Tire Car & Maintenance
Tire care and maintenance all too often fall by the wayside a few months after a vehicle has been purchased or new tires have been installed. Tire care should be viewed as essential. It's absolutely necessary if you want your vehicle to be safe and more importantly if you want your passengers to be safe. In addition to safety, quality tire care will ensure the longevity and performance of tires, which will minimize the expenses of having to replace them prematurely. Tire care will also enhance the efficiency of a vehicle, helping it maximize fuel usage for the best possible gas mileage. Consider these simple tire care tips.
Tire Care - Maintaining Proper Air Pressure in Tires
Many drivers are completely unaware of the ideal pressure for their tires. In order for a tire to function to the best of its ability, providing a safe and efficient ride as well as optimal performance, it needs to be within a few pounds per square inch of the recommended air pressure listed in the vehicle owner's manual or suggested by a tire technician. Overinflated or underinflated tires result in uneven tread wear, poor handling, and even tire damage that can result in a blowout.
Maintaining proper air pressure in all four tires is easy with a tire gauge, which can be purchased at any auto parts store for a few dollars. To use it, simply remove the tire's valve cap and place the gauge on the valve stem to get an instant read. If nothing happens make sure you are pressing hard enough to activate the valve stem. It may take a couple tries to find an accurate reading and then pressure can be added or released according to the suggested pressure.
Tire Care - Tire Rotation
Front tires and rear tires wear differently. This is the result of the way they act differently in steering and powering the vehicle. In order to help your tires wear evenly and last as long as possible, RightTurn.com recommends that you have the tires rotated every 5,000-6,000 miles. A good rule of thumb is to get them rotated with every other oil change. This will greatly prolong the life of the tire, and allow for better tire performance and even tread wear.
Tire Care - Tire Alignment
Tire alignment is something that often goes unmentioned in conversations about tire care. Despite this, it's crucial for wheels and tires to be properly aligned or an uneven tread wear pattern will develop. Uneven tread wear is the fastest way to ruin or damage a tire long before its expected tread life. Check with your local auto dealership to see if you need an alignment.
Tire Care - Tire Balance
Wheel and tire balance is another key aspect in preserving tires and vehicle safety. When wheels are out of balance, the contact patch-the area of the tire that touches the road-may not roll across the ground properly or evenly. This can result in a rough ride, and it will almost certainly result in warped or damaged tires. And once a tire experiences this kind of damage, it can't be repaired.
External Tire Care
Finally, a simple tip for taking care of tires. By using products such as tire shine or gloss, you can also protect the tires from harmful effects caused by UV damage. The sun is capable of rapidly oxidizing the rubber materials in tires when they lack proper protection. These cleaning products serve as that protection. Using them also offers an excellent chance to visually inspect the tires for damage or other issues that may become problematic if not addressed by a tire technician.
Overall, tire care is something rather simple. It only takes a few minutes of routine maintenance on a monthly basis.