It isn’t often that I am alone in the car. These days, when I am on the road chances are I have one or both of my girls with me — my precious cargo. That means my car rides are filled with a combination of kids songs (these days Jake and the Neverland Pirates), lots of chatter and a bit of crying (that’s life with a baby).
That means there is a lot to think about and concentrate on when I am driving. One thing I don’t often think much about is the maintenance of my tires. Sure I know they are down there, but with everything else going on in my car (and life). Frankly, I leave car maintenance issues including tires (and filling the tank with gas when I can get away with it) up to my husband. He knows what he is doing, and he’s happy to do it for me (at least I think he is). So it works for us. But realistically, I know that should know more about taking care of my car so I can take care of my precious cargo if something where to ever happen.
Cooper Tires inspired me to learn more about tire maintenance. Now I want to inspire you. Here are a few things I learned about keeping my tires in tip-top shape to keep my family safe:
Examine tread – Bald tires can skid and slide on pavement, and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. The minimum tread on your tires should be more than 2/32 of an inch deep. If it isn’t, the tire must be replaced.
- You can perform a simple test using a penny. Put the edge of the coin into the tread, with Lincoln going in headfirst. If the top of Lincoln’s heads is covered by tread, you’re driving with the minimum amount of tread. If the top of his head is entirely visible, it’s time to replace the tire.
- While youʼre examining your tread, look for signs of uneven wear or damage (i.e., cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, bulges and impacts.) These conditions shorten the life of your tires and if not corrected, further tire damage or failure will occur.
Test air pressure – Under-inflation causes excessive stress on the tire, and can create irregular wear, which shortens the lifespan of tires and can also cause tire failure.
- It is imperative to have the proper level of air pressure in your tires. It can also improve gas mileage by more than 3%- reducing driversʼ gasoline consumption and expense.
- Check your ownerʼs manual or tire placard (or sticker) for your tiresʼ correct pressure and adjust your tiresʼ pressures accordingly. The tire placard can be attached to the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove box door, fuel door or trunk.
- A common myth is the tire pressure listed on your tiresʼ sidewall is the optimal pressure – itʼs actually the maximum pressure.
- When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool — meaning they are not hot from driving.
TIP – Did you know you can have your tires inflated with nitrogen? Unlike plain air, nitrogen is not effected by temperature changes so filling your tires with nitrogen will help prevent fluctuations in tire pressure. It costs about $20 extra, but it is an extra piece of mind. (Guess what I had my tires filled with?)
Disclosure – A promotional product was provided for my consideration in sharing this information, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.