Here are some important tips and tire information to keep in mind that, if followed, will help you get longer tire wear and better fuel economy, and will maximize your safety and ride comfort.
Tire inflation information
Tire pressure information: What is the correct air pressure?
Every vehicle manufacturer has engineers who understand the loads and stresses that its vehicle will impose on tires. Therefore, tires are chosen very carefully, to ensure a good match with vehicle weight and engine and braking performance factors. At that time the optimal air pressure is also calculated, taking into account factors such as load capacity, fuel economy, ride, braking performance, and longevity. This information is then documented on a placard that is permanently attached to the vehicle, usually on the driver's door. So the correct air pressure for your vehicle is what is stated on the placard, and not what may be molded on the tire, as many drivers assume. This is because what is on the tire is the maximum pressure that tire can hold; since it may be installed on different vehicles with different requirements, this information is not vehicle-specific.
Watch our video on how to inflate your tires properly.
Tire Rotation and Balancing
Other procedures that extend tire wear are tire rotation and optimum tire balance. Learn about when you should have your tires rotated and balanced and how our technicians perform those services in our video.
Wheel alignment diagnosis
Proper wheel alignment diagnosis is covered in another article on this Web site, but it too affects tire wear, handling, and fuel economy. Have it checked at least annually.
Tire tread depths are measured in thirty-seconds of an inch by your local tire dealer who uses a tread depth gauge, but you have heard that you can do the same thing by inserting a penny into the grooves in the tread and looking if President Lincoln's head is showing. That is 2/32, and the tire by this time has lost much of its traction, rides harder, and is more prone to flats because most of the cushion of rubber on worn tires is worn away. Consumer Reports magazine recommends using a quarter to measure tread, because to the top of President George Washington's head gives you 4/32 measurement, at which time you should start shopping for replacement tires.
Warning signs of tire problems
Be aware of any unusual symptoms or changes in the way your vehicle rides, brakes, handles and sounds. These could be warning signs of impending tire problems. If your vehicle starts to shake or vibrate, or drift to one side, or the tires make strange new noises, make an appointment as soon as possible with your local tire shop for a test drive and on-rack inspection.