Your car is likely one of your most valuable and expensive possessions, and with that comes the responsibility of taking care of it. Aside from the other general maintenance needed for the engine, oil, windows and other essential parts, some of the most important things to pay attention to on your car are the tires. After all, the tires are what make the vehicle drivable, and they should be at the top of your checklist when it comes to looking after them. Here are some tips that you can keep in mind that may be helpful when it comes to making sure your tires are in proper shape.
1. Especially if you live in a colder climate with a lot of ice and snow, keeping an eye on your tire thread depth is extremely important. The thickness of the thread depth is what indicates your tire durability and stability as you drive down the road. A tire with very thin threading may be at risk for popping or literally just falling apart at the seams, and this can also put you at a higher risk of being in a crash. You can check the thread status of your tires simply by placing a quarter upside down into the grooves of each tire. If you see George Washington’s head it means that it is just about time to shop around for a new set. If the depths are uneven it can mean that you will need to take it into the shop to get your tires rotated so that they don’t throw off the suspension.
2. Tire pressure is another important factor when it comes to overall tire care. You will want to hunt for that sweet spot in between flat and too full, because an extreme on either end can cause damage to the tires. When the tires are too full you can cause them to wear out much quicker in the center of the threading. If your tires are too flat you can wear out the edges much faster that way, and it also will end up costing you more money for gas. This is due to the tires having to work much harder just to keep going and in return you will burn more gas by needing to hit that fuel pedal even harder. To make sure that you are at a happy medium, it is a good idea to check the tire pressure at least once a month. If you have a spare as well, it is a good idea to have that always filled up in case you need it unexpectedly. For the best results check the pressure when the tires are cold and haven’t been driving around much that day, and always keep your tire pressure gage in your glove box. Aside from the financial costs, tires with not enough air in them have been known to put you at a much greater risk for an accident as well.
3. It is also essential to check if your wheel alignment and tire balance are in good standing. When your tires are rotated, you are essentially giving them more life and the capability to last longer. The reason being is that over time the threads will wear out slowly, and this will cause your tires to become unbalanced. By rotating them you are assuring that they stay at about the same thickness for the duration of their use. If your tires end up being uneven, it can not only wear them out much quicker, but also pull the car to either the right or left as you drive. This would be a critical safety hazard.
Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited offers the best auto repair Columbia MO has to offer!