No matter what kind of car you drive, your tires will be your ultimate connection to the road. Keeping them in good shape will ensure you many miles of safe travel. The Rubber Manufacturers Association recommends taking five minutes a month to check for the following:
- Tread: Your tire’s tread is what grips the road, and if too much of it has worn away, you could lose control of your vehicle during turns or stops. Try the penny test: Place a penny head-first into a groove in the tread. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s probably time for new tires.
- Correct inflation: Properly inflated tires can handle the road better and can give you better gas mileage than under-inflated tires. Your vehicle’s tires must be inflated to a specific psi — you can find the number in your vehicle’s owner's handbook or on a sticker in the driver’s side doorjamb. Keep a tire gauge in your glove box, and check the psi when the tires are cold (i.e. not after the car has been running).
- Tire rotation: Rotating your tires — that is, moving the tire’s position on the car — helps ensure even wear on the treads.
- Wheel alignment: Jumping a curb or hitting a pothole can knock your steering out of alignment, which can cause stress and uneven wear on your tires. If you’ve hit a big bump and feel like your car is “pulling” to one side, have your vehicle checked out by a mechanic.
Take time today to make sure your car’s tires are ready for wherever the road takes you!