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Maintain Your Car’s Tires To Limit Your Risk Of A Collision

Tires are one of the most essential components of your car, contributing to safety, handling, ride quality and braking performance. To guarantee optimal performance from these important parts, it’s essential that you know how to maintain them correctly.

Maintaining your tires properly inflated is one of the simplest ways to guarantee optimal performance and safety. Be sure to refer to either your owner’s manual or the small sticker included with each tire for guidance on setting the appropriate pressure.

Cars driving on wet road in the rain with headlights

Check Your Tire Pressure

The tire pressure in your car’s tires is an integral component of its function and safety. Under-inflated tires can lead to poor handling, increased fuel consumption, or even dangerous blowouts.

You can check your tire pressure with a gauge. These range from battery-operated digital models to traditional stick types that you may find at auto parts stores for about $15.

Ideally, you should check your tire pressure before driving or at least three hours after stopping to ensure an accurate reading. Unfortunately, this may not always be possible since tires tend to heat up while being used.

When driving, your tire pressure will increase as friction from the road causes air inside it to expand. This causes your PSI (pounds per square inch) to rise by approximately 1 psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit change in outdoor temperature.

Check Your Tread Depth

Your tires’ tread are an integral component of your car’s safety and performance. Their raised ribs are designed to expel water from the tire, giving you a secure driving experience even in heavy downpours or snowfall.

However, when the tread grooves of your tires become worn down, it makes the brake and steering systems work harder. This could result in your vehicle losing traction and becoming difficult to control in wet weather conditions.

Check your tires’ tread depth every few thousand miles, and if it drops below 2/32 inches, then it may be time for replacement.

Measuring tread depth can be done using a penny, quarter, tire tread wear indicator or tread depth gauge. No matter which method is chosen, make sure to measure all three grooves on each tire as any discrepancies may indicate misalignment or improper inflation.

Rotate Your Tires

Rotating your tires is one of the most essential ways to ensure your car’s tires remain optimal for safety and performance. It prevents uneven wear from occurring when different tires are exposed to different angles of road exposure.

Additionally, proper rotation can extend your tire tread life and lower the need to replace them frequently. To guarantee proper rotation of your tires, consult either your vehicle’s owner manual or follow industry standards set by the tire industry.

According to your vehicle’s configuration and tire type (directional or non-directional), there are four rotation patterns you can choose from. FWD and rear-wheel drive vehicles utilize a forward cross pattern; all-wheel and four-wheel drive models use a rearward cross pattern.

Keep Your Tires Clean

Maintaining your car’s tires can be an efficient and effective way to extend its life. Not only does this help avoid tire-related accidents, but it also ensures optimal safety and performance on the road.

Rubber tires are porous, meaning they accumulate dirt, road tar, salt, brake dust and other damaging substances which can degrade your tires over time. Regular cleaning and maintenance will keep your wheels safe, shiny and in great condition.

You can clean your tires using a variety of products, such as soap and water, specialized cleaners, and tire protectants. Select one that best suits your car’s needs, then follow the directions on the bottle for proper application.

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