How you can care for your tires

 In Neal's How-To's

We focus on total car care at Neal’s Garage, and we believe that tire maintenance is one of the most important parts of routine vehicle care. Properly maintaining your vehicle’s tires is important for your safety and for protecting your automotive investment. Improperly balanced or aligned tires could result in poor vehicle handling, ride, or braking. For the best performance, tires must have the correct air pressure and be properly balanced and aligned. Neal’s suggests you perform a simple tire check monthly (or before any long trip) to maintain the safety of your tires.

To check your vehicle’s prescribed tire pressure level, look in the driver’s side doorjamb (in most cars).

  • If it is not in the doorjamb, the correct pressure information can be found inside of the glove compartment or inside of the fuel-filler door.
  • Do not use the pressure on the sidewall of the tire, because that is the maximum pressure allowed for the tire.
  • Use a tire gauge to determine the pressure of your tires and if incorrect, set to the specified level.
  • When you check the pressure of your tires, Neal’s also suggests that you check the air pressure of your spare tire.

During or after checking your tire pressure, you should visually inspect your tires. Poor tire maintenance can lead to premature tire wear – even a flat tire or a blowout. Other than the tire itself, worn suspension parts and wheel alignment both affect tire wear and performance. When you visually inspect your tires, look for uneven tread, as well as cracks, cuts, or bulges in the sidewall or tread.

  • Over inflated tires will cause mostly the middle section to contact the road, causing uneven wear in the center of the tread
  • Under inflated tires cause mostly the outside edges of the tire to contact the road, causing uneven wear on both edges of the tread and less in the center.
  • Uneven tread on one edge of a tire occurs when the wheels are out of alignment.
  • Erratic tread wear is often referred to as cupping, and may mean you need to have your tires balanced, or your shock absorbers or other suspension components replaced.
  • If there is a raised portion on the sidewall of the tire, you may need to have this tire replaced at Neal’s, because tires with sidewall damage cannot be patched.
  • Uneven wear on your tire tread can also mean you need have the internal suspension components checked by a mechanic at Neal’s. You should have these parts checked before mounting new tires anyway, because you do not want to mount new tires on worn components or they will prematurely wear.

By spending a few minutes inspecting your tires, you can help ensure your vehicle’s overall safety.  While some tire maintenance, like balancing and rotation, must be completed by a qualified professional, you can complete this simple tire check monthly as part of routine vehicle care. It is also beneficial to complete a check of your tires before going on any long trip. Including an inspection of your spare tire. If you notice any problems with your tires or have any questions regarding tire maintenance, remember that Neal’s Garage is available for all of your car and tire maintenance needs..

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