Why You Need to Check Your Tires Regularly

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Checking your tires is as important as oil changes, brake inspections, and regular trips to the car wash. And guess what, checking your tires is easy. The key thing with tires? The variables:

  • Vehicle type and size
  • Road conditions
  • Varying air pressure specifications
  • Air pressure monitoring systems
  • Tire grades and sizes

Don’t worry, there will be no Michelin Man Quiz at the end of this short read. You will know how to save a little gas, extend tire life, and learn the most critical part of tire care, though. This will save you money as well as keep your family safer on the roads. Let’s get rolling!

Tire Wear Warning Signs

Every driver knows tires wear out and need replacing. But we can sometimes wait too long, then a blowout happens. It’s much wiser and safer to visually inspect your tires regularly. This can keep you from having a flat on the side of the road, maybe even prevent an accident. 

Look for sidewall damage and excessive wear across all the tread areas that touch the pavement. Don’t forget to look at the inner part of the tire which you may have to turn the steering wheel to get a better view. If you see metal wires - Houston, we have a problem! Head to a tire shop.

Check this video out to see one technique for checking your tire tread to see if it’s time for some replacements. Remember, your mechanic can check for you also. Many won’t charge just for giving their opinion on the tires, especially if they are your go-to person for your car service needs.

Tire Rotation on the Regular

If you’re wondering how to make the wheels go round and round longer, we’ve got the answer to extending tire life. Avoiding rough roads is one way, but potholes can be hard to avoid. What you don’t want to avoid is regular tire rotation. 

Rotating the tires keeps each one at the same tread level by rotating them at specific mileage points. Your tire service shop will know where to move each tire, as it depends on your make and model. This is a service you won’t be doing yourself. Unless you moonlight as a NASCAR pit crew member!

Tire Gauges and PSI Technology

Something we get pumped about on newer vehicles… tire pressure monitoring systems, or TPMS for short. Studies show these systems make it less likely to have low air pressure than on vehicles without this handy technology. The convenience of the tire pressure PSI (pounds per square inch) on the dashboard is a huge help. Sadly, cavemen didn’t think of that.

If your car or truck doesn’t have a TPMS, a tire pressure gauge is an inexpensive tool that’s easy to read by placing the gauge on the tire’s valve stem.

  • Digital gauges are available
  • Gauges are attached to most air filling machines at gas stations
  • Auto parts stores and garages may check the pressure for you

You will find your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure inside the door jamb (look for the stickerl) and in the owner's manual. Keeping the pressure at the proper specs will make the tires last longer. Plus, it’s proven to improve fuel economy. Good for your wallet and great for great for the planet – a win-win.

Pressure is On with Winter Driving

There’s no need to check your air pressure daily in most cases. But visual checks every day are a good idea and only take 10 seconds. The caveat on air pressure, though, is a cold hard fact: winter temps affect tire pressure.

Cold weather causes tire pressure to drop. In fact, one study showed a 20-degree weather change caused miles per gallon (MPG) to decrease by about two MPG. Your PSI could go up or down if big temperature swings happen where you drive. It’s another good reason to pay attention to weather forecasts when it comes to daily commuting and especially longer travel.
With regular checks on tire pressure, tread, and weather conditions, you’re bound to be quite the tire expert - no, pressure!  And the icing on the cake when it comes to tires?  A little tire shine conditioner at ZIPS Car Wash to keep you rolling in style and turning heads, mile after mile. Here’s to happy, safe, and clean driving!