Tire Maintenance Tips

Keeping a close eye on the natural wear and tear of your vehicle’s tires is another aspect of car maintenance that should not be taken lightly. Before and after long road trips or after frequent use of your car around town, remind yourself to inspect each of your tires for potential tread or other issues that may negatively impact your driving.

Inspecting the wear of a tire tread using a penny.

By checking your tire tread, you are determining which next step of action you will need to take to ensure safe driving and healthy tires. These steps of action include having to buy new tires, balance, align or inflate your tires, or even go as far as having to change your driving habits on the road.

A common way to check the tread depth of your tires is the Penny Test. With the head side of the penny facing toward you and upside down, line the penny up in the groove of your tire tread. You can easily tell if it is time to replace your tires if the head on the penny is completely visible.

Don’t have a penny on hand? How about a quarter? You can also test your tires with a quarter. If you are able to see the full head on a quarter, your tires are in good shape and do not need to be replaced at this time.

You may see other signs that it is time for new tires:

  1. If you feel a constant vibration, on both good and bad roads. This may not be directly related to your tires, but can impact your tires negatively.
  2. Noticeable bulges or cracks in your tires. This is a primary cause of tire blowouts and should be taken care of immediately if spotted.
  3. If the Tread Wear Indicator Bar is visible. This feature can be found on newer tires and if seen means the tread is getting low.
  4. Constant air pressure error messages. If your car continually lets you know your air pressure is low, and you have filled your tires recently, there could be a small puncture or hole.

Our tires are what connect us from the vehicle body to the road. Without tires, we would be sitting ducks on highway and this is why we must take proper steps to maintain their health. Make sure to set personal reminders to check the condition of all of your vehicle's tires on a regular basis. As always, if you are not sure what the condition of your tires is in and you want to get an expert's opinion, bring your car in and we're happy to take a look.

Written by Dave Erb