We all know that if you do not have sturdy tires you won’t be able to drive anywhere safely. Your tires are the foundation between your car and the road. But if you do not take care of your tires you might find yourself on the side of the road with a flat – or worse a blow out! We, at Kingdom Auto Repair, have created a safety checklist for your tires!
It is important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as under inflation can lead to tire failure. The “right amount” of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner’s manual.
- When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool. Meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile – so check it first thing in the morning.
- Remove the cap from the valve on one tire.
- Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
- Add air to achieve recommended air pressure.
- If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.
- Replace the valve cap.
- Repeat with each tire, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
- Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
- Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges, or other irregularities. NOTE: Air pressure in a tire goes up (in warm weather) or down (in cold weather) 1 or 2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.
If your wheels are misaligned on the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread wear and should be corrected. Front-wheel-drive vehicles, and the vehicles with an independent rear suspension, will require alignment of all four wheels. It is always a good idea to have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner’s manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as “pulling” or vibration. Also have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear.
Sometimes uneven tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. Before rotating your tires, always refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 8,000 miles.
Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. If you don’t know what 1/16th of an inch looks like off the top of your head, there is an easy test: place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you are driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire.
Built-in tread wear indicators, or “wear bars,” which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread will appear on the tire when the tread is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch. When you see these “wear bars,” the tire is worn out and should be replaced.
Visually check your tires for signs of uneven wear. You may have irregular tread wear if there are high and low areas or unusually smooth areas.