We all know that if you do not have sturdy tires you won’t be able to drive anywhere safely. Your tires are the foundation between your car and the road. But if you do not take care of your tires you might find yourself on the side of the road with a flat – or worse a blow out! We, at Chapman Auto Repair, have created a safety checklist for your tires!
1) TIRE PRESSURE
It is important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as under inflation can lead to tire failure. The “right amount” of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner’s manual.
2) TIRE ALIGNMENT
If your wheels are misaligned on the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread wear and should be corrected. Front-wheel-drive vehicles, and the vehicles with an independent rear suspension, will require alignment of all four wheels. It is always a good idea to have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner’s manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as “pulling” or vibration. Also have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear.
3) TIRE TREAD
Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. If you don’t know what 1/16th of an inch looks like off the top of your head, there is an easy test: place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you are driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire.
4) TIRE ROTATION
Sometimes uneven tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. Before rotating your tires, always refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 8,000 miles. Visually check your tires for signs of uneven wear. You may have irregular tread wear if there are high and low areas or unusually smooth areas.
5) Pay Attention to When an Alignment/Balance is Due
When you were checking the tread depth on your tires and noticed uneven wear, that’s a sign that you need an alignment. How did this happen? You could have hit a pothole, backed over a curb, or even had a minor fender bender and knocked the suspension out of alignment. Alternatively, whoever replaced your tires last could have forgotten to do an alignment, which means they aren’t all tracking straight in the same direction the car is traveling. Whatever the case, making sure your suspension is properly aligned will prevent the tires from fighting each other in opposite directions, which results in uneven wear on the tread and an early trip to the tire-graveyard.