Copyright 2006 Peter Hayes
Tire care and safety is a simple and easy process. In fact the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) recommends that you make a habit of checking them every month. It only takes five minutes. Remember to check the spare too! It is also recommended that you check your tires before a long trip.
Maintaining the correct pressure is essential. In fact under inflation can result in the tire failing. Check your owner’s manual to make sure you know the correct pressure required by your tires. When you do check the pressure make sure the tires are cool. The pressure goes up as the tires get hot from driving. This will give you an incorrect reading. Do not over fill the tire either.
Uneven tire wear can be caused by misalignment of the front or rear wheels. It can also be caused by faulty tire balance. Visually check your tires every month. If you observe uneven tire wear take you vehicle to your tire dealer for their expert opinion. If you notice extremely rapid tread wear this can also be caused by misalignment. While driving misalignment can cause your vehicle to pull or vibrate. If you notice irregular tire wear it is also good idea to have your tires rotated. Speak to your tire dealer about any issues relating to misalignment, tire balance and rotation. The general rule of thumb is to rotate your tires every 6,000 miles. However, always check your owner’s manual for their specific recommendation.
Worn tires can result in hydroplaning or skidding. You should replace your tire if the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch. At this point you will also see tread wear indicators appearing on your tire which indicates that the tire is worn out and is in need of replacement.
Other suggestions to maintain tire condition and prevent premature wear includes avoiding driving over objects on the road, avoiding driving over potholes, and avoiding driving over or hitting curbs. It is also recommended that you do not overload your vehicle when driving. Your owner’s manual will give you specifics on maximum loads for your vehicle. Pay attention to your tires. They are an important factor in the safety of you and your fellow passengers while driving. Always consult your tire dealer if you have any suspicions or questions regarding the condition of your tires. They are the true experts.