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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm

It's a good idea to inspect your tires periodically. A bald spot on a tire is usually caused by a wheel that is out of balance or a by a weak shock absorber. Wheels that are not aligned properly can cause one edge of the tire to wear faster. Look at the tread-wear indicators on your tires. A series of smooth, horizontal bars will appear across the tire's surface when the tread depth reaches the danger zone. When they show across two or more grooves, the tire can be dangerous and should be replaced. Any tire with a blister or bump needs to be replaced immediately, as the tire could blow out suddenly. There are many variables involved in the life of a tire, depending on the speed at which a car is driven, the cornering habits of the person behind the wheel, the terrain under the tires, and the treatment of the tires. A general rule is that tires should last at least 50,000 miles. Be sure to keep your tires properly inflated, the car's wheels aligned, and the tires balanced to get the maximum number of miles from your tires.

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