Importance of Tire Maintenance & Safety
Taking proper care of your tires is not only a good way to save money on tire expenses, it’s also a lot safer, too. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) recommends taking a small amount of time each month to quickly inspect your tires, including the spare. They use the acronym P-A-R-T to help remember the four essentials of tire maintenance & safety: Pressure, Alignment, Rotation, and Tread.
The most common cause for unnecessary tire failure is under-inflation. Without a proper tire pressure, tires are subjected to tire stress, irregular wear, and can even cause loss of vehicle control or accidents. Here’s a surprising fact: A tire can lose up to 50% of its’ air pressure and still not appear to be flat.
Poor alignment can cause a vehicle to pull to one side or shake unnecessarily. Hitting a curb or encountering a bad pothole can throw your alignment off and cause uneven wear on your tires. Consequently, when your tire has uneven wear it’s more susceptible to a blow out or a heavily shortened lifespan. Periodically have a tire dealer check your alignment, it’s usually a free inspection.
It’s good practice to regularly rotate your vehicle’s tires to promote even wear and prolong their life. If your vehicle manual doesn’t have a general mileage recommendation, it’s a good idea to have them rotated every 5,000 miles.
Get in the habit of inspecting and measuring your tread. If tread is wearing in certain spots rapidly or unusually, this probably means your vehicle doesn’t have optimum grip on the road and could be unsafe in adverse conditions. Give your tires a quick inspection occasionally, and ask your dealer how the tread looks during rotations or alignments.