5 Important Tips for Tire Maintenance and Safety
Tires are the second most important part of the vehicle after the engine. If you follow your car’s recommended maintenance schedule, you should have your bases covered, right? No! Why? Checking your tires from time to time is very important. Tire maintenance should never be ignored. Did you know that poor tire condition is one of the leading causes of accidents, according to a National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey report?
So if you are a driver that doesn’t know much about cars and tires and what’s happening under the hood. Don’t worry, we got your back. Here are five tips for tire maintenance and safety.
1. Tire Tread
The most common tire issue is usually the tread depth. Most of the tires start with 10/32″ tread. When the tread depth gets to 2/32″ the tire is legally worn out in most states. Two quick ways you can check this: use a tire gauge or try the penny trick.
You can get a depth gauge, there are decent choices online anywhere from $5 to $60.
Or, you can use the penny trick. Just place the penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, your treads are worn and most likely need replacing. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you should have more than 2/32 of an inch of tread depth remaining.
2. Tire pressure
Check your tire pressure from time to time, this is good for a lot of things. One is, you ensure optimal gas mileage (you save money), and your car is safer to drive. Most of the newer cars have sensors so you can check the tire pressure whenever you want. Make sure you know the right pressure for your tires because low tire pressure is bad, but, high tire pressure can be bad too.
You can have it checked and set each time you go in for your vehicle’s regular maintenance check/oil change, or you can check it more frequently yourself with a tire gauge.
Bonus tip: It’s often ignored, but you should check your spare tire every time you check the tire pressure of the other tires on your car. Remember that tire maintenance is very important, don’t forget that.
3. Wear patterns
Do a simple visual inspection of uneven wear patterns on your tires. This can reveal some clues that your tires need attention. If it’s wearing in the middle it may be overinflated. If it’s wearing on the sides it may be underinflated or your tires need a rotation.
4. Regular rotation
Another important thing is to have your tires rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. This helps tires wear at an even rate. And when you put new tires on, put them on the “main” axle first (FWD – main is front, RWD – main is back). It will help you keep control of your car on wet roads.
5. Good quality tires
Know that the cheapest tires aren’t always the best value. Right? And you know what they say “you get what you pay for.” The real cost of a tire is how long it will last before starts wearing out. Your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends the size and type of tires that work best. You can find that information the owner’s manual and on the doorjamb placard.
We hope these tips will help you in maintaining your tires and ensure your safety.