If you’re not a mechanic or don’t fancy yourself as someone who knows a lot about cars, chances are you don’t pay too much attention to how your tires are holding up. You’re busy with work, school, kids, and family, and you don’t have time to worry about your tread or tire pressure. It’s true of many of us as we don’t typically think to or know what to look for when it the health of our tires. We often are more concerned with our brakes, the engine, or even the vehicle’s cosmetic appearance. But this might be a mistake. The health of your tires and the amount of wear and tear they suffer can lead to serious problems that could cause issues for your family’s safety. Over 10,000 accidents a year occur due to tire issues with hundreds of people losing there lives. Overlooking one of your vehicles most important safety features, your tires, is something no of us can afford to do. But many people don’t know that there are simple steps they can take to prevent wear and tear and that there are resources and guides to help you become more knowledgeable. There are even skilled professionals that can easily explain and assist you in the maintenance of your tires. If you recently purchased brand new discount tires that you want to maintain and keep in good condition, you should become educated on tire maintenance as soon as possible.
So, for now, before you get the professionals involved, here are 3 easy steps to preventing further tire damage.
Frequently Tracking Your Tire Pressure
So, here’s the bad news. Even the highest quality discount tires lose tire pressure easily and significantly, even from daily travel and use. The only way to prevent the ill effects of this significant loss of pressure is to monitor it frequently and to maintain healthy levels. Often, many people forget to do this, and they take their daily vehicle on a long road trip, or they haul something heavy and they find their tire pressure levels get dangerously low.
If you live in an area in which outdoor temperature levels fluctuate, you should be checking your tire pressure frequently. Many newer vehicles have systems that will alert you when your tire pressure drops below the manufactures recommended minimum safe pressure providing another level of security and advanced warning.
If your vehicle lacks a Tire Pressure Monitoring system, or TPS, it would be advised to have a tire pressure tool handy at all times. Frequent changes in weather can make your tires finicky, so keep a close eye on that pressure gauge. And as noted before, always check your tire pressure before and after those long trips or before and after hauling cargo.
How to Check Tire Pressure
Knowing how to check the pressure of your tires is one of the most important parts of keeping your tires healthy. There are three easy steps when checking your tire’s pressure. Once you learn them you will wonder why you’ve never attempted to do so before now.
- Step 1: Locate the valve stem, you will find it when you look at the edge of your tire near the hubcap or rim.
- Step 2: Unscrew the cap that covers the valve stem and once you do so, make sure you keep it in a safe place and don’t lose it!
- Step 3: Insert the end of the tool meant for pressure-sensing into the port of the valve stem.
What you are checking for is whether or not your tires are inflated above recommended pressure, or whether your tire pressure is too low. Either way, you can’t be driving safely at those levels. You should deflate the tires by pressing in the gauge if they are over pressured. To add air, you will need an air pump, commonly found at many gas stations or garages. Regardless if you are adding or decreasing air pressure, keep taking readings until all tires are inflated properly.
Tire pressure can affect your safety, but also keep in mind that it can affect performance, and gas mileage too. Gas mileage has been known to decline in high percentages, it amounts to about 0.2 % per lb of air pressure or PSI. Experts recommend doing those checks as frequently as once and week and recommend a good way to remember is to check every time you stop for gas.
And while you’re down there, it’s a good idea to take a look at your tire’s tread. This is another all-too crucial part of maintaining your tire’s health and ensuring your family’s safety.
Frequently Check Your Tire’s Tread
Tire pressure is important, but it’s not the only concern you should have when monitoring the health of your tires. Even though many tires have a 4 or 5-year warranty, you should regularly be checking tread, which is another thing that can prevent accidents. A lack of tread can mean zero traction for unexpected quick stops and won’t prevent your vehicle from hydroplaning on wet roads.
- A Pro Tip: Grab a quarter out of your pocket and insert it between the tread lines. This is a great way to check tire depth. The experts say that if you can still see the top of George Washington’s head, your tread has deteriorated to dangerously low levels.
It’s important to note that, driving on tires with an unsafe level of tread might not just affect you and your family, but others as well. If you are driving on bad tires, they could pop and cause sparking which can lead to fires. You might even spin out or cause an accident that might hurt other people.
Visit your local dealerships for discount tires in Cincinnati, Orlando, Boston, Chicago, or anywhere in this great county so professionals can give you further tips and advice, assist you in checking the levels of tread and tire pressure and determining when it might be time to replace those old worn tires for something new.