It’s surprising how few drivers give any thought at all to the condition of their tires, given how essential they are to any vehicle’s function. Keeping tires in good condition can impact everything from passenger safety to fuel mileage, so drivers need to follow a few simple rules. Read on to find out about six essential tips for keeping tires in great shape.
Rotate Every 5,000 to 7,000 Miles
Tires need to be rotated to avoid uneven wear. Only a tire shop or a mechanic can perform this work, so find out about services from Telle Tire and take the vehicle in as soon as possible if it’s been driven more than 5,000 miles since the last rotation. Failing to rotate the tires can impact how the vehicle handles, reduce traction, and make older tires more prone to blow-outs, so don’t put off this essential maintenance task.
Monitor Tire Pressure
Tires that aren’t fully inflated can easily lose their grip on wet surfaces. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists underinflated tires as the most common cause of tire-related accidents in the U.S., so don’t assume that decreased traction doesn’t matter.
Everything from temperature to barometric pressure can alter tire pressure, so drivers should check it periodically, especially after extreme temperature changes. Experts recommend that even in normal climates, drivers should check their pressure at least once a month to ensure that the tires are inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Inspect Tires Before Long Trips
Planning a long road trip? Take a moment to carefully inspect each of the car’s tires in advance. A basic inspection should include not just checking the tire pressure but also inspecting the tires carefully to look for cracks, bulges, and objects lodged in the tread or sidewalls that could puncture the tire.
Check Tread Depth Regularly
Tread depth also affects how well tires grip wet roads. The easiest way to check a tire’s tread depth is to take a quarter and insert it upside-down into the tire’s shallowest-looking groove. If anything above Washington’s head is visible, it’s time to replace those old tires before they cause problems.
Don’t Overload Vehicles
Every vehicle has a different weight limit, and it’s never a good idea to ignore it. Overloading vehicles can cause worn tires to blow out and impact handling, especially around turns.
To find out how much weight a vehicle can hold, check the placard located on its driver’s door frame. This placard will offer information about the car’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Drivers with trucks or other oversized vehicles intended to haul a lot of weight should always purchase heavy-duty tires capable of supporting that weight.
Don’t Wait to Have Tires Replaced
It’s never wise to put off tire replacement. Driving a car with tires that have worn treads, cracks in their sidewalls, or other noticeable defects can place drivers and their passengers in danger. When replacing only two tires, make sure to put them on the back of the car regardless of whether it has rear-wheel or front-wheel drive.
The Bottom Line
Worn, underinflated, and overinflated tires pose a safety hazard to everyone on the road. Tires aren’t cheap, but dealing with a serious accident is much more expensive. Follow the simple advice above to avoid unnecessary problems and never put off repairing or replacing a damaged tire.