Take Care of Your Tires
Perform a monthly tire inspection to save on repairs and keep safe.
Proper tire maintenance can save you money on fuel and auto repairs, as well as prevent the stress of being stranded with a flat—or worse. Take time for a monthly tire inspection to ensure you’re traveling safely and comfortably on all four wheels. And remember to check your spare!
- Test the tire pressure monthly, even if your vehicle has a tire pressure monitoring system. Do this when the car has been sitting for at least several hours and the tires are “cold.” You can find the recommended tire pressure in the owner’s manual or on the doorjamb of most vehicles. Did you know: Properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage by 3 percent.
- Measure the tire tread, and replace tires worn to 1/16 of an inch. Check for baldness by inspecting the tires’ treadwear indicators (rubber bars that become visible as the tread wears down). Use the penny trick: Place a penny upside-down in the tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
- Look for damage that could lead to early failure. Watch for cracks, cuts, bulges, indentations or objects embedded in the rubber. Some problems can be patched, but damage to the sidewall requires you to replace the tire.
- Inspect tires for excessive or irregular wear. This could indicate that your tires need to be rotated. Tires that are out of balance, misaligned or under- or over-inflated also can cause irregular wear.
- Take a test-drive. Does your vehicle shake or vibrate? Does the car pull to the left or right? If so, your tires may need to be balanced or your vehicle may need to be aligned.