Along with oil changes and engine tune ups, tires are one of the most important pieces of maintenance on a vehicle. In fact, it doesn’t matter how well the vehicle performs if the tires are in disrepair.
To ensure your tires are providing enough traction, handling and braking conduct a basic tire inspection weekly. You can also incorporate the procedure into your routine when getting gasoline. Also, have a professional technician look at your tires as part of your regular maintenance schedule.
AAA suggests focusing on these three important areas that need special attention:
- Tire tread. A tire’s tread should be checked for overall depth and uneven wear patters. Use a depth gauge to check tire wear.
- Sidewalls. Check the sidewalls for deep cuts, bubbles, or bulges - any of which mean trouble.
- Tire inflation pressure. Tires that wear faster on the edges could be under-inflated. If you noticed more wear on either the inside or the outside edge of the tire or if your car seems to pull slightly to one side, have your car’s alignment checked.
Always consult the owner’s manual for specific tire rotation information, but for longer wear, tires should be rotated every 6,000- 7,000 miles. This is also a good time to check the brakes.