It is well known that Americans love their cars. The problem is that despite this fact, many car owners do not always take care of all of the maintenance issues that need their attention. Is has been estimated that about $2 billion is lost every year due to people neglecting their cars. One simple thing that all car owners can and should do is inspect their tires from time to time. Tire companies recommend doing this so that small problems can be detected and fixed before they lead to larger issues. When left alone, problems with a car’s tires can lead to safety issues with the vehicle.
Here are some tips and steps that should be taken at least once a month to make driving your car or truck as safe as possible:
- Check the pressure. It is important to keep your tires inflated to the proper level. All tire companies recommend checking the tire pressure on a car on a regular basis. When tires are under inflated, it can lead to irregular wear and tear on the tires, unnecessary stress and a loss of control of the vehicle. The loss of control can lead to accidents. Just looking at the tires is not enough. Experts say that a tire can lose 50% of its inflation pressure and still look fine.
- Check for slow leaks. When a car gets cold, the tire pressure will go down so that is normal. What is not normal is the need to add air to your tires every few days. If you are finding that the “check tire” light goes on more often than it should or that you are adding air on a regular basis, you should have your tires checked by a tire company professional. There may be a problem that you cannot see and that is causing a slow leak in one of your tires.
- Check the wear and tear. Even if you have your tires rotated as directed by tire companies, they recommend car owners do this at every 7,500 mile mark or as directed by the car manufacturer, you may still have issues with uneven wear and tear on your tires. Check your tires for a exposed wires, rippling in the rubber on the tires or any signs that the tire is wearing out unevenly. If your tires are not inflated to the right level or if you have a problem with your vehicle’s alignment, you can see these issues with your tires.
- Check the tread. Whether you have used tires or not, you need to keep an eye on your tires’ tread. One way to do this is to put a penny in head first. You should lose all of President Lincoln’s head into the tread of the tire. When the tire tread gets to about 6/32nds of an inch, you need to get new tires. This translates into being able to see the top of President Lincoln’s head from the penny test. If you have concerns about this or are not sure if your tires’ tread is too low, you can bring your car into the local tire shop and have the experts there take a look.
- Look for problems. There are a lot of small items on the road that can do a lot of damage to your car’s tires. When you are inspecting your tires, look for pieces of glass, little stones, nails or other metal pieces or anything else that may have punctured your tires. If you find any, you should remove them as soon as you can. If left to themselves, these foreign objects can cause a lot of damage to your tires. You may be able to have the tire patched, say tire companies, if you get the object out before you drive on the tire with the object still in the tire.
- Look for damage. Look for punctures, bulges, splits, cracks and cuts in your tires. These can be on sidewalls or on the tread of the tire. These may indicate that your tires need to be replaced or, at the very least, repaired.
- Check your valve caps. Make sure they are on your tires.
While it does not take a lot of time to inspect your tires, it will make you safer.