Have you checked your tires recently? A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that about nine percent of motor vehicle collisions are caused by tire-related issues, but the majority of people do not check their tire pressure monthly or know how to inflate a flat.
Maintenance of your car’s tires is an important way to ensure you’re traveling safely on the roads. They don’t require a whole lot—here are a few things to stay on top of to save money in the long run and keep you and your passengers safe on the road:
Check Tire Pressure Every Month: At least every month, and especially before long road trips, make sure your tires are filled to the proper PSI for your vehicle, which you can find in the manual or on the sticker on the door frame. Additionally, temperature affects tire pressure, so when winter weather hits, you may need to add air to get them back to their necessary levels. Making sure your tires maintain the correct pressure will extend their life and increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Often times, gas stations offer free air to fill them up.
Inspect Them Regularly: Make sure you’re always looking for anything that could have gotten stuck and punctured holes in your tires, such as nails, glass, etc. Take a close look at the tread, too, and bring a quarter to do so. The legal minimum measurement for the tread on a tire is 2/32 of an inch, but it enhances safety if your tires have more than this left on them. Rick McGill’s Airport Toyota says, “In tests, new tires with a 10/32-inch tread depth had a stopping distance of 195.2 feet in the rain, where tires with a 4/32-inch depth recorded 290 feet. Tires with a 2/32-inch depth stopped after 378.8 feet. Check your tires’ tread every month by sticking a quarter into a tread groove. If the tread is flush with the top of George Washington’s head, it is 4/32 inch deep. If you can see any part of Washington’s head, replace your tires immediately.”
Rotate and Align Them: Making service appointments to rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles will keep their lifespan healthy, since using them in different spots affects their tread differently. Getting your wheels aligned also ensures they’re being used as efficiently as possible.
Keep the Same Kind of Tires: Using mismatched brands or types of tires on your car can negatively impact the handling of the vehicle and the overall wear and tear on your tires. If you aren’t replacing them all at once, try to replace at least two at a time, and put them on the rear—which will handle better in wet road conditions.
Don’t Overload Your Vehicle: In the same place as your car’s PSI information, your vehicle will have a maximum weight capacity that it can handle listed on the door frame. If you exceed this, your vehicle could experience tire failure.
Don’t Overuse: Make sure your tires don’t overstay their welcome. They can be expensive to replace, but they can be the deciding factor between driving safely and losing control of your vehicle on the road. Most tires have a wear bar in their tread, and if your tires are at or below this point, it’s time for new.
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Putting the Brakes on Bad Tire Maintenance Have you checked your tires recently? A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that about nine percent of motor vehicle collisions are caused by tire-related issues, but the majority of people do not check their tire pressure monthly or know how to inflate a flat. …