Tires are one of the most important pieces to your vehicle and properly maintained tires will give you a safer, more comfortable ride and a longer tread life.  In order to keep you and your passengers safe, you should follow these tire maintenance tips.

It's important to have the proper inflation pressure in your tires, as under inflation can lead to tire failure. The "right amount" of inflation for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on either the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner's manual. Look for this information in your vehicle:
  • Check pressure at least once a month and before long trips.
  • When you check the inflation pressure, make sure the tires are cool - meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: If you have to drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate inflation pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the inflation pressure inside to increase as you drive. Never "bleed" or reduce inflation pressure when tires are hot.)
  • Remember to check the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
  • Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.

Under inflation or overloading creates excessive stress and heat, and can lead to tire failure. This could result in vehicle damage and/or serious injury or death. An over inflated tire can cause uneven wear in the center of the tread. Over inflation also can make the tire more susceptible to road hazard damage and pose vehicle handling issues.

Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. Traction, particularly in bad weather, and resistance to hydroplaning is reduced as tires wear. An easy test: Place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire. Built-in treadwear indicators, or "wear bars," which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread will appear on the tire when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. When you see these “wear bars,” the tire is worn out and should be replaced. Visually check your tires for signs of uneven wear. You may have irregular tread wear if there are high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Consult your tire dealer as soon as possible.

Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid treadwear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Front-wheel-drive vehicles, and those with independent rear suspension, require alignment of all four wheels. Have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner's manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as "pulling." Also have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear or vibration.

Nitrogen gas can be safely used in place of compressed air to inflate tires. Nitrogen may aid in tire pressure retention as it does not seep through a tire as quickly as compressed air. Other sources of potential air loss such as punctures, damage or a faulty valve will not be slowed by nitrogen inflation. Whether tires are inflated with compressed air or nitrogen, tire pressure MUST be checked every month to ensure proper tire inflation. Proper tire care helps the environment. Under inflated tires waste fuel. Properly inflated tires help promote better fuel economy. Additionally, regular care helps tires get the most potential wear so they don't need to be replaced as often.

Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. Consult your vehicle owner's manual, the tire manufacturer or your tire dealer for the appropriate rotation pattern for your vehicle. (NOTE: If your tires show uneven wear, ask your tire dealer to check for and correct any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem involved before rotation.) Before rotating your tires, always refer to your vehicle owner's manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 5,000-8,000 miles. (NOTE: After rotation, make sure inflation pressure is set to the vehicle manufacturer's specification.)

If you think you need new tires after reading this, then please contact the Gary Lang Auto Service Department.  You may not think of buying tires from a dealership, but we stock an assortment of tires and can always get the tires you need or want if we don't have them in stock.  We also price match other tire dealers and shops.  Keep us in mind the next time you need to replace your tires.
Categories: Service, Parts