Pressure underinflation is a tire’s #1 enemy.
It's important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as underinflation may lead to tire failure. The right amount of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It’s also listed in the owner's manual.
- 1. When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cold, meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: If you have to drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never "bleed" or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)
- 2. Remove the cap from the valve on one tire.
- 3. Firmly press a tire gauge onto the valve.
- 4. Add air to achieve recommended air pressure.
- 5. If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve with a fingernail or the tip of a pen. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.
- 6. Replace the valve cap.
- 7. Repeat with each tire, including the spare. (NOTE: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure.)
- 8. Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
- 9. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities. (NOTE: Air pressure in a tire goes up or down 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.)
Is your vehicle pulling to one side or shaking?
Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid treadwear and should be corrected. Front-wheel drive vehicles, and those with independent rear suspension, require alignment of all four wheels. Have your alignment checked periodically as specified by your owner’s manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as "pulling" or vibration.
Also have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear.
Tire rotation promotes uniform wear.
Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. However, before having your tires rotated, always refer to your car's owner's manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 5,000 miles. We can help you determine the appropriate rotation pattern for your vehicle.
Inspect and measure your tire tread.
Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch in order to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. An easy test: place a penny into a tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire.
Some tires have built-in treadwear indicators, or "wear bars," which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread. The wear bars will appear when the tire tread is worn down to one-sixteenth of an inch. When you see these wear bars, the tire is worn out and should be replaced.
Visually check your tires for signs of uneven wear. You may have irregular tread wear if there are high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. If you need new tires, or have questions about your tires, come to Next Generation Auto in Baldwin.