Your tires are what stands between you and the road when you are driving your car. You owe it to yourself and your family to be sure that your tires are safe and performing at the highest level possible. You will also find that proper tire care means you will buy tires less often and will keep your car in better shape. That translates to more money in your pocket. Here are five ways to make sure your tires are safe and strong.
Air pressure is the key to keeping your tires safely on the road. Your can find your car's air pressure recommendations in your owner's manual. The amount of air pressure needed depends on the weight and type of vehicle, so don't determine the appropriate reading based on someone else's car.
You should be checking the air pressure in your tires at least once a month. You can't tell if a tire is low just by looking at it, so get your tire gauge out to be sure.
You may have heard that you can save gas by driving on overinflated tires. Mythbusters tested this theory and determined that underinflated tires use more gas while overinflated tires use less. However, the difference was so small that it was not a huge money saver. It is also not worth the risk of blowing out a tire because it is overinflated.
Your car has a weight limitation, and exceeding it can mean your tires are in trouble. Know how much weight can ride on your tires, and pay attention to what you are carrying in your car.
Your tire's treads are more than just a pretty pattern. They give you traction on the road and keep your car from slipping in wet weather.
You can use your treads to determine the health of your tires and even to give you clues about your car's performance. If the tread on your tires looks knew in some places but has worn smooth in others, your car is probably out of alignment.
Most tires have wear bars that show up when the tread is worn to the point that the tire needs to be replaced.
Avoid damaging your tires by stopping properly when you are on the road. Sudden stops that release a screech are terrible for tires, and you can save your tread by accelerating slowly as well.
The old fashioned advice to pump your breaks when you are slipping or skidding is no longer valid with modern anti-lock break systems. Instead you should place gentle, constant pressure on the breaks and let the car recover from the skid.
You definitely don't want to spin your tires when you are stuck in mud or snow. They can overheat and actually explode.
Having your tires rotated does not refer to them going around and around when on the road. You need to have the position of your tires changed, or rotated to different spots on your car, in order to keep your tires in tip top condition.
Tires wear differently based on the position they are in under the car. Your tires will last much longer if you have them rotated on a regular basis. Also, your mechanic will check your breaks when rotating your tires. This is a big safety plus.
Following these very simple maintenance procedures can make a huge difference in the life and performance of your tires. Save money on replacing your tires and keep everyone in your car safe and sound by paying attention to your tires. Then go out and enjoy the road.