The tires make the car- you can’t move without them. Replacing tires may be one of the most expensive costs associated with owning a car, as well. That means you want to keep them healthy and preserve them for as long as you can. There are many ways you can go about this, from changing your driving habits to visiting a Tire shop.
Braking and Speed
The way you drive your sedan has a large impact on your tires. The most effective technique for preserving your tires is to be slow and cautious. This can be hard for some people, but should be attempted. Make sure that you don’t tail other cars too closely so that you don’t have to slam on your brakes every time the person in front of you slows down. Try and slow down by removing your foot from the gas before you need to start braking whenever you can, which is possible if you can anticipate your stops ahead of time. When starting from a stopped position, it is best to speed up gradually, avoiding a burn out. Be sure to take turns slowly and avoid braking during turns, as well.
When it comes to a well-maintained tire, the most important aspect is the pressure. The proper PSI, or pounds per square inch, will be listed on the tire itself and can be confirmed in the specs for your specific tires. Be sure to check tire pressure weekly, which is especially important in colder temperatures. Improperly inflated tires will vibrate so that the inside layers will cause friction, which heats the rubber and causes wear to happen faster. You should find a decent tire gauge you can keep in your car for convenience’s sake. If you don’t have a tire gauge, most gas stations have one available at their air pump station. Keep in mind that over inflation is also bad- it can increase wear in the middle due to the smaller tire footprint, makes your tire less resistant to punctures and hits, causes more bounce, and gives you less grip on curves.
It’s dangerous to drive on bald tires, so you should visually inspect them for wear, tears and punctures regularly. You can conduct the penny test to determine how worn they are by inserting a penny upside down between the treads. If you can still see Abraham Lincoln’s hair, you probably need new tires. You should also rotate your tires approximately every 6,000 miles- change the forward tires with rear tires, and make sure to switch right and left sides. You can do this yourself if you know how to change a tire. You should also align your tires on a regular schedule, depending on what your car’s manual tells you or if you ever feel a pull in your steering wheel. For this you’ll need to go to a professional, unless you are a trained mechanic.
If you can, stay away from poorly maintained roads. The same goes for dirt roads if you don’t have the proper tires or suspension for it. Avoid driving through potholes whenever possible. If you do find yourself on a bumpy road, take it as slow as you can. Tires that are made for driving in the city are very different than tires made for driving off-road or in the country, which you can usually see in the tread. If you have no other choice than to drive in less than ideal conditions, don’t forget to check your air pressure once you get home.
Learning how to take care of your tires is a good first step for any car owner. It is easy once you know what to look for, and have the proper tools. If you’re first starting out, think about having your mechanic show you the ropes. Providing your tires with a little tender love and care can ensure a smooth ride for years to come.
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