Maintaining your car’s tires is an integral part of responsible car ownership. Regular tire maintenance keeps your vehicle running smoothly and can save you money in the long run by keeping your tires safe and roadworthy. Here are some essential maintenance tips for your car’s tires.
Monitor Tire Pressure
Monitoring your car’s tire pressure is important for proper tire care. Checking and adjusting your vehicle’s tire pressure regularly will ensure you are driving safely on the roads and maximize the life of your tires. To check the air pressure in each tire, use a tire gauge or digital inflator device to measure the amount of air inside each one. The recommended level for most vehicles is between 30 and 35 pounds per square inch. If any of your tires have less than this recommendation, it’s probably time to inflate them. Just remember to check the sticker inside the driver’s side door or the owner’s manual to verify the correct pressure level.
Inspect Tire Treads
It’s also important to inspect your tire treads during routine maintenance. The tire tread is the outermost section of a tire, and it plays a critical role in protecting the vehicle from slippery surfaces and providing traction when driving. Tires with worn-out treads can significantly reduce fuel efficiency and increase wear on other car parts. It’s also essential to understand how driving style impacts tires because harsh braking can lead to excess wear and tear. You can use a tread depth gauge to inspect your tires for signs of wear; these devices have markings indicating minimum legal limits (around 6mm) and maximum performance levels (typically 4–5 mm).
Rotate Tires Regularly
Rotating and balancing your tires are critical components of proper maintenance. Rotating your tires ensures they wear evenly by redistributing their weight, and balancing the tires helps keep the vehicle running smoothly. You should rotate your tires every 5,000–7,500 miles or every six months. This process will help maximize the life of your tires and ensure a smooth ride each time you get behind the wheel.
Check Alignment and Balance
You’ll also want to check alignment and balance during regular tire maintenance. Wheel alignment is the process of adjusting the angles of a vehicle’s suspension system, ensuring that all four tires are parallel to each other on the road’s surface. This process allows for maximum tire contact with the ground, reducing wear and tear while providing improved handling characteristics. Aligning your vehicle will also help extend its life by preventing premature suspension component failure due to uneven load distribution from misaligned wheel angles.
Check Wheel Bearings
Finally, you’ll want to inspect your vehicle’s wheel bearings. One of the most common indicators of a faulty wheel bearing is an unusual noise from the wheels. This could be anything from squealing or grinding noises to clunking and humming sounds. If this happens, it’s important to check your wheel bearings immediately. Any further delays can cause significant damage to other parts of your vehicle, such as suspension components, brakes, and even the axle itself.
Now that you have a brief guide to tire maintenance for your car, you can implement these strategies today. The better you care for your tires, the longer they will last.