Tire Maintenance Tips

Tire maintenance has recently become a fashionable subject in politics and the automotive industry as a means to save on money and energy. It is also a matter of safety for drivers, especially those that drive long distances each day. Proper tire care is not complicated but it entails a little more than just checking the tire pressure at the gas station every now and then.

To ensure proper steering, stopping, traction and load-carrying capability, focus on these three areas:

Visual inspection – Tires are equipped with tread-wear indicators, which are little bumps or a colored strip built directly on the tread. If you can see them, your tires need replaced.

Tire pressure – The inflation pressure listed on the tire is its maximum, not the ideal pressure. The right number is listed in your owner’s manual. Once the proper permissible inflation pressure is established, you’ll need to check it at least once a month and before long trips. A good idea is to make a habit of it and check your tire pressure every time you fill up. Having your tires with the optimal tire pressure can save you up to 10% on fuel expenses.

Keep in mind that tire pressure will seem higher after a long time on the road or in hot temperatures. To get the most accurate reading, check it when the tire is cold.

Rotating tires – Tires wear off differently, with the inner sections and front tires deteriorating faster. Turning, steering, parking and other pressure is harsh on front tires, especially in front-wheel-drive vehicles.

Rotating the tires means moving the back tires to the front and vice versa. Do not, under any circumstances, criss-cross the tires. Wear patterns on a tire may be related to the suspension system and alignment, so they must be kept on the same side.

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