Tires are key components of your vehicle which require proper maintenance. Today’s tires are tough enough to survive mishandling and lack of maintenance. However, neglecting tire health can be very costly. Here are some tips to extend tire life and avoid roadside inconvenience:
Keep tires properly inflated
Over or under-inflated tires can badly affect your vehicle’s capacity to accelerate, steer or stop. It is, therefore, important to maintain correct tire pressure so that you can ensure safety, better fuel consumption, and improved performance. It is reported that proper inflation can alone extend the life of a tire by 4500 miles and save up to 11 cents per gallon. On the other hand, improper tire inflation will lead to tire failure, structural damage, accelerated tire wear, and poor gas mileage.
Inspect your tires pressure at least once a month. Carry out this activity when the tires are cold. Vehicle manufacturers provide useful information usually printed on the tire or in the vehicle owner’s manual. It is advisable to keep a pressure gauge in your vehicle at all times.
Check the tread
The function of tire treads is to provide traction and grip which prevents a vehicle from slipping and sliding. When tires get old, the tread is worn down. It is recommended to replace tires when the tread is worn down to 4/32 of an inch remains. You can use a coin to check the tread.
Keep tires aligned
Tire balancing is important as it ensures a vehicle’s wheel rotates properly and that there is no vibration. When tires are not aligned properly, vibration can seriously damage the tires and create a safety hazard on the road. When you get a new set of tires, make sure they are properly installed and balanced. As per the owner’s manual, get the wheel alignment checked on all wheels especially when your vehicle hits potholes or bumps. Uneven wear can be a sign that there is something wrong either with alignment or inflation.
Rotate the wheels
Rotating tires can be helpful in reducing irregular wear. You can consult the owner’s manual to see how often you can do this or what is the best pattern of rotation. It is ideal to rotate tires every 5000 to 8000 miles.
Make sure you follow these practices for the spare as well. Moreover, it is important that you keep tires clean or free of any substance that could deteriorate the rubber.
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