Your vehicle is your key to the world, and your tires are what keep your vehicle running at its best performance. Tire maintenance is key to preserving and prolonging the life of your tires and vehicle. With proper routine maintenance, you can avoid future maintenance issues, gain better gas mileage and have fewer money issues. Ultimately, it’s up to the vehicle owner to regularly service their tires in order to have the utmost performance.
Tire maintenance may seem a little daunting, especially if you don’t know much about cars, but familiarizing yourself with the process can make it easier to keep up with. There are four simple ways to maintain your tires and vehicle performance.
What are some of the ways that you can care for your tires?
Tire Maintenance: Inspections
A lot of work goes into proper tire maintenance. Experts recommend a proper inspection at least once a month. Depending on the amount of miles you put on your car, the amount of time in between each tire inspection can vary. Most experts recommend getting a routine inspection by a tire service professional who can thoroughly check for any tire damage that may cause long-term issues with your vehicle.
The longer a tire is kept on a car, the more frequent yourtire checks should be. A tire service professional will be able to check for any damage that may require you to repair or replace your tire. Some damages that they may check for could be worn down tread or punctures, cuts, impacts and low tire pressure. Because the average consumer may not know exactly what to look for, it’s important to get all four tires and the spare checked regularly.
Tire Maintenance: Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is one of the most important things to look out for when it comes to tire maintenance. Checking your tire pressure is a no-hassle thing that you can do to avoid the problems that can arise with incorrect tire pressure. The first step to checking your tire pressure is to check what the tire’s ideal PSI is. This number can usually be found on the driver’s door or inside the car manual.
When your tire pressure is too low, it’s important to inflate it to the correct PSI. There are a lot of issues that can arise with an underinflated tire. Driving on an underinflated tire will cause the tire to wear down faster because of the amount of rubber that contacts the ground. Tires with low PSI levels also cause the gas mileage of your vehicle to decrease severely. An underinflated tire causes the vehicle to work harder, therefore consuming more fuel per mile, ultimately costing you more money.
A low tire could also cause more issues with vehicle control when it comes to driving in different weather conditions or on different terrain.
In the same way that an underinflated tire is dangerous, an overinflated tire can also cause issues with your vehicle. Overinflation in tires will also give you less control of the vehicle. Tires with a high PSI are stiff and have less rubber hitting the ground, which makes it more difficult to control the vehicle. It makes things like driving over a pothole potentially dangerous.
In order to avoid these issues, it’s important to get your tires checked by a professional every month. Properly inflated tires will make your car happy and your wallet happy.
Tire Maintenance: Rotation
Routine tire rotations is essential in extending your tires’ lifespan. The longer the tires last with proper maintenance, the better. The purpose of regular tire rotations is to evenly distribute the tire wear so that you don’t have uneven tire wear. Tire rotation consists of removing a tire and placing it in a different position on the vehicle. Some vehicles come with their own recommended placement of tires.
Drivers should pay attention to the front wheels on the car, which wear down twice as fast as the back tires. Professionals recommend getting tires rotated every 5,000-8,000 miles to prevent uneven tire wear.
Tire Maintenance: Tread Depth
Tread depth is another pillar in proper tire maintenance. Tire tread depth is key to ensuring road safety and tire longevity for your vehicle. Tread depth is the measurement between the deepest groove and the top of the tread rubber. It’s important to regularly check the tread depth on your tires to know if they are due for a replacement.
There are many methods to checking your tire’s tread depth. It is always good to get a professional’s opinion, but an easy way to check your tires on your own is doing the penny test or the quarter test. These tests are easy and can indicate when it’s time to replace your tires.
The Penny Test
Insert a penny into the tread groove of your tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then your tread depth is too low and it’s time to change your tires.
The Quarter Test
The same test can be done with a quarter. If tread reaches the top of Washington’s head, you have 4/32 inch of tread left.
Most tires also come with a tread wear indicator on them. Once this tread is worn down and almost indistinguishable, it’s a good sign that it is time to change the tires.
Tire Maintenance: Seasonal Tires
If you live in a climate with extreme weather temperatures, then changing your tires during extreme weather seasons is something that you should consider. If you live in a climate that gets rainy during the fall and icy or snowy during the winter, then changing your tires is an important part of tire maintenance.
There are a few ways to protect your car during extreme weather seasons: Change your tires for the season or buy all-season tires that can withstand a broader range of weather conditions. Switching your tires out can be expensive and a hassle, so using all-season tires is a good alternative for people who live in climates that would require switch this more often.
Proper tire care is essential in vehicle maintenance, and keeping up with these four things can prevent future headaches.
Do you have any tire maintenance tips to add?