Tire Maintenance: What You Should Know

Posted on: 30 July 2020

When most people think about their cars, they do not give much thought to the tires. As long as the tire doesn't look flat, people assume they are good to go and hop in their car without giving anything a second thought. However, there are tire maintenance steps that a person should take regularly to keep their tires and their car in good working condition. Get to know a little bit about tire maintenance and what you can do to take care of your tires going forward. That way, you know you are doing everything you can to keep your tires and car in the best condition possible. 

Why Is Tire Maintenance Important?

One of the main reasons tire maintenance is important is vehicle performance. If the tires are not at the correct air pressure, you will not be getting the miles per gallon that you would get with your tires at the right air pressure. 

When tires are out of balance, it can affect the performance of the vehicle and cause damage to the vehicle itself, especially if the balance is significantly off. Because there is also a risk of damage when tires are not aligned, balanced, and at proper air pressure, you should take your tire maintenance needs very seriously. 

How Often Should You Inspect Your Tires?

In an ideal world, you would inspect your tires at least once a month. That is for regular, primarily in-city driving. However, if you often travel long distances (thus putting more miles on your car), you will want to inspect the tires every week or two. 

Of course, some people will not remember to check their tires every month or more frequently. Inspecting your tires at all, even if it has been a few months, is better than nothing, so check them as often as you can.

What Are You Looking for in Tire Inspections?

The first thing you are going to want to check when you inspect your tires is the tread. The tread should be deep enough that if you put a quarter in the tread, the top of Washington's head should not be visible. Alternatively, you can get a tire tread gauge to actually measure the tire treads, which is an easier method than the quarter test. 

Once you have checked the tire treads, you will want to check the air pressure using a pressure gauge. Every car has a different ideal pressure for the tires. So, check your manual for that info before you check your tire pressure. If the air pressure is too low, you can add air to your tires and remeasure until it is correct. 

What About Professional Maintenance?

There are also tire maintenance tasks that should be done by a professional. Your tires should occasionally be rotated, for example, to help even out the wear and tear on the tires and help them last longer. Get your tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or around every 6 months. 

Tire balancing and realignment of the wheels are also tasks that can and should be done by a professional mechanic. Wheel alignments are generally done every 2 to 3 years, and tire balancing is done every 3,000 to 6,000 miles or every 3 to 6 months. 

Now that you know more about tire maintenance and what you should do to keep your tires in top shape, you can start your tire maintenance routine as soon as possible.