The “boots” of your vehicle are the only part that has contact with the road, making it imperative that they’re well maintained. The following details the steps every driver must take to ensure that their vehicle is safe on the road at all times.
· Signs of tire wear
· Tire tread
· Tire pressure
Weekly tire checks are essential to spot the early signs of tire wear and rectifying when necessary. Doing so isn’t only needed for your own, and other road users' safety, but is also crucial for the good health and longevity of your car.
Spotting signs of tire wear is through a visual inspection, as well as paying attention to issues you might notice when driving. The following explains how you check for tire wear:
- Check for over or under-inflated tires
- Look for excessive tread wear on a side of the tire
- Determine if there’s any uneven tread wear
- Look for lumps, bumps, cracks, or other damage to the integrity of the tire
- Take note if a car pulls to one side when driving
- Listen for unusual vibrations or thumping sounds when driving
The tread of the tire is what gives traction to the road. It also sheds water beneath the tire when driving in wet conditions. Check each tire in at least three locations across the width of a tire. This is done using a tire depth gauge or a quarter.
Tires need to have at least 4/32” to be road-legal. If you use the traditional method of measuring with a quarter then as long as the top of Washington’s head isn’t visible when inserted into a tread groove then the tire is fine. If you can see the top of his head then it’s time for a new tire.
Correctly inflated tires are vital for good traction, gas economy, and the lifespan of the tires. This should be checked when the tires are cold, as warm tires can measure up to 5 psi higher, according to the AAA. You can find the recommended tire pressures in your car owner’s manual.
· What is proper tire maintenance? Don’t forget these vital tasks
Rotation, balancing, and wheel alignment aren’t usually tire maintenance tasks that you can carry out yourself, as they require specialist tools. However, they do need to be done regularly, albeit not weekly, as per the above tasks.
- Tire rotation maximizes the longevity of each tire. This is because tires wear at different rates, depending on where they’re located on the vehicle. By rotating them every 5,000 to 7,000 miles (or whatever distance is recommended by the manufacturer) you’ll get even wear out of each.
Performance cars, in particular, are designed to have tires regularly rotated in a strict sequence. For most people, this means using a trusted professional source to ensure this is done correctly
- Tire balancing also extends the life of tires and reduces erratic wear. This is done with small weights within the wheel—another specialist task that needs to be carried out when new tires are fitted, after an incident (such as hitting a pothole), or if you notice any vibrations when driving.
- Wheel alignment should be addressed when new tires are fitted or if you feel the car pulling to one side. However, such occurrences might be caused by other issues, so should be checked out by a qualified source to determine the reason.
When it comes to proper tire maintenance and every other aspect of car care, Boca Raton residents know that they can trust Autobahn of Boca. With an expert, friendly team, their one-stop car shop is the go-to location for auto repairs and regular car maintenance to ensure year-round, trouble-free motoring.
Visit Autobahn of Boca to schedule your appointment now.
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