Car Tire Care Tips
Keeping your vehicle’s tires in good condition is incredibly important. Your tires affect your car’s gas mileage, traction and can cause your vehicle to become misaligned or off-balance. That’s why we are sharing some simple, yet important car tire care tips.
Tire Tread Depth Tips
Your tire’s tread depth is crucial in maintaining traction while driving, so it’s important to check it regularly and replace your tires when the tread becomes too low. A good tread depth is 4/32 of an inch or deeper. When the depth becomes around 3/32 of an inch, you should replace your tires soon as you are losing tread; if your tread is 2/32 of an inch or less, then you should immediately replace your tires. Instead of breaking out a ruler, there are two easy ways to measure tread depth:
The Penny Test
Using a penny, place Abraham Lincoln upside down in your tire’s tread. If the tread comes to Lincoln’s hairline, then you should replace your tires soon. If the tread just hits Lincoln’s head, then you should replace your tires immediately.
The Quarter Test
Using a quarter, place George Washington upside down in the tire’s tread. If the tread touches Washington’s head, then you have 4/32 of an inch of tread left. If the tread doesn’t reach his head, you should replace your tires.
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Tips on Cleaning Car Wheels and Tires
- Spray your tires and wheel wells first when washing your car. You can also wash your wheels and tires with soap and water using a soft bristle brush.
- You can use a wheel cleaner to remove dirt and grim with a brush. Follow the instructions on the cleaning product, some cleaners can’t be used on aluminum or chrome or coated wheels.
- There are wheel cleaners that can clean tires as well. The cleaner will loosen dust and dirt in the rubber than you can scrub off with a brush.
- Be sure to use cleaners that protect the antiozonants, rubber conditioners and UV absorbers that are in the tire. This is why some tires appear to be brown instead of black.
- Stiffer brushes are good for tires, while using a brush with feathered bristles is better for wheels because it will prevent any scratching.
- Clean each wheel and tire one at a time to prevent the cleaner from drying onto it. Remember to rinse with a strong jet of water after washing each wheel/tire.
The Importance of Proper Tire Pressure
Tire pressure is important for maintaining the overall quality of your vehicle and optimizing your fuel economy. You can find the recommended tire pressure for your tires and vehicle in the owner’s manual, imprinted on the tire’s sidewall, or online. Typically, a tire’s recommended optimum tire pressure is in between 30 and 35 PSI. Don’t guess on the right pressure, always double check what your tire pressure should be. Keeping a tire pressure gauge in your vehicle is always a good practice in case of an emergency; as well as keeping supplies for changing a flat tire like a car jack, lug wrench, spare tire, tire sealant, tire inflator, etc.
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