How much do you remember about tire maintenance from your driver’s education class? I bet you don’t remember much. Most courses cover the rules of the road, not how to maintain a vehicle. As a new driver, there are many things to learn. Taking care of your car is one of those things. Let’s start with the one part of your vehicle that touches the road, your tires.
That’s right, your tires are the only part of your vehicle that actually touch the road. That makes them an important safety feature, a factor in fuel economy, and a crucial part of your vehicle’s maintenance. I want to make sure that you can take care of your tires and make them last!
Know how to check your tire pressure! Low tire pressure is the leading cause of tread damage, blowouts, and premature wear. To check your tire pressure all you need is a tire pressure gauge. Check your pressure by removing the cap from your valve stem and inserting the gauge. Most tires have a recommended pressure of 30-35 PSI. If you want to be sure; check your owner’s manual, the sticker on your door jam, or look up the pressure recommendation for your specific tire. If your pressure is not within the recommended range you should add or remove air to reach proper inflation.
You need to know when to have routine maintenance performed. Your tires should be rotated on a regular schedule. Your owner’s manual can give you a suggested maintenance routine or you can ask your local auto mechanic for advice. Tire rotation involves moving your tires and wheels to different positions on your vehicle. This will allow your tire tread to wear down evenly. It also gives your mechanic a chance to double check your tire pressure and take a quick look at your brakes.
Tire maintenance plays a big role in maximizing tire life but no tire will last forever. No matter how well you take care of your tires or how you drive, your tires are affected by time. Natural oils in rubber will evaporate over time causing cracks and damage. Tire maintenance is about keeping tires safe and making them last longer. If your tires make it hazardous to drive, it’s time to get them replaced.