Your tires are one of the most important parts on your vehicle; they are the only part of your vehicle that is in constant contact with the road, which is why you need to make sure that your tires are in good shape. Here are three things you should check on your tires every month to ensure that they are up for the job of keeping you safe on the road.
#1 Tire Pressure
The first thing you need to check on a monthly basis is your tire pressure. It is vital that you check the tire pressure on each of your tires. The pressure in each of your tires is not interconnected; it can vary from tire to tire.
You can check your tire pressure by using a tire pressure gauge. You will need to unscrew the tire cap from your tire and then press the tire gauge right against the opening. The meter will move and show you the tire pressure for that particular tire. If the tire pressure is too high, you can use the gauge to release some pressure. If the tire pressure is too low, you will need to use an air pressure machine to add pressure to your tire until the correct reading shows up on your tire pressure gauge. You should be able to obtain the recommended tire pressure rating for your vehicle on either the gas tank lid or on one of the door posts of your vehicle.
#2 Tread Depth
The second thing you need to check on a monthly basis is the depth of your tire tread. You want your tread to be deep. As you use your tires and the tread wears down, your tires start to get thinner or "bald". It is not safe to drive on thin or balding tires.
The easiest way to check the depth of your tires is by using the classic penny test. Take a penny and put it inside of the tread on one of your tires with the Lincoln side of the penny facing outward, with Lincoln's head upside down. If your tire tread is deep and in good condition, you should not be able to see the very top of Lincoln's head. Over time, as your tire tread wears down, you will see more and more of Lincoln's head. When you can see his entire head it is time to invest in new tires because the tread is too thin for the tires to be effective.
#3 Tire Wear Patterns
Finally, you need to keep an eye on the wear pattern on your tires. Ideally, all four of your tires should wear evenly. The best way to ensure that your tires wear evenly is to rotate your tires every other time you get your oil changed. If you start to notice that your tires are wearing unevenly and one or more of your tires is wearing more on the inside or outside, you need to take your vehicle in and have it inspected so that whatever is causing your tires to wear unevenly can be addressed.
If you keep an eye on the tire pressure, tread depth and tire wear patterns and take appropriate action when you notice a deviation from normal, you should be safe when you hit the road in your vehicle. Talk to a company like Action Al's Tire Company with any questions you have about your tires.