Time to Check Your Tires

Tires are a very important part of your car for obvious reasons—they are what keeps your car on the road.  There are two main things that need to be checked on your tires: pressure and tread.

maintenance-tiresTire pressure is very easy to check and extremely important to keep in the recommended range. The recommended tire pressure is listed in the car’s owner manual but is typically between 27 and 32 psi.  In order to check the tire pressure, you simply need an accurate pressure gauge, which can be purchased at a local hardware store. Remember that temperature can affect tire pressure (typically 10 degrees increases pressure by 1 psi), so if your tires were filled in the winter, they may be overinflated when it gets hotter. Having the correct tire pressure is extremely important because under-inflated tires are significantly more likely to fail and also cause decreased gas mileage. If you need to fill your tires, use this map to find a location near you that has a free air pump.

When people talk about tire tread, they are referring to the depth of the grooves on the outside of your tires.  These grooves are extremely important, because they deal with things like mud, water, and snow on the road.  Without grooves, those elements would quite literally lift the tire off of the road, causing you to lose control.  So, when your tires’ tread starts to get low, you could be at a significantly higher risk to hydroplane.  The age-old trick involves using a penny to estimate how much tread you have left. When your tires lose most of their tread, it’s time to get them replaced.

This fall, make sure your car is staying on the road and not losing gas mileage to bad tires.  Come into the shop and we’d be happy to replace your tires or do any other maintenance you need.