- Category: Green Transportation
05 May 2014
- Published on Monday, 05 May 2014 06:12
- Hits (1621)
You may not think much about the tires on your vehicle until they are showing uneven wear or you have a flat. But regular attention to the tires makes them safer, improves driving comfort and efficiency and extends their useful life. The longer your tires last, the less often you have to replace them and the “greener” your carbon footprint.
Install the Right Tires for Your Vehicle
If you’re driving a new car, it likely has the tires recommended by the original equipment manufacturer on it. Check to make sure by looking in the vehicle manual for the correct tire size and pressure and then at the numbers on the side of the tire. The tire number will look something like Bridgestone Potenza RE040 205/50R15 85V. Those numbers represent a variety of information about the tire, including manufacturer, brand series and model, width/aspect ratio, speed rating, and load rating.
You should keep the same size tires on the vehicle as the manual states, for optimal safety and operation. The wrong-size tire will affect handling, wear and tire life, and may be a safety risk. When it comes time to look for replacement tires, go with a set of high-performance, eco-friendly tires is an excellent option for replacement tires.
How to Inspect Tires
Inspect your tires at least every 3,000 miles, the same time you change the oil. Check the tire pressure with a gauge every time you put gas in the car, preferably when the tires are cold, in the driveway before driving, and on a flat, level location. Inflate tires to the proper pressure if they are low. Visually inspect the tires for sidewall bulges, cracks, or splits, and look at the tread for depth and uneven wear. A rule of thumb for checking tire tread is to stick a penny in a tire groove; if it goes in at least two-thirds of the way, the tread is still good. If the penny only goes in half way or less, the tread is very worn.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
Keeping tires properly inflated is very important for safety, proper tread wear, and efficient mileage. Under-inflated tires heat up faster and are at risk for blowouts. They also will negatively affect gas mileage. Under-inflation causes wear on the outer edges of tires, while over-inflation causes center wear.
Driving for extended periods of time with over- or under-inflated tires reduces the useful life of tires and requires earlier replacement than necessary. To find the vehicle's proper air pressure, look in the vehicle’s manual, on the tire placard on the driver’s side door, or on the sticker in the glove compartment.
Rotate Tires Regularly
Another important way to extend the useful life of tires is by rotating them about every 7,500 miles. Rotation helps promote even wear for safety and the best gas mileage. The vehicle manual will tell you the best rotation pattern and exact interval of change for your vehicle. With regular attention to good tire maintenance, you can get up to 80,000 miles from a set of tires.
Get in the habit of taking five minutes a week to check and care for your tires for improved driving efficiency and safety and increased tire life. Keeping tires out of landfills is good for your wallet and for the environment.