5 Tire Maintenance Tips for Every Driver
If you’re a daily driver, you’ve likely had to buy new tires at some point. No matter what you do, your tires will wear down over time, meaning you have to replace them. However, there are a few steps you can take to maintain your tires and increase their lifespan.
To get the most out of your tires, follow the five tips below.
1. Check Your Tire Pressure
Keep your tires at the recommended pressure to ensure your car functions properly. Under- or overinflated tires can affect handling and tread life, and can also increase your chance of an accident.
To find the right PSI (pounds per square inch), check the sticker on your driver’s side door or look in your owner’s manual. Make sure you check your tire pressure at least once per month, and before every long drive.
2. Look at Your Tire Tread
New tires come with a tread that grips the road, making it easier to drive in conditions like rain and snow. That tread wears down over time, though, making it essential to buy new tires.
You should get new tires once yours reach a tread depth of 1/16-inch. To check the tread depth, place a penny in one of the creases on your tire. Turn the penny so that Lincoln's head points down. If the top of Lincoln's head disappears, your tread is still in the recommended range. If you can see his entire head, it's time to replace your tires.
3. Schedule a Regular Rotation
If you don’t rotate your tires, they will wear down unevenly over time. As a result, you may have to replace your front tires, but not the back ones. By scheduling a rotation, you can ensure your tires wear at the same time, getting more life out of them.
Experts recommended rotating your tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. It may help to schedule your rotation at the same time as your oil changes, meaning all of your maintenance gets done at once.
4. Pay Attention to the Back
If you need new tires, but you can’t afford to get four at once, pay attention to the back axle. When you drive on wet or slippery roads, you typically lose traction in the rear first. If this happens, you may lose control of your vehicle and get into an accident.
This rule applies to all types of cars, whether you’re driving something with front- rear- or all-wheel drive.
5. Don’t Forget About the Spare
No one wants to get a flat tire. However, it’s bound to happen to you at some point. Don’t wait until you’re stuck on the side of the road to take a look at your spare. Instead, haul it out now to properly inspect it.
Is the spare inflated properly? Does it have enough tread? Do you have all the tools you’ll need to put on the spare in your car? When you change a tire, you’ll need a jack and a lug wrench. It also helps to purchase a tire repair kit, which you may be able to use if you run over a nail or other sharp object.
Maintain Your Tires and Save Money
Tire maintenance doesn’t have to be hard. Plus, with just a little bit of effort, you can extend the life of your tires and save money.