I will admit for a long time I procrastinated when it came to checking my tires. It was something I knew I needed to do, but I never realized how much a part of your vehicles performance and safety relied so heavily on those 4 wheels. So instead of putting it off like a trip to the Dentist, I now listen and look like I do when my kids are sick. When it comes to tires you want to take care of things now before they get any worse!
Cracks or Bulges: if you see a crack or gouge or anything that looks ‘off’ take it in to have it looked at. If its consistently reading low tire pressure, than you could have a slow air leak and it may need replaced. A lot of tires can actually be repaired and last awhile before a replacement needs done.
Watch the Weather. When temperatures change tire pressure changes too. Tire pressure drops in extreme cold, in the summer excessive heat builds up in the tires. If you are driving on an under inflated tire it will generate even more heat and wear out faster than normal.
Tread. Use the “penny test”. Place a penny in the tread and point Lincoln’s head down. If you can still see the top of his head then your tread is too low and the tire needs replaced. Similarly with modern vehicles you can look for the wear bar – which is rubber woven into patterns – if you can see that, you need to replace your tires!
Shaking or Vibrating. Listen and feel for vibrations or thumps as you are driving. If it feels like its under you the rear tires may be out of balance. If its your steering wheel or front of your vehicle it could be a suspension issue. If you don’t have a smooth ride there’s a problem, and you need to take it in to be looked at.
Tire pressure. Did you know your tires deflate at a rate of about one pound per square inch each month? While you may not wear your tires down in a month, you do need to check them monthly to make sure they are at the right inflation pressure – for your tires longevity, and your safety!
This post was sponsored in part by Ken Garff West Valley Used Cars.