Tire Care Factors Every Driver Must Know

Your tires, each with a contact patch on the road that’s about the size of a large footprint, have to provide the entire grip for steering, braking, and acceleration. They also improve comfort, allowing you to carry the weight of the vehicle with relative ease. Proper care will make them last longer and be safer, and to do that, you need to consider the factors listed below.

Tread Depth

Most tires have tread wear indicators. These are usually at least six small ribs across the bottom of the main tread grooves. When the tread surface becomes level with these ribs, the tire is at the legal limit and must be replaced. One of the features of the tire pattern design is to give a good grip on wet conditions. Grip reduces as the tire wears off, or as the road surface water depth increases. You must reduce your new or used car’s speed in such conditions.

Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 4/32 of an inch. As a simple way to determine tread depth, get a 25-centavo coin and place it date first into the tread groove. If you can still see the date on the coin, then you need new tires.

Tire Maintenance

Proper inflation is the most important factor in maintaining your tires. Check air pressure on all your tires, including the spare, at least once a month. Accurate and reliable gauges are not expensive. You will easily recoup the cost with the savings you get from longer tire life.

Regular rotation of your tires is also another key in maintaining them. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended distance interval to have your tires rotated.

Tire Rotation

Tire rotation reduces irregular wear. For maximum mileage, rotate your tires every 5,000 miles or 8,000 kilometers. Follow the correct rotation patterns. Always consult vehicle owner’s manual for the recommended rotation pattern, any restrictions, and frequency. If no rotation period is specified, plan to rotate your tires approximately every 8,000 to 12,000 kilometers.

Still, a tire’s tread wears off even with normal usage. Retreading is an economical way to give it a makeover, and retreaded tires are used extensively on events like aircraft and in motoring competition.

Don’t Forget the Wheels

Lastly, you need to regularly clean your wheels. That way, everything will sparkle and shine as soon as you step back to admire your new or secondhand car.