Stay Safe with Tire Maintenance
It's easy to take your tires for granted when everything's going fine...you tend to not even think about them much. That can be a mistake, though.
At New England Tire Car Care Centers, we know you're headed out for some road trips before the summer's out, so here are some tips to keep yourself safe with tire maintenance:
Rotate your tires. Tires should be rotated about every 5,000 miles for proper wear and driveability. Failure to rotate your tires regularly can result in a vehicle that handles "squirrelly" and front tires that are worn prematurely. Remember that no vehicle has 50/50 weight distribution front-to-rear...and failure to rotate your tires can negate your tire warranty.
Check your tire pressure. This one's really important for safety and fuel economy. Underinflated tires mean more friction and rolling resistance, which means it takes more energy to keep your vehicle rolling down the highway, costing you money in terms of gas mileage. Worse, though, rolling resistance means heat buildup, and heat is the enemy of your tires. Take a paper clip and bend it back and forth until it snaps from metal fatigue. That's what's happening to your tires' steel belt layers when the tires are underinflated...the belts are forced to flex more than normal and are bound to weaken from the flex and metal fatigue. Low tire pressure also means poor handling, steering, and braking performance, so just invest a couple of dollars in a tire pressure gauge and check them at least once a month.
Check your wheel alignment. A poorly-aligned car means more than an annoying, tiring pull to one side while headed down the highway. That poor alignment means the other tires are constantly dragging one tire along as it tries to steer the vehicle in a different direction. Inevitably, that tire will be worn along an inside or outside edge prematurely, so if you're noticing signs like a pull to one side, poor "returnability" (the wheel doesn't center readily after rounding a corner) or steering that feels "heavy" or clumsy, schedule a wheel alignment checkup.
Inspect your tires. From time to time, just take a good look at your tires. Check the tread depth, look out for glass, nails or foreign objects in the tread, and inspect the sidewalls for bulges or cracks. Many now say that any set of tires that's more than six years old should be replaced, regardless of condition or mileage ... the sun's UV rays and the elements tend to degrade rubber in that space of time.
|Stay Safe with Tire Maintenance was written by Parker Ashton of New England Tire|