Taking Care and Maintaining Your Car Tires

Health / Life

A tire. / Photo by: MikesPhotos via Pixabay

 

We use them often without thinking much about them. They’re supposed to make our lives better and help us do our work easier. Which is probably why it affects us so much when we realize that they aren’t working as well as they should. Your car tires are just another part of your car, but it is anything but important.

 

Everything you need to know about tire maintenance

A mechanic doing tire maintenance. / Photo by: Getty Images

 

As much as you care about your car, you should also take care of your tires. It sounds so simple and common sensical, yet doing so can actually make sure that you can avoid unnecessary accidents and premature wearing of the tires.

But that’s not all. Taking care of your tires can actually help you save money on fuel. This is because underinflated tires can cause excessive fuel use.

Taking care of your tires can be as simple as making sure you’re maintaining the correct car tire inflation pressure and checking for damages or signs of wearing regularly.

Whether it’s maintaining the tire pressure of a car or knowing the right time to replace them, here are all the things you can do to take care of your car tires.

 

Adjusting your car tire inflation pressure

A driver putting some air on his car's tire. / Photo by: Getty Images

 

You might think that you should maintain the maximum car tire inflation pressure at all times, but that couldn’t be more untrue.

In fact, if your tire is constantly at its maximum pressure, it can end up decreasing the life span on the tire. This is because the rubber rounds out while the center wears out, reducing the traction of your tire. This can also lead to a tire blowout.

Instead, it’s better to maintain the recommended tire pressure, which can usually be found in a sticker inside the car or in the manual of your car. This recommended tire pressure would keep your tires at their optimum shape, keeping them pressurized just enough to perform well without unnecessarily damaging your tires.

However, it’s also important to make sure you’re not maintaining a car tire inflation pressure that is way below the recommended value because this can lead to premature wearing and poor fuel economy.

 

Using a tire pressure monitoring system

A man checking the pressure of his car's tires. / Photo by: Getty Images

 

To make sure that your tire pressure is not below the recommended level, it’s important to check it regularly. According to experts, this should be done every time you refill your gas. Drivers are also recommended to check it after every 10-degree temperature change or every 30 days.

However, there is an easier way: using a tire pressure monitoring system. Some vehicles are already equipped with this, but you may need to get one installed if your car doesn’t already have it.

This works by warning you whenever one or more of your tires are significantly under-inflated, a potentially very dangerous thing for any driver.

 

Knowing when to replace a car tire

A mechanic replacing a tire. / Photo by: Getty Images

 

As much as it is important to care for and maintain your car tires, it’s also important to remember that there will come a time when you’d really have to replace them. It’s not a bad thing, however; In fact, it’s a natural thing that would happen to anyone, especially with the natural wearing and tearing of the car tires.

Fortunately, there are certain signs that can tell you when to replace a car tire. These signs would typically point to tire tread wear and a damaged tire sidewall.

 

Checking the tire tread wear

The tire penny test. / Photo by: Nrjfalcon1 via Pixabay

 

You can check the tire tread wear for signs that you need to replace your car tires. The tread on the car tires should never be less than 1.6 millimeters in depth or even twice that if you often drive on wet surfaces.

There is a gauge you can buy to measure the tread depth accurately, but you can also check it with a penny. Insert the penny head-down into the tread, if Abraham Lincoln’s entire head is visible, it may be best for you to get your tires replaced.

There is also the tire tread wear indicator bars built into the tires. These bars are barely visible when the tires are new and gradually appear as the treads wear down. The tire tread wear indicator bars look like flat bars that run perpendicularly to the tread’s direction.

 

Checking the tire sidewall

A severe wearing on the tire's sidewall. / Photo by: Christopher Ziemnowicz via Wikimedia Commons

 

You can check the tire sidewall for damage by looking for visible tracks, cuts, or grooves. These can indicate sidewall problems that can cause leaks or even a blowout, which no driver would do well to avoid.

If you notice cracks or cuts in the tire sidewall, you should go and get them replaced immediately.

You should also check for bulges or blisters on the outer surface of the tires themselves, which can lead them to suddenly blow out.

Another sign would be an overall excessive vibration whenever you’re driving your car, which can be caused by misaligned tires, defective shock absorbers, or a problem in the tires themselves.