5 Car Tire Maintenance Tips To Keep You Safe
We all rely on our tires to keep us safe on the road. They keep us firmly planted with their tread, provide cushion from the bumps in the road, and are with us for thousands of miles at a time. Being a car's only connection to the ground, tires are an extremely important part of driving safety. It is relatively easy to maintain one's tires for optimal use, but it is a chore that is often ignored. You never know when a hazard may be headed in your direction, but by maintaining your tires you will be better prepared to avoid harm altogether.
Here are some important tire maintenance tips:
- Proper Inflation -- Only 1 out of 7 drivers checks their tire pressure on a regular basis. Yet, keeping your tires properly inflated is easily the most important aspect of tire maintenance. If your tires aren't inflated correctly, it will be harder to turn, they will wear out faster, provide a bumpier ride, and even reduce your car's gas mileage!
- Regular Rotation -- It's common to rotate tires every 500-800 miles, but you should refer to the owner's manual to see the car manufacturer's specific recommendations. With that said, if you ever notice a problem with your tires, then you should get them checked right away by a qualified technician.
- Balancing/Alignment -- Proper balancing and alignment are necessary for you to have complete control over your car. If you ever notice an abnormal vibration, pounding, shaking, or pulling then you should see a tire technician immediately. These problems can be major safety issues.
- Repair/Replacement -- Legally, you need a certain amount of tread on your tires for them to be accepted on the road. This may vary from state to state, and you can check online to find regulations in your area. The "penny test" is a common way to gauge your tread depth and check if your tires need replacement. Put a penny into several tread grooves across the tire with Lincoln's head aimed downward. If Lincoln's head is always covered by the tread depth, you have more than 2/32" of tread depth remaining. You should also look into repairing or replacing your tires if there is damage to the sidewall, a bulge sticking out, or a deep cut in the rubber (even if the tire is still holding air). Any one of these issues could lead to a car accident.
- Don't Forget the Spare -- Lastly, you should always make sure your spare tire is accessible and properly inflated in case of emergency.
Having bad tires is a common reason that car accidents occur, so please keep these simple tire maintenance tips in mind.
Please see Automotive Consumer Help & Advice for more articles.