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When it comes to caring for their Ferraris, often owners can overlook their tires. Here are a few things to consider before your next big adventure.
When it comes to caring for their Ferraris, often owners can overlook their tires. So long as they hold air, you should be ready to roll, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The condition of your tires has a great impact on the performance and safety of your Cavallino. Acceleration, handling, cornering, and braking can all be adversely affected by tires in poor condition, incorrect tire pressure, and lack of maintenance. Here are a few things to consider before your next big adventure.
The first and probably most important factor to consider when it comes to the state of your tires is the tread wear. Simply put, less tread = less grip. A simple rule of thumb is to conduct the “penny test”. Just place a penny into the treads with Lincoln’s head upside-down and facing you, if the top of the tread isn’t touching the top of Lincolns head, it's indicative that you have 2/32" or less of tire tread remaining. Legally, tires are considered to be unsafe when they reach the 2/32" level and as such should be replaced.
If your tires still have plenty of tread left, the next step would be to conduct a visual inspection. Be on the lookout for any irregular wear or damage, such as cracking, scrapes or cuts, bulging, or punctures. You should inspect both the treads and sidewall of the tires. This simple act could prevent tire failure, damage to your car, and possibly an accident. If any damage is discovered, we highly recommend replacing the tire(s)
The last indication of the condition of your tires is often the most overlooked, Age. Over time, exposure to the elements, lack of use, and harsh chemicals can take quite a toll on the composition of the rubber resulting in dry rot and cracking on the sidewall. To determine exactly how old your tires are you can simply refer to the DOT code that is molded into the sidewall. The last four numbers of the DOT code indicate the week and year that the tires were manufactured. The Ferrari service manual recommends replacing tires every 4years.
Tire pressure isn’t simply a matter of “set it and forget it”, It should be checked regularly as there are several factors that can lead to a change in pressure including, natural loss from permeation of O2, along with changes in elevation and temperature. This could result in a state of underinflation or overinflation. In addition to irregular tread wear that greatly reduces tread life, underinflation causes drag, leading to decreased fuel efficiency and premature degradation from heat buildup. Thankfully, newer Ferraris are equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), whereas more mature models will have to rely on a tire pressure gauge to manually check the pound per square inc (PSI) in each tire. The recommended air pressure can be found in your owner’s manual or the door jam placard. Should you need to inflate your tires, Ferrari South Bay’s Service team would be happy to assist you. Alternatively, most gas stations offer a self-serve air-station.
ALIGNMENT & BALANCING:
Is your vehicle pulling or drifting to one side? Are you experiencing unusual road noise or vibration? If so, your wheel alignment and/or tire balance is likely off. A rouge curb, parking block, or pothole could be to blame but letting it go unchecked could accelerate the wear on your tires and be dangerous. The normal maintenance routine of your Ferrari should comprise a 4-wheel laser alignment to measure and adjust your wheels so that they travel in a straight line. Tire balancing should be conducted when purchasing new tires and regularly to ensure that your tires roll evenly, resulting in a smooth ride with minimal road noise.
Should you need a more thorough evaluation of the condition of your tires, the Ferrari South Bay service team is at your disposal to ensure your Ferrari can confidently put the rubber to the road. Feel free to contact us for questions or to schedule a service appointment.