Tire problems occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, the causes are external. From road repair neglect to debris littering the highway, you might not be able to avoid such hazards. However, sometimes tire problems can be due to problems that owners can avoid if they know what to do. Everything from forgetting to check your air pressure to drastic temperature changes can be dangerous. You don’t want to risk a flat tire or an accident. Here are some of the most common issues people face that are related to their tires:
- Low tire tread. Your vehicle’s tires must be able to grip the road. Otherwise, you could have an accident. The term “bald” is often used when the tread is so low on a tire that the tire has almost no chance of holding on to the asphalt. You don’t want to drive on tires that get near that point. To check your tire tread, use the penny test: insert a penny into your tire tread with Lincoln’s head facing down (toward the center of the tire). If you can see all of his head, your tires are worn and should be replaced.
- Misalignment. Do you notice your car pulling to one side of the road? If so, that needs to be addressed. Your tires develop wear and tear in patterns that are consistent with the way they touch the road.
- Lack of tire rotation. When you get your oil changed, do you also ask if your tires should be rotated? If not, it’s a good idea to start that. Your tires can develop diagonal cupping, which wears the tire down. Rotating them will help them wear more evenly and last longer.
- Improper tires for the circumstance. For example, are you driving through several feet of snow on a regular basis without snow tires? If you live in an area with distinct seasons, be sure to change your summer tires to winter tires as it gets colder and vice versa.
- Over-inflation. If your tires are over-inflated, they will likely wear down in the middle of the tire more quickly because not enough of the tire will be in contact with the road. Having too much air in a tire can be just as problematic as having too little.
- Under-inflation. If your tires are underinflated, the outer parts of your tires wear down more quickly than the middle. Your tires can go flat. It is important to keep in mind that tire warnings on cars don’t always gauge the air pressure precisely. If your tire pressure light comes on, your vehicle is probably way past the level at which your tires needs more air.
- Road issues. Your tires can be damaged by potholes, improperly maintained roads, and debris in the road. Though it is not your responsibility to keep roads clean, you should do your best to avoid running over these hazards. These can cause your vehicle’s tires to get cracks and bulges.
Making sure you take care of your tires and have good tires is so important. Accidents can happen if you don’t.