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How to tell your tires need to be replaced:
There are several vital things to look for when thinking about if it is time to change your tires. We will attempt to cover as many of them as possible, starting with the well-known penny test.
The penny test is a simple way to check if your treads have any life left in them or not. This easy test uses nothing more than a penny. Simply place the penny into the tread with Abe’s head first. If the head is covered at all the tread is still good. To increase safety many suggest using a quarter instead of a penny.
When to inflate or deflate tires:
Correct tire pressure is another vital part of tire safety, some may argue it is in fact the most common reason for tire failures. Fear not though, it is a rather simple thing to keep track of. Let’s talk a little bit about why it is so vital:
If you put too much air into the tire the tire can explode.
Not putting enough air into the tire causes the tread to wear out quicker and can lead to overheated tires. Look at the car manufacturer’s recommendations to know where to keep your tires’ pressure levels. Remember to check at least once a month.
Also, keep in mind that as temperatures drop so does the tire’s pressure – nearly one PSI for every ten degrees. It is also essential to check your tires before they have been driven on for the day (or at least 3 hours after they have been driven on) as they will heat up and give a somewhat misleading readout due to the temperature increase.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System:
Tire Pressure monitoring systems became a requirement in 2008 for all new automobiles. If your car has a tire pressure monitoring system and the light has come on it suggests that at least one of your tires is below the necessary PSI and all tires should be looked at and properly inflated according to your car’s guide book.
While Checking PSI:
Remember to keep an eye out for any objects that may be lodged in your tires and remove them. A quick glance at your tires may help you discover a potential issue before it causes some serious damage to your tires.
Rotate your tires:
Your car’s manual should provide you with the recommended tire rotation frequency. If you can not find this or choose not to the typical tire rotation recommendation is to rotate every 6000 to 8000 miles. Many people choose to do this when they have their oil changed so they do not forget.
Tire Defects:
If you believe your tires are defective you should contact the seller as well as the manufacturer. After that you might also wish to report a suspected defect to the Government by calling the NHTSA at 888-327-4236. The NHTSA also catalogs all defects since 1972 and anyone may access them on their website.
What to do during a tire blowout:
  1. Let off of the accelerator slowly and carefully.
  2. Look for where you want to direct the vehicle and carefully head in that direction while your car begins to stabilize.
  3. After you have stabilized and regained control of the car you will want to slow down and get off the road in a safe location.
What not to do in a tire blowout:
Despite your natural instincts, you should not slam on the brakes or let off the accelerator too quickly. This can force you to lose control. Letting go of the accelerator too quickly will move a significant amount of weight to the front tires and slamming on the brakes can cause a stability issue.
Final Thoughts
Hopefully this has helped explain why proper tire maintenance is so important. If the safety issues are not enough alone then consider this: five minutes could save you five-hundred dollars just be checking your tires regularly!
A little bit about me? Well, I am consumed with spare time and spare tires. Help me out by testing my Tire Size Calculator, there’s just too many combinations to create them all alone. If you need to find out what size your oem tires are see my database at OEM Tire Sizes.