The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends drivers check tire pressure at least once per month. Also, check your tire tread. Proper tread depth gives your vehicle the traction to stop and hold the road on curves.
As a quick home test, you can check tread depth with a U.S. penny, make sure the tread goes over Lincoln’s head. If it doesn’t, your tire needs to be replaced.
Spending just a few minutes each month on maintenance can make all the difference in your tires’ safety, life, and performance. Just stick to the four essentials.
- TIRE PRESSURE
Proper inflation pressure gives tires the ability to support the vehicle and you to control it for maximum performance. Maintaining proper inflation pressure maximizes fuel economy, too. Check your tires at least once a month. Under-inflated tires generate excessive heat build-up and stress, causing irregular wear and internal damage. Over-inflated tires are more likely to be cut, punctured or damaged when hitting an obstacle, such as a pothole. Check your tire pressure using a tire gauge to check inflation pressure. And don’t forget about your spare.
- TREAD DEPTH
Tread equals traction—giving your tires a grip on the road, especially in bad weather. Lose too much tread and you could lose control.
- TIRE ROTATION
Rotating your tires based on the recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual can prevent irregular tire wear. Tires should be changed every 5,000 to 8,000 miles for most cars.
- TIRE ALIGNMENT
Striking a pothole or other road hazard could cause alignment issues. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven, rapid tread wear and should be corrected by a tire dealer.
Spending a little time on these essentials every month and every few thousand miles will help your tires keep you safe.
Also keep in mind, as seasons change, so do driving conditions. Prepare for safer travels in all kinds of weather with tire care and driving tips for spring, summer, fall and winter.