How To Maintain Your Tires

Seriously! Balance is everything. When it comes to tire care, you have to have a proper balance between keeping them clean, rotating them, keeping air in them, and being a smart driver. Check out this 'How to' to find out how to properly maintain your tires.

Step 1

Ok, in this first step we are going to talk about Air, Dirt, and Tread.

  • Air

    Have you ever driven around on tires that were not completely full? I know a lot of drivers that do it on a regular basis. When I question them about it most will reply, "So what?"

    Keeping the proper amount of air your tires can make a huge difference in the amount of time that your tires last. Not only that, but did you know that flat tires can cause your vehicle to cosume more gas? Or that tires low on air can also cause suspension problems? What about the fact that tires that are low on air are at risk for 'Blow Outs' while you're driving?

    For those of you who don't know or who have never experienced it, a Blow Out is when your tire explodes. It happens most often when you least expect it, and usually at higher speeds. It's a very volatile situation and not one you really want to find yourself in.

  • Dirt

    Dirt is another thing you will need to look out for when it comes to proper tire care. The area where your rubber tires and your rims meet is especially subject to tears, holes and extra wear down when dirt gets into that area. It is important to keep that area clean and free of dirt, mud, dust and anything else.

    You may also notice at times that there is some black or gray dust collecting on your rims and tires; this usually means that you are abusing your brakes and the particles from them are coming off and the end result is the brake dust accumulating on the rims and tires. Make sure to use some brake cleaner to clean your wheels after you change your brake pads.

  • Tread

    The tread is the part of your tire that you drive on. It is the part that is suppose to help the tires grab the road and move your vehicle around. Having low tread can affect your vehicle in many ways. It can cause your vehicle to consume more gas, giving you less miles per gallon. It can cause your suspension to wear out sooner. And it can be dangerous.

    Have you ever tried to drive in the rain with tires that have low tread? It's almost like taking your car out on a roller skating rink. You have little to no control. Even when you think you have control, the statistics are against you. The chances that you will hit a pool of water worsen when it rains even harder and once you hit that pool of water, it's all over.

    The same goes for ice and other things that might slick up the road way. Ice, sleet, hail, snow, oil -- anything. If you don't have more than 45% of tread on your tires, you are at risk.

Step 2

Let's talk about how to help maintain your tires properly.

Ok, so we know that keeping your tires clean and free of dirt helps. We also know that making sure you have the proper amount of air in your tires helps, and we know that making sure you do not have less than 45% tread on your tires helps.

You know what else helps? Rotating your tires.

What is tire rotation you ask? It's when you take your tires and rotate them from the position they are on the car. You can do this in many ways. You can take the front two tires and put them on your rear axel and take the tires that were in the back and put them on the front axel. Or you can switch sides, taking the tires on the driver's side and switching them with the tires on the passenger side. Which ever way you decide to do it, it is good to do this every 3 or 4,000 miles or so.

The reason you rotate your tires is because a tire that stays on the same part of your car can develop a groove or habit. Changing them around every so often helps to maintain even tread wear-down. Not only that, but it can help prolong the life of your brakes as well.

Step 3

Being a smart driver.

It's amazing to think that the way in which you drive your vehicle can have a huge impact on the maintenance of your tires.

There are plenty of drivers out there who like to zip around town, stomping on the accelerator pedal and using the brakes only when seconds away from a stop. Driving with these habits is dangerous for many reasons, but for the purposes of this article, let's talk about how they can inhibit your tires from lasting as long as they could have.

Burning rubber, or being a led foot can tear up the rubber on your tires and can cause breaks and rips in the lining of the tires. So can braking for no reason or sudden braking. Your tires were not meant for that type of abuse and they will not last as long if you treat them that way.

Sharp turns can also take a dangerous toll on your tires. When you take a sharp turn you usually dig into the tires with the weight of a vehicle, and I have witnessed brand new tires tear and pop in the middle of a sharp turn. This dangerous situation can be even more exaggerated by taking sharp turns at high speeds.

Now that we have talked about the ways that you can properly maintain your tires, make sure to take these steps to ensure your tires last and that you are not putting yourself or anyone else at risk for a dangerous situation.

There is more than just you out there on the road, and you will be protecting yourself and everyone else by making sure your tires are clean, full of air and ready to go.

Not only that, but do you really want to spend extra time and money on tires every year? I didn't think so...

Be a smart driver and take care of your tires.


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