Tire Tips

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Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that actually touches the road when you drive. It only takes a couple of minutes of maintenance each month to keep your tires working attheir very best.

Check Your Air Pressure Once a Month

Maintaining air pressure is the most important part of tire care. Proper inflation can extend tire life and increase fuel economy.

  • Tires should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle's manufacturer. This information can be found in the owner's manual or on the edge of the driver's door. Check pressure with a quality gauge every two weeks and before any long trips. Always check the pressure when the tires are cool (when the vehicle has been driven less than one mile).
  • Never bleed or reduce tire pressure when tires are hot. A tire's air pressure will automatically increase as its internal temperature increases.
  • Vary inflation with load. Tire pressure can be increased when your vehicle is carrying extra weight. However, it should never exceed the maximum PSI as indicated on the tire sidewall.
  • Make sure your tires have valve caps. They will keep air in and keep moisture and dirt out.

Tread Depth

To prevent hydroplaning and skidding, your tires must have proper tread depth. The minimum tread depth is 2/32nd of an inch, but it is recommended to replace your tires at 4/32nd of an inch for proper traction.

Ask anyone, the easiest way to check your tread depth...the penny test. What is the penny test? Take a penny and place it upside down in the tread of your tire. The top of Lincoln' head is 2/32nd of tread on your tires. If your tread is just touching Lincoln's head, you should buy new tires.

Tires often give their owners signs of problems in plenty of time for them to be corrected. You can easily read these early warning signs by looking for:

  • A saw-tooth appearance on the edges
  • Faster wear on the outer edges than in the middle
  • The tire wears excessively on one side
  • Cups or dips in the tread
  • Rotation

The best way to prevent uneven wear is to have your tires rotated. The purpose of tire rotation is to achieve more uniform wear and longer life for all tires on a vehicle. Consult the vehicle owner's manual for the manufacturer's rotation recommendation. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles.

Tire Repairs

One of the leading causes of tire failure is a faulty repair. A recent survey from the monthly magazine Tire Business indicates, 46% of tire failures were caused by improper repair procedures. Of course this means higher tire costs.

When a radial tire has been damaged it is important that the area be repaired as soon as possible so that moisture is not allowed to migrate along the belt package causing further damage.

The most effective method of repair is the plug and patch repair. The plug stops the migration of moisture and the patch on the inside of the tire supports the plug.