4 Tire Care Tips Every Driver Needs to Know
Tires can be expensive! But tires that are in good working order are necessary to keep you safe on the road. They are the only thing between your vehicle and the road, and proper care ensures that your car will handle well in all sorts of road conditions.
When you have to invest in new tires, you want to be sure they will last as long as possible so you don’t have to replace them as often. To get the most out of your tires, follow these important care tips:
Proper inflation makes a significant difference in how long your tires last. Under-inflated tires cause the sidewall to touch the road. Because the sidewall is not as thick as the tread, it is not well-suited for the friction that driving creates. This leads to overheating and eventual breakdown of the rubber, resulting in blowout.
Keeping your tires inflated properly means you won’t have to replace them as often, saving you money. You can find the correct psi level for your vehicle in your owner’s manual.
Your front and rear tires wear down unevenly as they perform different jobs. Your front tires are the “steer tires.” Because these are responsible for turning, the tread wears down in a rounded pattern. Rear tires just follow the front in a straight line, causing them to wear in a more square pattern.
Bringing your vehicle in for a tire rotation regularly balances the wear. Your owner’s manual should tell you how often to rotate, but a good rule of thumb is every 5,000-7,000 miles.
Check Tire Tread Depth
If you have ever tried to navigate wet, slippery roads with bald tires, you know that tire tread plays an important role in traction. Use the penny test to check your tire tread every so often.
Place a penny upside-down between treads. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to buy some new tires.
Inspect Your Tires Regularly
During the winter months, it is much easier to hit potholes, curbs, and damaging debris that have been hidden in a blanket of snow. It is important to inspect your tires regularly for any damage that may weaken your tire, especially if you know that you hit something. Here are some things to check for:
- A bulging sidewall is a weak point that represents interior damage. While it can rarely be repaired, finding it early could prevent you from tire failure while on the road, saving you from an accident.
- Gouges and scrapes can cause weakening of the tire. Though it may only be cosmetic, it is wise to get it checked by a professional to be sure.
- Nails and screws don’t always result in an instant flat tire. Occasionally, they plug the hole they created, causing a slower leak. If caught early, the tire can usually be patched. However, if the nail or screw is left in the tire, it could eventually cause splitting at the entry site, making it necessary to replace the tire.
A quick visual inspection of your tire can easily be done whenever you are headed out. A minute of your time could save you a blowout on a busy road, potentially resulting in an accident. It is also wise to have your tires inspected by a professional every year.
Roadside Assistance in Utah
No matter how well you maintain your tires, blow-outs can still happen. And when they do, you need fast, affordable service to get you back on your way. At West Coast Heavy Duty Towing & Recovery, we offer quick tire changes and other breakdown services by friendly, skilled technicians. If you need a helping hand, give us a call today!