Importance of Tire Maintenance

The only things separating you from the road when you are driving are your tires. They are literally where the rubber meets the road. Tires affect so many aspects of your vehicle, from safety to performance to economy. It is critical that you take good care of your tires so they can take care of you and your vehicle.
Here are some important facts to remember about the importance of tire maintenance. Remember, your service experts at C&S Car Company can help you with all of your tire needs, from inspecting for proper inflation and wear on the treads to finding the right tire for your car, truck or SUV.

Correct tire for your vehicle

Each car manufacturer recommends specific tires for your vehicle. The proper size and type of tire is important because it takes into consideration the purpose of  the vehicle, maximum performance and peak weight loads. For example, a large pickup truck requires different tires than a small compact car.
Beyond the proper size and type of tire required for your car, truck or SUV, your service professionals at C&S Car Company can help you find the right tire manufacturer. There are numerous tire brands available to choose from, all offering different all-season, summer and winter tires with different tread life. The choices can be overwhelming, but you can identify the tire that works best for you, your vehicle and your budget.

Proper Tire Inflation

Once you have the proper tires mounted on your vehicle, it is important to maintain them properly to ensure they can safely serve you for their expected lifetime. One of the most important ways to properly maintain your tires is to ensure they are adequately inflated. Proper tire inflation impacts the handling, comfort, and fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
Your vehicle manufacturer specifies the proper tire inflation, typically posting this on a label found on your driver's door for both the front and rear wheels. The manufacturer recommended inflation pressure directly impacts fuel efficiency and stability of your vehicle. The higher the tire pressure, the less rolling resistance that is present, which leads to higher fuel efficiency, a rougher feeling ride and less traction on the road. The lower the tire pressure, the less fuel efficiency, better traction and handling your vehicle experiences. Make sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations on tire pressure to ensure that the optimum balance exists with fuel efficiency, traction and handling.

Inspecting tire conditions

Other than maintaining proper air pressure in your tires, you must also regularly inspect tire tread, balance and damage, along with vehicle alignment. These factors help extend the life of your tires and allow you to monitor their performance and safety.
A tire's tread wear is important because it ensure that your tires maintain optimum traction on the road. Proper tread depth allows water to move efficiently under your tire. You can use a penny to measure the tread on a tire. Place the penny in the tire tread with Lincoln's head pointing toward the tire. If the top of Lincoln's head is visible, your tire is worn down too far and you should consider replacing it.
You can test the tread across the width of the tire. If the wear is uneven, this is likely a sign that your wheels are out of alignment. Improper alignment can accelerate the uneven tread wear and shorten your tire's life. If you feel a vibration in your wheels when driving at higher speeds, this is likely the result of imbalance in one or more tires. An improperly balanced tire can also lead to premature wear. 
Tire damage also can be a safety and performance problem for your vehicle. Make sure to look for signs of damage on your tires, such as a nail that causes a slow leak or sidewall damage that can weaken the tire. These issues can be dangerous if not detected and treated because they can lead to immediate tire damage while driving.

Replacing old tires

Even if your vehicle's tires have enough tread, show no signs of damage and are not vibrating, you should inspect the age of the tire. If your tires are more than six years old, you should consider replacing them. Tires begin to deteriorate internally after a certain period of time and can be a safety concern for drivers. You can identify the tire's age by finding out when it was manufactured. The manufacture date typically is listed as four numbers inside an oval on your tire's sidewall. The four digits 1220 on your tire show the week of the year as the first two numbers and the year in the last two.
Your tire might age more quickly in particularly hot and humid areas, so keep that in mind. As your tire ages, inspect for cracks in the sidewall. It is also a good idea to have the professionals at C&S Car Company inspect your tires on a regular basis to ensure they comply with manufacturer recommendations.

Make tire maintenance a priority

There are simple steps you can take to ensure tire maintenance on a regular basis. Remember, there is no other part of your vehicle that works as hard as your tires to provide safety, performance and efficiency. Follow these guidelines for tire maintenance and ask the experts at C&S Car Company to regularly inspect your tires. This will ensure you get the most out of the life of your tires and you can rely on them for safe and proper performance.