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Tire Maintenance Tips

February 16th, 2013

Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that actually touches the road when you drive. It only takes a couple of minutes of preventive maintenance each month to keep your tires working at their best.

Check Your Air Pressure Once a Month
 
Incorrect air pressure is the leading cause of tire damage. To avoid tire damage you need to check your tire's air pressure once a month.
 
The correct tire pressure can be found in the following places:
  • in the car' owner manual
  • gas tank lid
  • driver's side door's edge
  • door post
The air pressure listed on the side of your tire is NOT the correct air pressure for your vehicle. That number is the maximum air pressure for the tire. Remember to check the air in your spare tire.
 
Don't get stranded or put out costly towing expenses. Check your air pressure on your spare regularly. Note: If you have different rims than came on your vehicle originally, make sure that the bolts on your spare tire are the correct fitting.
 
Failure to keep your tires properly inflated can increase wear and will have a negative effect on your vehicles handling.
 
When checking and adjusting tire pressure, the following should be kept in mind:
  • Check the air pressure when the tire is cold - tires become hot even after driving just a mile. If you must drive to add air, check your air pressure before you leave. Air pressure changes 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change. Air pressure goes up in warm weather and down in cold weather.
  • Tire pressure must be the same on the tires of each axle, but may be different on the front and rear axle.
  • Valve caps must be tightly closed to protect the valve from dust and dirt and prevent it from leaking.
  • Replace missing valve caps without delay.
 
Take this opportunity to inspect your tires to make sure there is nothing stuck in them or they have no deformities.
 
Tread Depth
 
To prevent hydroplaning and skidding your tires must have proper tread depth. The minimum tread depth is 1/16th of and inch.
 
Ask anyone, the easiest way to check your tread depth...the quarter test. What is the quarter test? Take a quarter and place it in the tread of your tire. If part of Washington's head is covered by the tread your tires have enough tread. If you can see Washington's  entire head, you should buy a new tire.
 
You should also check your tire tread for uneven wear. Irregular wear shortens the life of your tires, if you think you have uneven wear you should take you vehicle to your tire dealer.
 
Tire Rotation
 
The best way to prevent uneven wear is to have your tires rotated every 5,000 - 7,000 miles or as specified in your vehicle's owner manual.
 
Potential Tire Troubles
  • Curbs can prove to be big trouble to your tires. Approach curbs with care, if you drive over them too fast or at the wrong angle the impact may cause the tire to crack.
  • Avoid potholes or debris in the road when possible.
  • Avoid fast stops & starts.
  • Be sure to check your owner's manual for your vehicles maximum load. Overloading your vehicle can shorten your tires life.
Replacing Your Tires
 
You should replace your tires with the same type of tires that came on your vehicle original equipment. This includes tire size, type and speed rating.
  Tags: Tire Safety
  Posted in: Tires 101

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