New car tires aren’t cheap, but they’re vital to your safety. Before you hit the road, check out these maintenance tips to make your tires last longer.
- Rotate Tires
Uneven tire wear is common, even with all-wheel drive vehicles. Tires last longer when they’re rotated. The general recommendation is every 4,000 miles. A technician can move them to a new position during a routine oil change. It’s not a bad idea to have this done prior to a long road trip.
- Tire Pressure
Maintaining the correct air pressure is the simplest way to ensure tires last longer. Extreme weather can affect tire pressure. Regardless, they’ll lose at least a pound of pressure per square inch (PSI) every month. This matters because the wrong air pressure can increase wear and breaking times. Additionally, it makes a blowout more likely.
You’ll also get fewer miles to the gallon if there isn’t enough air in your tires, so check once a month.
You can be sure your alignment is off if your car pulls to one side or the other, or the steering wheel shakes. Sometimes neither of these signs will be present when the alignment is off, though. Little things can shift the alignment, like driving over a pothole, or bumping the curb, so a mechanic should adjust your car’s alignment every six months.
- Tread: The Penny Test
It’s dangerous to drive on bald tires. Check for uneven wear or flat spots, as well as any cuts or cracks. You can use a tread depth gauge. There should be a 2/32 inch tread depth. If you don’t have a gauge, you can use a penny. Slide the coin into the tread upside down and facing you. If you see all of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.
- Balance Tires
While you’re having your wheels rotated, you might as well get them balanced, too. Your mechanic uses a special machine to do this. Even new tires aren’t perfect. Regularly balancing them will promote even wear.
If you follow these five tips, your vehicle will be safer and handle better, and your tires will last longer. Just remember to keep track of basic car maintenance so you can stay on schedule. If you have any questions, please give us a call at (925) 284-3390 or request an appointment.