A few quick tricks on what to look, listen and feel for can help keep your tires alive longer. Knowing what to look for can prevent any major blow-outs leaving you stranded on the side of the road.
Keep the Pressure Up
Inflate inflate inflate! Always keep your tires inflated to the manufacturer recommended PSI printed on a sticker in the door jam of the driver’s side door. The PSI stamped into your tire’s sidewall is the maximum pressure the tire can withstand. Under-inflation is the most common cause of a blowout. Keeping your tires at the proper pressure will also help you get the best gas mileage possible. Win for your car, and your wallet!
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Most vehicles made after 2007 have a pressure monitoring system that will warn you if any of the tires go lower than the specified amount. One problem however, is that it may not warn you if you’re just slightly under-inflated, and even that small amount can do damage over time. It’s a good idea to manually check the tires once a month.
Normal vs Abnormal Wear
Over time tires’ tread is worn down. Rotating them ensures all 4 wear evenly since the front two will wear down much faster than on the rear. But there are many factors that effect tread wear. Tread wear patterns give important warning signs about a larger problem. Over inflation will show more wear in the middle, under-inflation on the edges, and alignment problems show up in several ways as illustrated. So as you’re checking the pressure, run a hand over the tread to feel for anything out of the ordinary.
The tread thickness is one way to gage a tires condition, but many don’t know that the age is just as important. Rubber is subject to weather and road conditions, and tires are no exception. Tires are considered to be unsafe after 6 years. See the image below to interpret your tires’ age.
Trick to Gauge Depth
Check your tire’s tread depth by inserting an upside down penny between the treads. If you can see any room above President Lincoln’s head, the tire should be replaced.
Happy driving during this summer road trip season, and as always feel free to call us for all your tire sales and repair needs!