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tire safety

Tire Safety and Maintenance Tips

June is National Tire Safety Month! Tire safety is an essential part of any well-performing vehicle. Tires are the only part of a car or vehicle that is in contact with the ground. It’s a critical component of braking, steering, handling, and overall safety. Maintaining good tire safety is not difficult, but can make a difference in your daily life. This month, educate yourself on good tire safety and use these tips to help protect you, and others on the road.

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Look for Signs of Wear

One of the first steps you can take to help ensure your tires are in good shape is to look for signs of wear. Often, issues can be seen just by visually inspecting your tires. Here are some things to look for:

  • Over-inflation
  • Under-inflation
  • Wear on the edge of the tire
  • Wear on the treads themselves
  • Raised parts on the treads

Sometimes, the cause of the wear is simply from use over time. Other times, it could be an indication of stress on other systems of your car. For instance, problems with your car’s suspension or wheel alignment can show up as wear on your tires.

You may also find signs of wear while you are driving. This could include:

  • Vibration
  • Thumping sounds
  • Your car pulls to one side

If your car is experiencing these things, it may be time to replace your tires or time to bring your car in for inspection.

Tire Maintenance

Tire Tread

Your tire treads help your car grip the road as you drive, especially during wet or icy conditions.

  • When treads have worn down to 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace them.
  •  You should try to check the tread at least once a month. 
  • There are also tread indicators on the tires that run between the raised sections of the tires. When the treads are worn down to the same level and the indicator, it’s probably time to replace the tires.
  • Another common trick is to place a penny in the treads with Lincoln’s head facing down – if you can see the top of his head, it’s time to replace it.

Air Pressure

Having the right tire pressure is important for safety, durability, and fuel efficiency. 

  • Try to check tire pressure at least once a month, especially when there’s a change in temperature or season.
  • Check the owner’s manual to find the right tire pressure for your car.
  • Some newer cars have dashboard indicators for tire pressure.
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Tire Rotation

The wheels of your cars have different loads and functions. These can cause uneven wear among the tires. To get the most out of your tires, it’s important to get them rotated. Typically, tires are rotated between 5,000-7,000 miles. 

Tire Balancing and Alignment

The wheel alignment is the measure of the position of the wheels compared to where they are recommended to be. Wheel balancing can help minimize the wear and tear of tires. When wheel alignment is off, it can cause uneven tire wear and can impact fuel efficiency. 

  • Get your wheel alignment checked whenever you get new tires.
  • If you feel any changes in steering or vibration, it may be time to get your tires rotated or aligned. 
  • Bring your car for a professional for their opinion if you are unsure about the performance of your car.

Conclusion

Keeping your car’s tires in top shape can help mitigate some safety risks and help your car perform at its best. If you have questions about your car’s safety and ways to insure it, you can always call an Encharter agent. We are there to help address your questions and concerns on all things auto insurance. We want to help keep you and your loved ones safe on the roads.

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