Tire Care: What You Need to Know

Tires are one of the most important safety features on a car. All the anti-lock brakes and collision detection systems will be useless if there are bald tires. To keep from getting into a dangerous situation, make sure to follow these simple tire maintenance guidelines:

Tire Pressure

Keeping tires at the recommended pressure will not only improve gas mileage, it will extend the life of the tires and provide better handling. This is such a simple way to keep tires functioning properly, so make sure to do it once a month.

Rotating Tires

Front tires always lose tread quicker than rear tires, so make sure all the tires wear evenly, they need to be rotated. Without rotation, the front tires can wear out about twice as fast as the rear tires. If the manufacturer has recommended rotation schedule, be sure to follow it. Otherwise, rotate the tires every 10,000 to 12,000 miles.

Correct Alignment

A car with tires that are out of alignment will cause them to wear faster. This might not always be noticeable, as the wear can appear on the inside of the tire. Poor alignment also makes handling more difficult. Getting an alignment will help extend tire life and increase safety.

Slow Leaks

If a tire has a slow leak, it may begin to look flat every few days or weeks. Rather than just continually adding air, get it checked out at a tire shop. That slow leak may burst into a blown tire if not taken care of.

Tread Wear

Tread Wear is the best gauge of when to replace a tire. While manufacturers may guarantee a tire for a certain number of miles, the tread wear should still be checked prior to reaching the guaranteed mileage. Driving styles and road conditions can wear tread away faster, so make sure to use the “penny test”. Just take a penny and insert it upside down into one of the tire grooves. If all of Lincoln’s head can be seen, it is time to replace the tires.

Compared to other car maintenance costs, tires are quite affordable. Make sure to keep them in proper working order to save both money and keep a good grip on the road.