hear a squealing sound when you take a turn too quickly on wet or dry surfaces. If your tires are squealing, it's time to take a look.
- They make it tough to steer: The twisting force needed, or torque, in your steering wheel is another way your tires ask you to ease up. If you're turning too quickly or too sharply, you'll hear the telltale squealing, and it will be much harder to steer.
Think of your tires as a 'safety' account with an available balance of $100. Take $50 for steering and the other $50 for traction, and you can see just how easy it is to overdraw that account if you ask for more steering or traction then your tires can give.
When you listen to your tires, and ease up before you push them to the limit, they'll work hard for you mile after mile and safely get you where you want to go.