It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, when car troubles happen, it’s good to know the basics, especially about your tires. But with our go, go, go life styles, what dad showed us once may have been forgotten in the mix. So to give you a refresher (or some tips you’ve never heard), here are a few things that could keep you from even bigger problems in the future:
1. Check your tread — The last thing you want is to hit your brakes suddenly and go into a skid because there’s absolutely no tread left on your tires. And simply eye-balling the wear and tear isn’t effective. An easy way to check is by using a penny. Place the edge of the penny into the tread. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible at any point on the tire — um, you need new tires.
2. Check your pressure — If your tires aren’t inflated properly, they could fail — and it also messes with your gas mileage. Make sure to check your tire inflation pressure regularly, either by using a pressure gauge or having it checked at a local automotive shop. Your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you the recommended pressure for your car.
3. Rotate regularly — It needs to be done approximately every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
4. Replace correctly — Huh? What do you mean correctly? Ideally, if you are replacing your tires, you should do all four at once. But if you can only do two at a time, always make sure the new tires are placed on the rear of your vehicle, not the front.
5. Know your stuff — As sad as it may be, the minute you walk into a tire store and the salesman sees you, he assumes you have no idea what you’re doing. And that’s why you want to go in there ready to fire off things like, “I drive my car for xyz miles per year,” and you want to be able to immediately tell him what you are interested in, based on the kind of tire that is right for your vehicle (again, consult your owner’s manual).
6. Choose wisely — Believe it or not, all tires are not created equal. You want to select the right tire based on the conditions you’ll be driving in. And the best quality tire isn’t necessarily the most expensive.
7. Trust your senses — You drive your car every day, and you know when something “just doesn’t feel right” as far as the way it grips the road, etc. If anything feels off balance, out-of-whack, or strange — take the time to stop and check out your tires before assuming everything is “probably fine.”
Thanks to Mary Fischer for this article