Avoid Auto Accidents – Keep Tires in Shape

Posted on: 11Feb,2016

When you stop and think about, you are doing something dangerous that could threaten your life at any time – driving your vehicle. Consequently, we rely on our tires for keeping us safe whenever we are on the road and want to arrive at our destination in one piece. It stands to reason that we should always be aware of the condition that our tires are in and do whatever is necessary to prevent any problems by properly maintaining them over their lifetime. The following information will help you maintain your tires while keeping you safe in the process.

Check your tires for proper inflation levels – if you’ve heard this once, you’ve probably heard it a million times namely, keep your tires inflated to manufacturers recommended levels at all times! The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has long contended that under-inflated tires are the primary reason behind tire failure. In addition to tire failure, under-inflation is responsible higher gas consumption and poor handling. Your owner’s manual should list the proper tire pressure for your vehicle.

Uneven tread wear – one factor that many motorists typically overlook is uneven tread wear i.e., high and low areas of the tire or areas that are unusually smooth in some places and not in others. If this is the case, you need to visit a tire dealer in order to determine what is causing the problem and have it corrected. It may only require a simple balancing or tire alignment to correct the problem.

Overloading your vehicle – carrying an excessive amount of weight in your vehicle places a huge demand on your tires and one that they were not designed to handle. Among the number of problems this can cause are excessive wearing, major structural damage, and reduced tire lifespan. Plus, it is one of the primary causes of tire failure. Before you load up your vehicle for that next vacation trip, be sure you check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s maximum cargo and passenger load of your tires.

Tread wear – if the tread on your tires is 1/16th of an inch deep, you need to replace your tires if you want to be safe while driving. The easiest way to measure tread depth is by placing a penny into the groove and seeing how much of Lincoln’s head is covered. You should be okay if a portion of the head is still covered. However, if you can see the entire head, the tread is worn too far down and the tire needs to be replaced.

These are all preventative maintenance activities that you can perform at home without needing the help of a professional. However, there are other tips to follow that will require you taking them to a tire dealer for proper inspection and repair or replacement:

Have a professional inspection – experienced and trained tire specialists can spot problems that we oftentimes miss. They look for things such as bulging and cracking as well as glass, nails, or screws which may have already punctured your tires. If the puncture is in the tread, the tire could be patched or plugged. However, if the puncture is in the sidewall, then it has to be replaced since state safety laws forbid this type of tire repair.

Never install tires that mismatched – replacing a single tire is never recommended to begin with, but when it is a mismatch can adversely affect the way in which your vehicle handles out on the road. Additionally, it can cause excessive wear and tear on your other three tires and a number of other vehicle components in the process. Just be sure that if you replace one tire (back or front) that you replace the opposite one. You can always keep the better one of the two as a back-up or spare.

Rotate your tires according to your owner’s manual – maintaining even tread wear enables you to extend the life and use of your tires. Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, you should have a tire specialist rotate your tires an average of every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Some local tire dealers will provide FREE rotation for the life of your tires provided you purchased them from that dealer.