Tires are the only part of the car that make direct contact with the road, making them a vital part of driving safely. Regular monthly maintenance and attention is important to keep you, your passengers and the people on the road around you safe and sound. There are some things you can do to ensure a safe ride but some that a certified shop will need to help with. Let’s start with what you can do yourself.
- First, check the tire pressure monthly – especially during colder months. To find out the correct pressure, consult your car’s owner’s manual if it is a factory tire or the tire manufacturer directly. This is not only to ensure your tires are maintaining the correct pressure to ensure a smooth ride but it also plays an important factor in keeping good gas mileage.
- Next, when checking the pressure of each tire, inspect the surface of the tire. Ensure there are no bubbles or foreign objects lodged into the tire. If there is a bubble in the tire, immediately have the tire replaced. If there is a foreign object in the tire, there is a chance it can be removed and the tire can be patched at a shop.
- Lastly, check your tires’ tread. This is the part of the tire that is making the direct contact with the ground and typically has grooves and different patterns. To measure tire tread, use a small ruler that has 1/16th graduations. Measure the outer, center and inside edge to ensure they are all above 3/32s of an inch. If the depth is less than that, it’s time for new tires.
Proper maintenance does however go beyond what we can do at home and it is strongly recommended to have your tires rotated by a certified technician every 6,000 miles to prevent uneven wear. Every 12,000 miles an alignment may need to be performed.