For your own safety, you should make tire maintenance and repair a priority. Bald tires, unevenly worn tires, and tire blowouts contribute to countless accidents nationwide. Poor tire conditions make driving difficult and can even adversely affect gas mileage. Use the following five tips to ensure your tires are in great condition and perform optimally:
1. Inspect your tires frequently. Get into the habit of walking around your vehicle and taking a look at your tires every time you stop for fuel. Look for bumps and bulges along the outer surface as well as patterns of wear – especially uneven wear. If you find an embedded nail, screw or another piece of debris, get your vehicle to a service station immediately to have it professionally removed and the tire fixed or replaced.
2. Check air pressure monthly. Look in your vehicle’s manual for the correct inflation pressure settings and check your vehicle’s tires monthly. If you notice a tire that continually loses air pressure, get your vehicle to a service station. The tire should be removed and inspected by a professional to find the source of the air leak. Also check for the wear on the tires. If the outer edge is worn down, chances are the tires are under inflated. If the center looks worn, you may need to let air out of the tires; they could be overly inflated.
3. Have uneven tire wear checked by a professional. Unevenly worn tires can be a sign that the vehicle’s alignment is off. Uneven alignment can lead to poor gas mileage and driver fatigue as well as cause premature wear and tear on your tires. An alignment check and balance can correct the problem. Use the “penny test” to check the treads: simply grab a penny and insert it into the groove of the tire tread with President Lincoln’s head facing you and upside down. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head after sliding the penny into the groove, your tire tread is worn and the tire should be replaced.
4. Have tires balanced if you add a new tire to a wheel. A new tire can upset the balance among the remaining tires. Have the tires balanced to ensure even wear and proper handling. If you feel your vehicle pulling to one side or another, that may also be an indication that the tires need to be re-balanced.
5. Don’t forget to check the spare. Whenever you inspect and check your tires, check the spare tire too. Make sure your spare tire is properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Also check to make sure your jack, lug wrench and safety cones/flares are in the trunk and that you have everything you need to ensure your safety in the event you do need to change a tire on the road.
Call us at (719) 481-4393 if you have any questions/concerns regarding your vehicle’s tires!