Top Five Tips for Springtime Tire Maintenance

June 1st, 2016

Our spring tire care checklist can help keep you safe on the road as the weather warms up.

Spring in Ohio means rain, potholes and more frequent travels, all of which impact the performance of your tires and your vehicle. That is why it is important to add proper tire maintenance to your spring cleaning checklist.

Here are five important tire maintenance tips for making sure your tires are ready for this seasonal transition:

1.Swap out winter tires for all-season radials. 
In the spring, you need to remove snow tires. Because they are made with softer rubber compounds and deeper tread patterns, winter tires can be noisier than all-season tires and will wear down more quickly in warm weather.

2.Check tire pressure once a month and before any long trips. According to a 2008 survey from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), 85 percent of American drivers do not properly check tire inflation pressure. Under-inflated tires increase driving risks, waste fuel and cause faster tire wear. During winter, all-season radials may lose between two and five pounds of pressure, so air them up before you hit the road (or too many potholes).

3.Check tire alignment and balance. 
Wet roads, especially as rain mixes with dirt and oil can lead to skids. Make sure you have the alignment and balance of your tires checked regularly. This helps ensure that your vehicle is ready to make faster, safer stops in the spring, or any season.

4.Check the tire tread. 
Do not rely on the old penny test, which refers to placing a penny into the groove of a tire and checking to see how much of Lincolns head is visible. In Ohio, tires that are down to 2/32-inch tread (top of Lincolns head) must be replaced immediately, as your chance of hydroplaning in the rain at highway speeds increases significantly. Switch to the quarter test . If you can see the top of Washingtons head at 4/32-inch, it is time to start shopping for new tires.

5.Rotate your tires, per your vehicles owner manual. 
This may help correct irregular tire wear that occurred during the winter. If you are not sure how often to rotate your tires, every 5,000 miles is a good rule of thumb.

Do not forget to slow down when driving on wet roads because stopping distance is about four times longer than on dry roads. You can also read our tire maintenance tips, or visit the RMAs tire safety section .