Tire Maintenance

Taking Care of Proper Tire Maintenance

Maintaining the car tires in good condition is a very good way of saving money not only by improving fuel efficiency, but also by preventing more serious problems from developing in the future. For example, all tires come with a recommended pressure and they should always be inflated at that particular level. It is important to understand that there is no universal recommendation for all tires – they come with different recommended pressure levels based on the type of tires and the manufacturer.

This information is easy to find out as it will be located in several areas of the car. Sometimes it will be on a sticker inside the glove compartment or on a sticker in the front door jamb. However, this information will always be present on the tires themselves and in the vehicle's manual. It is possible for the information found in these various areas to conflict with one another. In this case, it is recommended to always go with the numbers on the tires. It is possible for the others to list the maximum pressure instead of the recommended one. Maintaining the tires at the recommended pressure can improve fuel efficiency by more than 3%.

In order to measure the tire pressure, the only necessary tool is a tire pressure gauge which is cheap and readily accessible at any auto parts store. However, it is important to measure the pressure on cold tires in order to get an accurate reading. While driving the tires will heat up and expand, thus skewing the pressure levels.

Another important tire maintenance task is rotating the tires, a procedure which will prolong their longevity by making sure that the tread wears out evenly. This process should be done around every 5,000 miles but the interval is mostly based on the type and quality of the tires. Some can go as much as 8,000 miles before rotating the tires is advised. This task is relatively easy and all you need is a jack in order to do it.

Lastly, one more task is making sure that the tires are aligned. The test for this is relatively easy as long as you have access to a flat, straight road free of traffic. All you have to do is drive and stop steering to see if the car steers to the left or to the right by itself. If it does, this means that the tires are out of alignment and that the car should be taken to a mechanic.