Auto Safety Test: Check Your Tires

Did You Know?

Tires are one of the most important — and oft-overlooked — components of our cars. Tires are the only thing that attach our cars to the road, and tire problems affect your car’s ride comfort, handling and safety. If they’re near bald and out of balance driving can be dangerous. Here are some simple tire safety tips to help keep you and your car’s occupants safe.

Check your tire pressure regularly.

Tires tend to lose air over time. Buy a digital tire gauge and check your tires once a month and before a long trip. Proper inflation pressures can be found in your owner’s manual or on a sticker on the car (usually on the driver’s doorjamb or fuel-filler lid) Remember to check tire pressure only after the car has been sitting for several hours in order to ensure that the tires are cold — the friction of driving heats the tires and increases pressure, which can hide an under-inflated tire.

Address under-inflated tires immediately.

An under-inflated tire has more rolling resistance, which increases fuel consumption. It also creates more heat, which can lead to tire failure.

Make sure you have good tread on your tires.

Since you are already down beside your tires when you are checking your tire pressure, take that time to look at the tread for signs of damage, bubbles, cracks or baldness (areas that are smoother in one place or another). One easy test is a penny check. Put a penny in the groove of the car tire to see if I can see all of Lincoln’s head. If you can, then it’s time for new tires.

Rotate and balance your tires regularly.

Consider rotating your tires every 5,000 miles which should help your tires to wear even.

Keep your tires aligned properly.

Tires should be aligned on a regular basis, especially if you have hit a curb or two. Tires that are out of alignment can wear unevenly. To check for alignment rest hands lightly on steering wheel while driving, it should stay in a straight line and not drift to the right or left.

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