Always have a spare tire just in case you ever get a flat tire. Make sure to properly balance tires and regularly rotate them for a safer driving experience. These are some safety tips you’ve probably heard about regarding keeping tires working properly. Here are more simple tips to ensure your tires work properly and keep you and your passengers safe.
Regularly check tire pressure
Typically, tires lose about one pound of pressure in cold temperature and gain one pound in warm temperature. Over-inflated tires provide a rough ride and quickly wears out the center of the treads. Underinflated tires have the opposite effect.
It causes wear and tear on the outside of the treads. However, it also provides an extremely rough ride. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every year there are over 600 deaths and more than 33,000 injuries because of underinflated tires.
Therefore, check the tire pressure about one time a month after your vehicle has been sitting for a while. You’ll have to use a digital tire gauge to do so. If the tires are underinflated, make sure you do something about it immediately.
Always install tires in either complete sets or matching pairs
Changing one tire out of the four significantly changes the balance of your vehicle. That’s why it is vital to either change the tires on front or the rear of your car at one time. Remember, the treads should always be the same:
- Construction (bias ply and radial)
If you can only buy two tires, ideally you want to go with the rear wheels. You want to maintain the maximum traction and stability.
Check tires problems
Tires typically start out perfect, but to make sure they stay that way you have to do perform some regular maintenance such as:
- Check for any tire damage. When you check the tire pressure, always inspect each side of your tires for any bulges, cuts, nicks or cracks. This type of damage can be repaired (even with masking tape). The tire must be replaced.
- Look for tread depth. You know at some point in the tire safety tips money would be involved. This time it’s only a penny. Place the penny upside down in the grooves of your tire’s tread. If you can Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace tires (remember at least two tires if you can’t replace all four).
- Look for uneven wear. When you’re checking the tread depth, you also want to check the outside and inside edges of your tires. Any unevenness is a sign that your vehicle is out of alignment. This means that your tires are being worn prematurely.
Never overheat your tires
Heat is an enemy of tires. It actually shortens the life of tires. So here are things you want to avoid to keep your tires safe:
- Course concrete
- Course pavement
- Aggressive driving
- Hard braking
- High cornering
- High loads
- Underinflated tires
The short list leads to creating high temperatures on your tires. If you continuously do any of those things, you’re shortening the life of your tires. Extreme heat can even lead to sudden tire failure.
Here’s the last safety tip. If you feel a back-in-forth vibration while you’re driving (and you’re not seat dancing to your favorite music), it called a shimmy. This means that your tires lost their weight balance. You typically feel the vibration through your steering wheel. All you have to do is have your tires re-balanced.