Your tires are the only part of your vehicle that make direct contact with the surface of the road. Therefore, they need to be in tip-top shape to ensure not only a smooth ride, but also your safety. This is especially vital when the weather is bad or road conditions are hazardous. This is where the importance of tire safety comes into play.
Tire safety is paramount when it comes to the safety of yourself and your passengers. Proper tire maintenance and regular inspection should be carried out to ensure that your tires are in good working condition, to extend their longevity, increase fuel efficiency, and improve your car’s overall performance. Fortunately for you, we have come up with a list of steps to follow to ensure the safety of your tires.
Check your tire tread
One of the most important things every driver needs to do regularly is inspecting your tires’ tread. Tire treads enable your car to gain proper traction in order to grip the road safely, especially when the road is wet. Treads in good condition also allow your car to accelerate smoothly and brake more quickly. Shallow treads, on the other hand, increases your likelihood of hydroplaning.
To check your tire tread, be sure to turn the tire you’re checking so that it points away from the car. This will give you better access so you can get the most accurate readings. Inspect your tread by pushing the gauge gently against the indent of the tire. The depth should be at least 1.6mm. This should be the depth across at least 75% of the tire as you check several places around the circumference of the tire. Repeat this step on all tires, including the spare.
Another trick you can use for measuring tire tread is the famous “penny trick”. All you have to do is to place the penny with the head first into a groove on your tire. As long as you can’t see Lincoln’s head, your tread is good.. Make sure you obtain the same measurements along several spots around the same tire. Otherwise, your tire may already need to be replaced.
Check your tire pressure
Whether or not your car automatically notifies you each time your tires aren’t properly inflated, checking tire pressure should be part of your routine checkups. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure every now and then, and make sure they’re properly inflated according to the prescribed levels. In addition to helping you achieve optimal gas mileage and save money on fuel, this will also help ensure road safety.
To find out the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle, refer to your handbook and see the figures measured in PSI or BAR. Take note that the recommended pressures may differ for the front and rear tires. The recommended levels may also vary depending on load weights. When checking your tire pressure, it is best to do it when your tires are cold and when you haven’t driven more than two miles in the past few hours. Remove the dust cap and tighten the pressure gauge. Do the same step for the rest of the tires as well as the spare.
Inspect your tires for damage
Tires take a beating whenever you drive and they can accrue damage in several ways. This is why it’s imperative to thoroughly inspect your tires regularly. When checking for damage, be sure to take a close look around the sidewall and tread. Check if there are objects that may be stuck in any of your tires, such as stones, nails or other sharp objects. Also, check the sidewall for any slashes or cuts, as these may indicate the need for tire replacement.
Rotate your tires regularly
Another important tire safety tip to remember is rotating your tires regularly. Whether or not your tires show uneven wear, this preventive maintenance step is a must, as it affects your car’s overall efficiency, health, and performance. The front tires tend to wear out more quickly because a vehicle carries more weight at the front. To prevent uneven wear and extend the longevity of your tires, rotation is recommended after every 6000 to 7000 miles.
Keeping your vehicle’s tires in tip-top shape is essential in ensuring your car’s optimum performance as well as ensuring the safety of your passengers and driver.
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