Ford Probe 1989-1992 Repair Guide

Tires and Wheels


Inspect your tires often for signs of improper inflation and uneven wear, which may indicate a need for balancing, rotation, or wheel alignment. Check the tires frequently for cuts, stone bruises, abrasions, blisters, and for objects that may have become imbedded in the tread. More frequent inspections are recommended when rapid or extreme temperature changes occur, or where road surfaces are rough or occasionally littered with debris. Check the condition of the wheels and replace any that are bent, cracked, severely dented or have excessive runout.

The tires on your car have built-in tread wear indicators molded into the bottom of the tread grooves. These indicators will appear as

1 / 2 in. (12.7mm) wide bands when the tread depth becomes 16 in. (1.6mm). When the indicators appear in 2 or more adjacent grooves, it's time for new tires.

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Fig. Fig.1Tread wear indicators will appear when the tire is worn out


Your tires should be rotated at the intervals recommended in the Maintenance Interval chart at the end of this section. Rotate them according to the tire rotation diagram for your vehicle. The spare should not be included in the rotation.

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Fig. Fig. 2 Tire rotation diagram-all 1989 Probe and 1990-92 Probe GL and Lx

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Fig. Fig. 3 Tire rotation diagram 1990- Probe GT


Your Probe comes originally equipped with radial tires. Radial tires get their name from their construction, because the carcass plies on a radial tire run at an angle of 90° to the tire bead, as opposed to a conventional bias ply tire where the carcass plies run at an angle of 90° to each another. The radial tire's construction gives the tread a great deal of rigidity and the side wall a great deal of flexibility.

When replacing your tires, use only the size, load range and construction type (radial) originally installed on the car. This information can be found on the tire pressure decal, which is located on the right door lock pillar, and is also located on the tire sidewall. The use of any other size or type may affect ride, handling, speedometer/odometer calibration, vehicle ground clearance, and tire to body clearance.

Do not mix tires of different construction (radial, bias ply or bias belted) on the same vehicle unless it is an emergency, as vehicle handling will be seriously affected with the possibility of loss of control.

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Fig. Fig. 4 Types of tire construction

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Fig. Fig. 5 Tire information locations on a typical tire

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Fig. Fig. 6

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Fig. Fig. 7


At least once a month, check the inflation pressure on all tires, including the spare. Use an accurate tire pressure gauge. Do not trust the gauges on service station air pumps, as they are not always accurate. The inflation specifications are listed on the tire pressure decal which is located on the right door lock pillar. Check and adjust inflation pressures only when the tires are cold, as pressures can increase as much as 6 psi (41kpa) due to heat.

Inflation pressures that are higher than recommended can cause a hard ride, tire bruising, carcass damage and rapid tread wear at the center of the tire. Inflation pressures that are lower than recommended can cause tire squeal, hard steering, rim dents, high temperatures and rapid wear on the outer edges of the tires. Unequal tire pressures can compromise handling and cause uneven braking.

As previously stated, radial tires have a highly flexible sidewall and this accounts for the characteristic sidewall bulge that makes the tire appear under inflated. This is normal for a radial tire, so you should not attempt to reduce this bulge by over inflating the tire.


Aluminum wheels are standard on the Probe GT and optional on some Probe GL and LX models. These wheels are coated to preserve their appearance.

To clean the aluminum wheels, use a mild soap and water solution and rinse thoroughly with clean water. If you want to use one of the commercially available wheel cleaners, make sure the label indicates that the cleaner is safe for coated wheels. Never use steel wool or any cleaner that contains an abrasive, or use strong detergents that contain high alkaline or caustic agents, as this will damage your wheels.