What’s the secret to keeping my tires in top form?

The first thing to watch out for is weather cracks, which are tiny, shallow breaks in the tire. They’re caused by old age and sun and heat exposure, and they are a huge indicator of tire failure. Check to see that you don’t have any cords from the tire’s metal mesh interior poking out. A tire should be smooth and even. Poor alignment and underinflation will wear your tires out faster than anything. Most modern cars have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that will alert you when pressure is low. It is recommended to have your alignment checked every 30,000 miles—or if you hit a curb or big pothole.

Always keep an eye out for low points on the tire. In the old days, you would place a penny in the tread, and if you could see the top of Lincoln’s head, you needed a new tire. Now we have a wear indicator, a piece of rubber on six points in the tread. If you can spot the indicator, it’s time to replace the tire. Rotate your tires every 8,000 to 10,000 miles to ensure even tread wear.

But if you’re looking to avoid any of these problems before they occur, a good rule of thumb for tire care is proper inflation, rotation, and inspection. These routine practices keep tires in good form for as long as possible, which can save you gas and, ultimately, money.

Categories: Service
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