The Role Tire Maintenance Plays in Avoiding a Car Crash
It goes without saying that tires are an essential part of our cars. Without them, we simply wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. But with our busy lives, routine tire maintenance often gets overlooked. However, tire maintenance will not only help make it possible for you to keep getting where you need to go, it will also help you maintain good fuel mileage and help you avoid car crashes.
As we head into winter, now is an excellent time to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Cold temperatures cause things to contract and shrink, including particles of air. When the air particles contract because of the cold, they’re unable to exert as much pressure on your tire walls as they would in warmer weather. Improper tire inflation places extra stress on the tire, which can cause uneven wear or cause the tire to fail. Underinflated tires also make it more difficult to maintain control over your vehicle, which can lead to car accidents.
Improper tire inflation is the most common source of tire damage. The best time to check your tire pressure is to before the car has been driven, while the tires are still cool. You can also check your tire pressure if you’ve only driven a very short distance, no more than three miles, at a low speed. If you try checking your tire pressure while the tires are hot, the PSI will skew high. Newer cars tend to have built-in tire pressure sensors, but if your car doesn’t have this technology, manual tire pressure gauges are still easy to find at any auto supply store. Just avoid tire pressure gauges provided at gas stations; they have a reputation for being inaccurate.
Bald tires on a wet or icy road can very easily cause a car accident. The treads on your tires are responsible for helping keep your vehicle grip the surface of the road, so if they’re worn out, it’s harder for your tires to work properly. While there’s never a “good” time of year to have worn treads on your car, they can be particularly dangerous during times of year when there’s a lot of snow or rainfall.
It’s extremely important to frequently inspect the treads on your tires. Best of all, you don’t even need any special tools to help you figure it out. Many tires feature a tread wear indicator to let you know when it’s time to replace your tires. A quarter or a penny can also help you check tread wear. If you place a quarter into a tire’s tread groove with Washington’s head facing downward and are unable to see his head, you still have plenty of tread left. If you can see above Washington’s head, you need new tires. A penny will also help you check tread wear. If you put a penny in the tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing down and are able to see the area above Lincoln’s head, your tires do not have enough tread and need to be replaced ASAP. Make sure you check tread wear at the outer edge of the tire, in the center, and at the inner edge.
If your tires are in good shape and have plenty of tread left on them, make sure you have your tires rotated regularly and that your mechanic checks your tire alignment. These steps will help your tires wear evenly so your tires will last as long as possible.