All About Tires
- Keep the caps on: You step out into driveway ready to start your morning commute only to discover a flat tire. How in the heck did that happen overnight? If the tire valve is missing its cap, the culprit might be a leaky valve. Those little caps keep out dirt and moisture that can cause leaks, so be sure to keep caps on all your tire valves. Another tip: When you replace tires, remind the tire shop that you expect new valves with the tires.
- Maintain proper inflation: Under-inflated tires are a tire salesman’s best friend. They create excessive heat and stress that can lead to tire failure. If you want to get every last mile out of your tires, get yourself a tire pressure gauge and use it at least once a month (more in hot weather) to keep your tires inflated to the recommendation in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Check tires when they are cold (driven for less than one mile) for an accurate reading.
- Beware the wet thumb: If you top off your tires at a service station, check to see if there’s moisture coming from the air pump. Simply depress the pin inside the inflator valve with your thumbnail. If your thumb gets wet, advise the station manager that his tanks need to be drained and go to a different station. Moisture, trapped inside a tire, can cause pressure variations and corrode rims.
- Check for uneven wear: Check tires for uneven wear. If you’ve maintained tire inflation properly, uneven wear may indicate the need for a wheel realignment. It can also mean improperly operating brakes or shocks, a bent wheel, internal tire damage, or worn bushings.
- Check tread for safety: Most states require tires to be replaced when they have worn down to 1/16-inch (1.5 mm) of remaining tire depth. Tires sold in North America are required to have “wear bars” molded into them to make it easy to see when tire replacement is legally required. However, if you’ll be driving in the rain, you should change your tires when there is 1/8-inch (3 mm) of tread left. Otherwise, water may not escape from under your tires fast enough and you risk hydroplaning — a dangerous situation in which your car loses traction and literally floats on the water. Stick an American quarter between the treads in several places. If part of Washington’s head is always covered, you have enough tread to drive in the rain. If you drive in snow, you’ll need at least 3/16-inch (5 mm) of tread to get adequate traction. Stick an American penny between the treads. If the top of the Lincoln Memorial is always covered, you’re ready for winter driving.
- Rotate your tires: Rotating your tires helps to distribute tire wear evenly and ensures that you’ll get the maximum road life out of them. The first rotation is especially important. Your owner’s manual should specify both rotation period and pattern. If not, rotate your tires every 6,000 to 7,500 miles (9,700 to 12,000 km) — your tire dealer should know the correct pattern of tire rotation.
- When temperatures affect tire inflation : When outside temperatures drop or soar, tires tend to lose pressure. A drop of 10 degrees F (6 degrees C), in fact, will decrease a tire’s air pressure by 1 or 2 pounds. Tires can lose even more air in hot weather. Under-inflated tires can result in accelerated wear and poor driving performance. If you live in a place where temperatures vary a lot, check your tire pressure often and add air as needed.
- Buy used tires : If you own a car that you plan to drive only for another year, the last thing you want to do is to buy a new set of tires. If it’s time to replace those tires though, it’s really time. Rather than hesitate, buy a set of used tires. Call local tire dealers to see what’s available. You’ll be surprised by how much wear is left in tires that are turned in by image-conscious car owners. Have your tire size handy.
– From the Reader’s Digest Article – 74 Tips To Extend the Life of Your Car
TGK Automotive carries many used tires in our shops, call to get a personalized quote today! For more information about services we can offer to help ensure you are getting the most out of your vehicle visit us at www.tgkauto.com or to schedule a vehicle inspection contact an associate at one of our locations today.
Maplewood – 651.489.9455 | Hugo – 651.407.3611