It's not necessary for you to consider yourself a serious car enthusiast to take some degree of interest in your vehicle. Even if you never have aspirations of rolling up your sleeves and tinkering under the hood on the weekend, understanding how to maintain your tires can save you from costly repair bills and keep you safe on the road. Here are three simple tire-related tasks that every driver should be able to perform.
Checking Tire Air Pressure
When your vehicle's tires are properly inflated, they make your vehicle easier to control and even provide you with better gas mileage. The task of checking the air pressure on each tire is simple. First, check the tire information label on the inside of your driver's door to reveal the proper inflation amount for your tires, which will be displayed in pounds per square inch (PSI). Then, remove the valve cap on each tire and press a pressure gauge against the stem until you get a reading. These gauges are available in digital and analog formats; the former provides a more accurate reading. If any of your tires are low in air, immediately drive to the nearest gas station and fill the tire.
Verifying Tire Wear
Your vehicle's tires are equipped with a series of small indicators that reveal whether each tire is too worn or still has the proper amount of tread. Look for a series of small lines that run parallel with each other across the tread of the tire. These are known as the tread wear indicators. If these indented lines are still clearly visible, the tread of the tire is acceptable. However, if the lines have disappeared, it's an indicator that the tire is worn excessively and needs to be replaced. It can be common for the wear to only occur on one side of the tire, but excessive wear anywhere still should send you to an auto service shop.
Noticing An Imbalance
Unbalanced tires will wear quicker than they should and can often make your vehicle a challenge to control while driving or braking. While uneven tread wear can be a visual sign of this issue, it's often easy to tell if a tire isn't balanced correctly by feeling a vibration. If this is the case, get to an auto shop right away. Driving on an unbalanced tire for too long can ruin it, but if you visit a shop quickly enough, you'll be able to get the tire balanced and continue using it.
If you notice issues with any of your tires, visit a certified auto service shop in your city like Unique Edge Customizing right away to have a professional look at the issue.