October 03, 2012 09:00 ET

NASCAR Drivers Race on Slicks; GT Radial Engineers Say You Shouldn't

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA--(Marketwire - Oct 3, 2012) - Ever wonder why NASCAR drivers run on slick tires? They want as much rubber as possible contacting the track. The everyday driver like you, however, must contend with wet conditions where the tire's tread plays a critical role in keeping the vehicle on the road.

"With fall and winter approaching, this is a great time to check the tread depth and overall condition of your tires," advises William Estupinan, vice president of technical service for GITI Tire, worldwide manufacturer of GT Radial tires.

The primary role of a tire's tread is to remove water from underneath the tire so your car does not skid or hydroplane. As the tread wears down, its abilities to evacuate water diminish. When you get down to 2/32's an inch of tread left, it's definitely time for new tires. You can tell you've reached this point by examining the Tread Wear Indicators (TWI), which form a triangle or bar located on the grooves between the tread blocks. When the tread depth is even with the TWI, you need to see your tire dealer.

A good all-season tire with sufficient tread depth can make all the difference in wet road conditions. Estupinan says the GT Radial Champiro VP1 is a great example of today's all-season tire which balances comfort, control, security and mileage in all types of weather. For evacuating water, the tire has deep and wide circumferential tread grooves for water channeling and anti-hydroplaning performance. The tread block design and compound also contribute to excellent wet cornering and stopping.

When checking your tires, Estupinan says to also look for abnormalities. "If you see a bulge or bubble on the sidewall you could have a serious problem. See your tire dealer immediately," he notes.

Finally, Estupinan advises checking your tires' air pressure monthly because under- or over-inflated tires do not perform as designed. Use a good quality gauge (or ask your tire dealer to do it) and check your tires "cold" -- before you've driven or at least three hours after you've driven. The recommended tire air pressure for your vehicle can be found on the sticker inside the driver's door or in your vehicle's owner's manual.

"Fall can be a glorious time to be on the road with beautiful foliage and fun events, but don't forget to check your tires," Estupinan says.

GT Radial tires are sold through independent tire dealers and retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. GITI Tire Company, Ltd. manufactures and sells high quality GT Radial brand tires for passenger, SUV, light truck, truck, bus, and high performance vehicles. For more information, visit

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