HOUSTON (KIAH)– Having a full maintenance check of your car is critical especially on wet roads and before a big trip. AAA Texas teamed up with Discount Tire to remind drivers about the importance of checking your tires on a regular basis.
Here are a few tire maintenance tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure to inflate your tires to the correct pressure-it’s best to check your tire air pressure when the tires are cooled down because heat can increase your tire pressure reading by several pounds per square inch. Tires lose pressure naturally 1-3 psi per month. Low tire pressure results in poor handling and braking, reduced gas mileage, and excessive wear. Check your car’s tire pressure at least once a month and before a big trip.
- Check the tread depth– making sure that your tires have the ability to stop within a safe distance is important. It becomes compromised when its depth reaches 4/32 inch. One way to determine if a tire is worn out is to place an upside-down quarter (not a penny) in a tire tread. If you can see the top of George’s head, it’s time to replace the tire.
- Rotate your tires regularly– rotate your tires every 5,000 miles (required service interval for many cars)
- Check the tread pattern-if you keep your car’s wheels balanced and aligned and the tires rotated and inflated, the tread should wear evenly across the width of the tire. Check your tires periodically for uneven wear patterns and replace tires if necessary
- Keep track of your tire’s age-an older tire is at a higher risk for failure. It’s recommended to change any tire that’s six years old or older
- Check your trunk– an increasing number of new vehicles have tire kits instead of spare tires. Some vehicles have run-flat tires and no spare. It’s a good idea to check and see which option your vehicle has. If your vehicle has a spare tire, make sure that it’s inflated.
- Don’t overload your vehicle– A combination of underinflated tires and an overloaded vehicle is one of the most dangerous conditions because tires can overheat and fail. Check your car’s owner manual for your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating, which is its maximum operating weight which includes the weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo (excluding a trailer).