AutoMD.com repair experts say proper tire maintenance − especially in winter − isn't just a cost saver, it's a life saver too.
Carson, CA – January 25, 2011 – AutoMD.com (www.automd.com) today released its Top Five Tire Care Tips to help people save money – and quite possibly their lives – by following simple tips to keep their tires properly maintained. The company's car repair experts say these tips are especially important in winter months, when the proper performance of your tires is critical in hazardous driving conditions.
Consider the following statistics:
"Being tire aware simply makes sense. And being a responsible driver means practicing safe driving habits and performing regular maintenance on your vehicle – tires and all," said Shane Evangelist, president of AutoMD.com. "It's easy for drivers to overlook tire problems if no warning light flashes. However, there are simple tire maintenance tips people can follow to help ensure a smooth and safe ride – while also saving money by extending tire life."
Get into the habit of looking at your tires every time you stop for gas. If you spot bulging sidewalls during a visual inspection, this could indicate low tire pressure. You should also check the tire pressure once a month with a pressure gauge. On vehicles equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), the warning light on the dash notifies you when a tire is low. Be sure to refer to your vehicle's owner's manual or tire sticker on the door jamb for manufacturer-recommended tire pressure settings. Be especially diligent about tire pressure when driving in snow, rain and sleet, since correct pressure is essential to good handling and traction.See AutoMD's guide: How to Check Tire Pressure
AutoMD.com recommends that you rotate and balance your tires every other oil change (7,000 – 10,000 miles). Most tire shops offer this service free-of-charge if the tires were purchased from them. Rotating your tires increases their lifespan because the front tires wear faster than the rear, and keeping the tires balanced reduces vibration.See AutoMD's guide: How to Rotate Tires
Driving too fast, not keeping a safe distance, and driving on rough or damaged roads can lead to tire damage from road hazards. Hitting a pothole at forty miles per hour can cause tire and wheel trauma, including sidewall damage which is non-repairable. Be careful after heavy rains or inclement weather when new potholes typically appear. Whenever possible, drive on well-maintained roads.
A tire wearing on the outside edge can be a sign that the wheels are not aligned. Wheel alignment can be checked by simply looking at the wear pattern on tires or by a trained technician with the use of an alignment rack. Misalignment (camber and toe-in) can reduce the life of your tires, so be sure to routinely inspect for uneven tread wear. If the tires are wearing unevenly, have the wheels aligned by a trained technician.See AutoMD's guide: How to Perform a Wheel Alignment
Use a tire protectant to prevent the tires from UV or ozone damage in the summer and harsh weather conditions in the winter. Be sure to clean tire sidewalls with Armor All® or a similar product. Whenever your vehicle is stored for long periods of time (i.e., a trailer or classic car), cover your tires and remove the vehicle's weight or load to help prevent sidewall cracks from forming.
Keep in mind that tire lifespan is affected by the quality of your tires, tire maintenance, type of vehicle, and driving habits.
More AutoMD.com vehicle maintenance tips can be found here.