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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Learn something new every day

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
March 8, 2013


Do you ever read the auto-service column of "Dr. Gizmo", Phil Arendt?

What if your car blew a front tire and the tire shop wouldn't sell you just one tire, because the tread depth would be quite different than on the other side? Would you think that the tire place was just trying to rip you off and make you buy two tires?

Arendt addresses just this question in today's column in the Northwest Herald. The situation occurred when a new tire of 12/32" tread depth was to be installed on a front wheel of a car, but the tire on the opposite side had 8/32" tread remaining.

What problems might occur? Arendt explains that the tires' rotating at different speeds could cause problems with the anti-lock brake system (ABS), traction control, stability control and four-wheel drive systems. And apparently not just minor problems; he wrote that the systems could "go bonkers".

Thanks, Dr. Gizmo!



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