Tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions. To maximize tire life and safety, check the condition and inflation pressure regularly and have the tires rotated and balanced, says the Car Care Council.
“Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety, so this National Tire Safety Week be sure to do your PART and check the Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.
Pressure: Correct tire pressure is good to your wallet and the environment as properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by three percent. Underinflated tires are under stress and wear uneven, causing them to be replaced sooner.
Alignment: If your car is shaking or pulling to one side it could be a sign of an alignment issue. Because uneven or accelerated tire wear may indicate an alignment problem, it’s a good idea to have your car’s alignment checked at least once a year.
Rotation: Unless your car manual has a specific recommendation, the Car Care Council recommends having tires rotated every 6,000 miles to promote uniform tire wear. Unbalanced wheels can cause rapid wear of shock absorbers and struts, and wheel balance can change as a result of normal tire wear. Rotating the tires to keep their sizes equal is critical on full-size four-wheel drive vehicles as a difference of only 1/4 inch between the outside circumference of the front and rear tires can cause expensive damage. Replacing all four tires at the same time, rather than just the front or rear tires, is highly recommended for these vehicles.
Tread: Use the penny test and visually inspect tires for sign of uneven wear. If the tread depth falls below the minimum legal requirement or the sidewalls become severely cracked or punctured, tire replacement may be necessary.
“It only takes five minutes to check tire pressure and stay safer on the road,” said White. “For more information on service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician and tips to drive smart and save money, check out the free digital Car Care Guide online at www.carcare.org/car-care-guide.”
The Car Care Council is supporting the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Tire Safety Week (June 2-8, 2013). Learn more at www.betiresmart.org.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.