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Tires & Brakes

Repeated inspections of your tires, wheels and brakes are of the utmost importance. Tire wear and brake pad wear are the two most significant causes of mechanical failure causing Drivers Ed mishaps. Proper tire inflation is critical and should be checked periodically throughout the day. Tire wear can be significant so tires must be examined after each session. If you run off the track, you must immediately come into the pits and examine your tires for damage and imbedded gravel. Likewise brake pads should be inspected visually throughout the day. Wheels should also be checked for cracked rims. While rare, wheel failures can also result in on-track mishaps.

The condition of your tires are paramount. Although you may not reach these speed ratings in Drivers Ed events, you should have a minimum of "V" or "Z" rated tires as they are designed for the demands of the track. The more you spend on tires, the better the investment in your safety. You should also know the age of your tires. Tires more than a few years old are more likely to fail. Under no circumstances should you use tires more than 5 years old, especially here in our desert heat. To check the age of your tires read the DOT numbers on your sidewalls to your local tire dealer.

Tires, wheels and brake pads may be satisfactory prior to an event, but can be susceptable to failure later on during an event. Your signature on the tech forms really says that in your opinion the car is as safe as it can possibly be for our events. This means that even though the tech center does all the mechanical checks, it is your responsibility as well to do continuing checks throughout the day. Your track bag should include a tire pressure gauge and a flashlight for checking brakepads. This is a simple visual check you should get in the habit of doing when you enter the paddock after every track session.

Tire pressures increase from heat while you are on the track. Start when your tires are cold with the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure. Your tire pressure will be a few pounds higher after you come off the track. If you have any doubt about what tire pressure to maintain while on the track, ask your Instructor.


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