From oil changes and fluid flushes to filter changes and belt replacement, there's a lot to remember when it comes to maintaining your car. However, you won't want to overlook general tire maintenance. After all, you rely on your car's tires for safe handling, maneuvering, and braking. Unfortunately, there are a lot of common mistakes drivers make when it comes to taking care of their tires.
Not Checking Tire Pressure Regularly
The most basic thing you should be doing to care for your car's tires is to check the air pressure in each tire at least once a month. Over time, changes in temperature (and even slow leaks) can cause tire pressure to decrease to an unsafe level. You can find out exactly what level of pressure (PSI) your tires should have by looking at the sticker on the inside of your driver's door.
When pressure is low, a quick trip to your local gas station is in order to inflate your tires to the proper level. Just be sure not to over-inflate them, as this can make them more prone to blowing out at high speeds. Typically, recommended PSI for car tires ranges between 30 and 35 PSI.
Foregoing Tire Rotation
When was the last time you had your car's tires rotated? If it's been more than about six months or 6,000-7,500 miles, then it's probably time to schedule a tire rotation with a trusted mechanic. Regular tire rotation ensures that your tires wear evenly, which can help prolong their life and keep you safer on the road.
While having your tires rotated, it's also a good idea to have their balance checked and adjusted as needed. Tires that are out of balance can result in uneven wear, which means you'll end up replacing them sooner than you should have to.
Ignoring Worn Treads
In general, you can expect a set of tires to last for around 60,000 miles before needing to be replaced. However, driving habits and many other factors can affect how long your tires will last before they become too worn to safely drive on. You can use a quick and simple test known as the penny test to check the treads on your car's tires; if your tires fail the test, then it's time for a replacement.
Are you guilty of any of these common tire maintenance mistakes? If so, then you now know how to take better care of your tires, which could keep you safer on the road and save you some money in the process.
Contact a company like King George Truck & Tire Center to learn more.