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Basic Tire Maintenance for Every Driver
One thing to remember about your tires is that they are the only thing between you and the road. All that cool vehicle technology, you, your family and all your possessions in the car essentially roll on 4 contact patches of rubber the size of 4 pieces of toast. That’s all the contact your vehicle has with Mother Earth. So, taking good care of your tires is essential to maintaining good driving control, safety and peace of mind.
*IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: MAKE SURE THE TIRES ON YOUR VEHICLE ARE WHAT THE MANUFACTURER RECOMMENDS WITH REGARDS TO SIZE AND SPEED RATING. SEE YOU LOCAL PRIDE AUTO CARE CENTER IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.
Proper Tire Inflation
When tires are properly inflated and in good condition, meaning they have no damage and have tread depth in excess of at least 4/32” or more, they should work as they’re designed—providing your car with good traction in most road conditions, stability (also linked to a well-kept suspension system), and proper handling. They are one of the key safety features of the vehicle.
By the same token, under inflated tires or tires worn beyond their useful limits or that are damaged will present you with drive-ability and safety issues. This includes tires that are the wrong or unmatched sizes on your car as well.
Air pressure is HUGELY IMPORTANT! Air in a tire is akin to the air we breathe; without it we don’t work, nor does a tire. Proper air pressure is essential to keeping tires running safely, for the longest time and having operational integrity.
One of the key issues with taking care of tires is tire rotation. Tires should be rotated every 6000 miles, give or take (see your owner’s manual for more specifics). The steering and driving tires in today’s all-wheel-drive and front wheel drive vehicles causes these tires to wear more quickly than your rear tires in many cases. So rotating these tires, per the manufacturer’s recommendations, back tires to the front and vice versa, is critical for tire longevity, even tire wear and proper control. With the cost of tires going up almost on a monthly basis it seems, it’s always good to keep your tires properly inflated and rotated.
Another key component to keeping tires happy for the long run is proper alignment, especially here in Colorado. Our potholes and winter driving challenges and just general city and mountain driving (let alone any off-road action you might consider) can knock a car out of alignment very quickly. Once out of alignment, tires can wear out quickly and can cause other wear issues with the suspension of the car. And back to the cost of new tires, we want to avoid having to replace tires any more often than needed.
One thing that you can do on a record basis is visually inspect your tires when you walk around your car. Don’t take for granted that because they looked good one day that they are good the next. Check them for low-inflation, uneven tire wear, cupping or feathering on the tire’s shoulder (outer edge ears—caused by alignment or suspension issues, or even a bad, out-of-round tire). Check for debris or punctures in the tire.
Be kind to your tires, and they’ll be kind to you.
Just be cognitive of the fact the tires are the key to your vehicle’s handling and driving safety in most situations. Don’t take them for granted.
If you have tire questions or concerns or just want your tire pressure checked, stop in at any Pride Auto Care service center at your convenience and we will happily check those awesomely important tires for you.