Tire Maintenance Tips

 

When checking out a new vehicle, you may given them a kick, but tires need much more than that to keep them in great condition. Well-maintained tires have many benefits to you and your car, including improving vehicle handling and gas mileage. Taking good care of your tires can also reduce the risk of accidents and breakdowns.

Basics

The most basic information is what tire size and pressure your vehicle needs. This information can be found in the trunk lid, the glove-box, or on the door edge, as well as a few other places.

Under Pressure

Tire pressure is important in gas mileage, load limits, and vehicle handling. Tire pressure is the amount of air inside the tire. It is measure in pounds per square inch (psi) or kilopascals (kPa). Remember that an increased load in your vehicle will put more weight on the tires, possibly affecting the pressure limit.

It's simple to check your tire pressure-just use a pressure gauge, which can be found at your local hardware or auto store. Some air pumps used to inflate tires may have a pressure gauge as well. Check your vehicle owner's manual or the tire sidewall to find the maximum inflation pressure.

An important note: To reach the correct recommended tire pressure, the tires need to be gauged when they're "cold." We're not talking about the outside temperature, but rather the state of the tires. You should check the levels when the tires haven't been driven on for more than three hours. Driving will increase the pressure level from friction and hat, and it will give you an inaccurate reading.

Unless you're drifting, you'll want to have the most traction possible when driving. It's important to change your tires when the tread has worn out to prevent accidents or blowouts. There are several ways to tell when your tires need to be replaced. Between the grooves on the tires, you will see raised pieces of rubber. Another way to check is placing an upside-down penny between the treads-if you can see Lincoln's head, it's time for new tires.

Keeping Your Balance

To prevent your car from shimmying, it's important to keep your tires balanced. Balancing your tires requires the weights in your tires to be placed accurately to counterbalance any heavy spots on the wheel. Getting an alignment will keep your tires positioned correctly and keep you driving straight. Both an alignment and a balance should be completed by a certified technician in a mechanic shop.

Repair and Rotation

If your tires are all the same size, you can keep them from wearing unevenly by getting them rotated. You vehicle's owner's manual should illustrate when and how to rotate your tires. If you gave proper knowledge and the correct tools, this is something you can perform at home. But relying on a professional technician's help is always a good idea.

If you notice low tire pressure even with proper maintenance, it may mean you have a puncture in your tread. This can be repaired with a tire plug repair kit if the damage isn't too severe. If the puncture is in the sidewall, it cannot be repaired. A handy trick to find the puncture involves removing the tire from the axle and slowly turning it in soapy water. If you see bubbles coming from the tread, that's more than likely where the puncture is. It takes a lot of muscle and steady hands to plug the tread, so make sure you're prepared to do some hard work if you take on the task at home.

 

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Cannon Subaru

5212 S Florida Ave
Directions Lakeland, FL 33813

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