Most people spend a great deal of time and money on their cars and the accessories that go with them. But sadly, not all the parts can receive equal care in terms of the necessary maintenance. One of the most essential components of cars that often go neglected are the tires, which only garner our attention the moment they go flat. Not good. If your tires are not functioning right, you could actually be damaging your vehicle as well as losing money for replacement costs, not to mention the fuel efficiency aspect.
Now you don’t have to be a professional car mechanic or an employed worker in a vulcanizing station to understand the fundamentals of “Tire Care.” Every driver who intends to take proper care of his/her tires should consistently examine the tires regarding air pressure and possible inflations, ensuring that regular maintenance is catered. If this routine is repeated with dedication, driving will be more secure and gas will not be wasted.
Here are the top 3 ways you can employ to better take care of your tires:
1. Check the tire pressure.
Tires naturally lose air as time passes. On average, tires lose around 1 psi (pound per square inch) every month and 1 psi every time the temperature drops to -12 degrees Celsius. Hence, checking the tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge should be done at least every month. The colder the weather is, the more times you should check the pressures.
Aside from this natural “phenomena,” tire pressure is also lost or somehow decreased when you accidentally hit a pothole or strike a curb while parking. As the driver, you should be able to feel whether any particular tire is deflated or not. If you see any stones or other inconvenient objects embedded in the tire treads, you can remove them yourself immediately. However, if you happen to find a more damaging object, like a nail, it’s better to take the tire to a specialist. If not properly done, the removal of the nail might cause a puncture, which in turn may deflate the tire more rapidly.
All tires have the correct tire pressure imprinted on the tire. You can also find the recommended tire pressure and load limit for your vehicle in the vehicle owner’s manual. Maintaining this correct pressure increases gasoline mileage, which is always a good thing for every driver.
2. Follow a strict rotation schedule.
By book, you should rotate your tires after every 5,000 to 10,000 miles of travel. Rotating the tires ensures that they wear evenly, prolongs their life in the process.
In common instances, the two front tires of your vehicle are the ones to be the most worn out as they account for the power transfer which affects friction to the roads. If you were to leave these tires in place without rotating them, then you would run the risk of having other tires wear more significantly than the rest. And as a result, some of the tires would have to be replaced sooner than you would otherwise.
When rotating, you need to keep the tires on the same side of the vehicle because of the memory they have formed when driving. Simply move the front right tire to the rear right position and vice versa.
Another rule of thumb is to make sure you replace the four tires of your vehicle all at once. This is also a suggested way to avoid uneven wear, which can cause serious problems to the handling of the car.
3. Watch out for irregular noises.
Your sense of hearing can save you a lot of grief down the road. Listen to your car for irregular noises from the tires when in motion, particularly if you’re driving at a speed faster than 50 mph. These noises could be a sign of uneven wear or other problems with your tires. As soon as possible, have a professional check out this problem.