Tires are a vital part of your vehicle. They’re the only thing between you and the road. Stay safe, and save some money too, by ensuring your tires are maintained properly.
10 Simple Tire Maintenance Tips
The following simple tips are not only a great way to maximize the longevity of your tires, but to increase your fuel efficiency, driving performance and most importantly your overall road safety.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Under or over-inflated tires may not accelerate, brake or steer properly. Check your tire pressure at least once a month when the tires are cold (before you head out for a drive).
Tip: Not sure what your tire pressure should be? The vehicle information placard is a small sticker that lists the proper pressure for both your front and rear tires. Often it’s located on the driver side front or back door. If you’re unable to find it, refer to your owner’s manual.
- Rotate your tires regularly to extend the life of them and improve performance. It’s recommended you rotate your tires once every 10,000 to 12,000 km or 6 months.
- Get a wheel alignment every year, or 25,000 km to avoid uneven tread wear. Daily impacts such as potholes and railroad crossings, as well as more severe circumstances like a car accident, can knock your vehicle’s tires out of alignment.
- Frequently inspect your tires. Once a month inspect your tires and be on the lookout for cracks or bulges, objects lodged in the tire, punctures and uneven tread wear.
- Change your tires according to the season. In Canada, it’s recommended that you have both summer and winter tires. Both types of tires are designed differently to match the driving conditions. Using winter tires in the summer or vice versa can wear your tires faster than expected.
- Don’t mix and match tires. While it may seem more cost effective to replace one or two tires at a time, having mismatched tires can lead to rapid and uneven tread wear, or even mechanical issues.
- Replace your tires when needed. Pay close attention to the tire tread for indication on when to replace your tires.
Tip: Do the penny test. With the Queen’s crown facing down, put a penny in the groove of your tire. If you can see the top of her crown, the tire needs replacing.
- Make sure your tires are balanced. Having unbalanced tires can lead to rapid and premature tire tread wear. You should have your tires balanced every time you change or rotate your tires, or buy new.
- Ensure punctured tires are repaired properly. Depending on the severity of the puncture or size of the foreign object lodged in your tire, it can be easily repaired. However, it needs to be repaired properly. Take it into the mechanic.
- Store spare tires the right way. Make sure tires are clean, free of gasoline, grease, or any type of substance that could deteriorate the rubber. If you are storing your tires indoors, make sure it’s in a clean, cool and dark location away from direct sunlight or sources of heat. If you’re storing them outdoors make sure the tires are raised off of the ground and use water proof covering with holes to prevent moisture build-up.
Proper upkeep of your tires means not having to replace them as often, ultimately keeping you safer on the roads while saving you money as well. And, if saving money sounds like a good idea, why not compare car insurance rates while you’re at it: on average, InsuranceHotline.com shoppers save up to $700 after shopping their car insurance rates.