Tire Maintenance Tips: How to Make Your Tires Last
Taking proper care of your tires can not only save you money on many tire expenses, but will keep your vehicle performing better and keep you and your passengers safer.
Driving on tires that have not been properly maintained is dangerous during inclement weather and can impact braking distances, as well as fuel efficiency. This is why tire maintenance is one of the most important parts of car ownership. But because it’s not a “mechanical” part of a vehicle, many drivers ignore tire maintenance.
If you follow the advice below, however, your tires should serve you well for the specific tires’ maximum lifespan or longer.
Check Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is the most common cause for unnecessary tire failure. Without proper tire pressure, tires are subject to tire stress, irregular wear, and can cause loss of vehicle control or even accidents. An interesting fact we have found is that a tire may not appear to be flat but could have lost up to 50% of its air pressure!
This is why you need to always check your tire pressure, if you just take a look at your tire you may think it is fine when in fact it is going flat. In order to check your tire pressure all you need is a tire gauge. Make sure that when you are checking the tire pressure that the tires are cool, even if you have only driven a mile your tires could still be warm.
Get a Wheel Alignment When Necessary
Alignment is also important in taking the proper care of your tires. Poor alignment can cause a vehicle to pull to one side or the other and also cause the steering wheel to shake unnecessarily. Hitting a curb or hitting a pothole can cause your alignment to be thrown off which then will cause wear on your tires.
When your tire has uneven wear it is more susceptible to blow out or have a shortened lifespan. You should periodically have a service center check your alignment!
Regular Tire Rotations with Every Oil Change
It is a good idea to regularly rotate your vehicles tires so that they wear evenly and have a longer life. Tires should be rotated about every 5,000 miles. Rotating your tires means that you switch the tires in a pattern among the wheel positions of the vehicle.
This is an important task because the front tires have different responsibilities then the rear tires. Different tires also carry different amounts of weight. Doing tire rotations can slow down uneven tread wear by evening out the differences. A common used pattern when rotating tires on a front wheel drive vehicle is to move the tires in an X-pattern. The left front tire trades places with the right rear and the right front trades places with the left rear.
Tire Tread Inspection at Each Service Check In
You should get in the habit of inspecting and measuring your thread. If the thread on your tires is wearing in certain spots rapidly or unusually, this could mean that your vehicle doesn’t have optimum grip on the road and could be unsafe in adverse conditions.
Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. A test that will let you know if you are driving with the right amount of tread on your tires is to place a penny in the tread groove. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread you’re driving with the correct amount of tread. If you can see all of his head then you should buy a new tire. Built in tread indicators are narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, this will appear when the tread is worn down to 1/16. This makes it easy for the driver to tell when tires need to be replaced.