Tire Safety and Maintenance
You should check each tire’s air pressure (including spare) once a month and always before a long trip. Always check when they are “cold”. At least three hours after the vehicle has been stopped, or before it has been driven one mile.
Load carrying limits, molded into the tire’s sidewall, should never be exceeded. Consult a trained tire professional to verify limits for the tire you have chosen.
If for some reason you cannot safely avoid a road hazard and you run over glass, rocks, curbs, or other foreign material, check the tire for external damage. If you suspect damage but can’t see it, have the tire demounted and checked for internal damage by a trained professional.
Having your tires regularly rotated achieves more uniform wear on each tire. If no rotation period is specified in your owner’s manual, then the tires should be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles.
If you get stuck in mud or snow, don’t spin the tires to get out. Spinning, even for a few seconds, can build up heat and damage tires.
Properly balanced tires and wheels turn with all their weight distributed equally. Unbalanced tires can result in a vehicle’s shimmying (shaking from side to side) and tramping (hopping up and down).
Cleaning tires removes foreign substances that can degrade the tires. Remove the substances from the tires. Soap and water are recommended.
Check your tires at least once a month for uneven wear and foreign objects wedged in the tread. A tire that continually needs more air should be taken off the vehicle and off the wheel and checked thoroughly.
Tips for Proper Inflation
Purchase an accurate pressure gauge, as it’s impossible to tell how much air is in a tire by looking at it. The gauges attached to air hoses may not be accurate. It is normal for all tires to lose air over time.
The pressure should never be below the recommended pressure listed on the vehicle placard nor above the maximum branded on the sidewall of a specific tire under normal driving conditions.
What to Look for in Choosing a Tire
Buy the correct size tire. The appropriate tire size for your car can be found in the owner’s manual or on a placard located somewhere in the vehicle. Also, consider the car’s original equipment when purchasing a replacement tire.
Consider factors such as load-carrying capacity of the tire, as well as traction, treadwear and temperature grades, also known as the Uniform Tire quality Grade System.
When tire shopping, keep in mind that there is a difference between the lowest price and the best value. As a consumer, finding the highest quality tire that will fulfill your specific needs at the most competitive price should be the ultimate goal.
When purchasing a tire, be sure to fill out and mail the DOT Tire Registration Card so you can be notified of any product updates.