Tires: the feet of your car. When was the last time you thought about your feet while you were walking? Unless you have neuropathy or an ingrown toenail or a shard of glass stuck in your heel, you probably don’t actively think about your feet at all. The same thing happens when we drive our cars. We don’t think about the health of our tires until there is something wrong. Now, a random nail is going to plague all of us at one point or another in our driving careers, but there are some crucial, preventative measures you can take to make your tires last as long as possible.
Tire pressure should be monitored frequently. In an ideal world where everyone has all of this free time to do responsible things like checking tire pressure, this would be done before and after every driving session. In the real world, though, once a week would be pretty spectacular. The proper pressure for your car’s tires can be found inside the driver’s side door frame or in the owner’s manual of the vehicle. Maintaining correct tire pressure is important because it allows the car to move with as little resistance from the friction between the tire and the road as possible, in turn taking unnecessary stress off of the engine. In addition, properly inflated tires can save up to 11 cents per gallon of fuel. It might not seem like it, but the pressure of your tires can change dramatically, even on a relatively short ride. A pot hole or a significant change in temperature outside could affect the pressure in your tires in a very negative way.
The next thing you should monitor is the tread on your tires. If your tires are aligned properly and have optimal pressure, the tread should wear evenly across the entire face of your tires—front and back. Any deviation in that wear pattern could mean your alignment is off. A good way to check your alignment is by taking your hands off the wheel while the vehicle is moving on a straight road; if the vehicle drifts left or right, then you probably have alignment issues.
Also, rotating your tires every six months helps spread the wear and tear your tires incur over time.
The last thing you might want to consider is driving safer. Not only will safe driving increase your chances of survival out on the rough-and-tumble destructo-derby that is the American road system, it can also preserve the life of your tires. Going around curves like Mario Andretti, or Dale Jr. or some other awesome leadfoot from history is not okay for your tires. Running up on curbs and sidewalks like a James Bond car chase also wreaks havoc on your tires. Taking your passenger vehicle off-roading over the giant rock boulders in the Badlands of the Dakotas is also certainly not recommended.
Just keep it at the speed limit and between the lines.
For more information on your vehicle’s tires or for any of your tire needs call Harbin Automotive’s tire experts at 256-574-1819.