Image: Frank Ling

OK, let’s face it, everybody knows they should check for proper air pressure in their tires, but realistically how many people really do this? This little preventative action can not only lengthen your tire’s life, but can improve gas mileage and your safety.

You’d be surprised at just how much air your tires can lose over the course of a few weeks. Even being slightly under-inflated can prematurely wear out your tire treads. You may get slightly better traction, but at the cost of faster wear.

On the flip side some car enthusiasts swear by over-inflating their car tires for better performance. While this sounds correct, constant over inflation of the tires can put more stress on them and may be more prone to blowouts.

How Often for Tire Pressure?

Checking your tire pressure is a good thing, but should you be OCD about it or try a more casual approach?

A generally rule of thumb is to check your tire pressures every two or three weeks. By then, the natural escape of air through your tires will probably lower the psi by a few pounds or more.

To make this chore easier, get a good quality digital tire gauge that can give you accurate results.

Alignment of Tires

To put this simply, alignment of your tires is how straight and true they are when they roll on the road. If you’ve ever looked at the bottoms of your shoes and noticed uneven wear on your heels, you know what misalignment means.

An easy way to tell if your tires are aligned is to notice if your car tends to pull to the left or right when driving. If you find that you constantly have to adjust your steering to go straight, you probably have misalignment.

Misalignment of your tires can seriously affect your tire treads and steering. While it may cost a bit to take your car into the shop, this is much cheaper than buying a set of new tires.

The alignment of your wheels is done by professional mechanics and once they are straightened out, you should be worry free for quite a while. But if you hit a very large pothole or run your tires over a huge obstacle, you may want to bring your car in for a check.

Rotate Your Tires

When we say this, we don’t mean just driving around on them to “rotate” them. Rotating tires means taking them all off and moving them to different positions on the wheels. If you are doing this yourself, check your tire manual to see what the specific change pattern is.

The reason why this is important is because each tire wears out at different rates due to their positions. By rotating the tires, this spreads the tread wear evenly across all the tires.

Source: WikiHow


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