The Importance of TiresAug 25th, 2015
What are the benefits of having good tires?
Every part of your vehicle serves a purpose, but one area that often gets neglected are your tires. Having the proper tires for your car can improve your fuel economy, handling, and your overall safety. Read ahead to learn the importance of tires, as well as some tips on choosing the right set.
Making a habit of continually checking the pressure of your tires can go a long way in improving your driving practice. Under-inflated tires use up more gas, hurting your car’s fuel economy, while over-inflated tires can reduce your handling, putting you and everyone else on the road at greater risk.
Remember to check when the tires are cold and haven’t been used recently. To properly control the pressure of your tires, you’ll first need to determine what the recommended amount for your vehicle is. This number can be used to compare with your current set, which you can measure using a tire gauge. If your set is incorrectly inflated, there are some easy methods for making the proper adjustments.
For adding pressure, you’ll need to drive to the nearest gas station to use their air compressors. If you’re comfortable using it yourself, remove the valve stem caps from the under-inflated tires, and use the compressor to fill them to the correct pressure. For subtracting air, simply press down on the needle in the middle of the valve with a pen and wait until it’s at the recommended amount.
OTHER QUICK CHECKS
There are other quick checks that you should survey on a day-to-day basis before stepping into your vehicle.
If you notice uneven tread wear around the edge of a tire, that could indicate that an improper wheel alignment. If so, you should take your car into to get realigned, as this will help improve both fuel efficient and safety.
To help avoid any alignment issues, it’s a good idea to have them rotated every so often, as your front tires tend to wear quicker since they are leaned on when turning.
Finally, check for nails or other sharp objects that may have gotten stuck. You’ll need to get your tire replaced if it’s punctured, but it’s better than having an unexpected blowout on the road.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SET
Always check your owner’s manual to ensure you get the proper size of tires for your car. Not only can an ill-fitting set affect your overall comfort while driving, but it can also create a serious safety issue.
Another faux pas is mixing and matching tires. Two pairs will move differently when you steer and greatly affect both your performance and your ability to drive smoothly and safely.
ALL-SEASON vs. WINTER TIRES
It is very important that you have a set of tires that are appropriate for the current weather. One trap that many drivers fall into is believing they can get away with all-season tires throughout the entire calendar year.
While all-season tires are useful during the spring, summer and fall months, they are simply not safe to be used during the winter. They do not grip the road well, and can be the main source of an accident, especially if the road is icy.
Nothing is more important than your well-being, so make sure to always make the switch to winter tires near the end of the fall. Once the ice has melted, you can switch back to your all-seasons.