Tire Care and Safety: 3 Simple Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Tires
Tire pressure is a key part of your car’s overall health. As the only point of contact between the road and your car, tires have a big impact on a vehicle’s overall health, handling, and safety. They influence your turn control, your ability to break, and even how smooth your ride is.
That’s why maintaining proper tire health is critical for the long-term health of your vehicle. Here are 3 simple things you can do to help them to last as long as possible:
Check Your Tire Pressure
Tires can lose up to one pound per square inch (psi) of air every month. Maintaining the manufacturer-recommended tire pressure will help to prevent damage and achieve better gas mileage. Most experts recommend checking all tires, including your spare, about once a month and more often during colder weather. Thankfully, many auto shops offer free tire pressure checks; often, they’ll refill them to the proper levels if they’re too low.
If you’re testing at home, you should always test tires “cold, ” or about three hours after you’ve driven, with a trusted pressure gauge. You can reference the sticker inside the driver’s door of your car to find the proper levels for your vehicle. You can also reference your owner’s manual for more information.
Keep an Eye on the Tread
Tread refers to the grooved rubber on the tire that makes contact with the road. The tread naturally becomes worn as you drive, limiting its traction and making punctures more likely so it’s important to monitor it closely.
If the tread depth is too low or uneven, it can contribute to poor braking and lack of control, especially in icy conditions. Similarly, neglecting leaks and punctures can lead to long-term gas mileage decreases and added strain on the tire. Treads should be visually inspected regularly and professionally checked about once a year for uneven or irregular wear (like the photo above), as well as cuts, punctures, and bruises along sidewalls. If a tire is worn or damaged, it should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid a costly blowout.
Schedule Rotation and Alignment
Each tire on a car wears at a slightly different rate. Scheduling a rotation to move the tires around every few months will help to equalize wear which can, in turn, extend the life of all your tires by several thousand miles. Most mechanics recommend rotating tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to promote uniform tire wear.
Uneven wear can also indicate an alignment problem so most experts recommend having your alignment checked at least once a year. If your tires are wearing unevenly and your vehicle starts to shakes or pulls to one side, you should have your mechanic check for an alignment issue.
At V&F Auto
At V&F Auto, we offer:
- Tire Sales
- Tire Installations
- Tire Rotation
- Tire Balancing
- Tire Replacement
- Wheel Alignment
- Tire Air Pressure Checks
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Repair & Service
Our expert mechanics can help you choose the right tire type for your price point and local driving conditions so you can be safe on the road. Right now we’re offering a free tire rotation with your next oil change, now through November 30th! Call us at (413)314-2280 to make an appointment or schedule an appointment online.