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Media post: Tips for Safer Car Tires

Your tires are a more important part of your vehicle than you often give them credit for. After all, they help you to drive smoothly and keep your traction on the road, right?

That being the case, if you don’t want to be calling a car accident lawyer to help you after a nasty accident on the road any time soon, you need to know how to take really good care of your tires, so that they are the safest they can be…

Regularly Check Tire Pressure

Tire pressure isn’t just another number in your car manual—it’s the lifeblood of tire performance and safety. Driving on underinflated tires is like running a marathon in flip-flops; it just doesn’t end well. Not only do properly inflated tires reduce the risk of accidents, but they also improve your gas mileage. Check your tire pressure monthly and before any major road trips. Grab yourself a reliable tire gauge and make it your new best friend. Your wallet (and your tires) will thank you.

Understand Tire Tread Depth

Why worry about tread depth? Because unless you’re planning on filming a Tokyo Drift sequel in your local parking lot, you’ll want maximum traction. The tread on your tires helps grip the road, especially in wet conditions. To check if your tread is up to snuff, just grab a penny. Place it head-first into the tread groove. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to start tire shopping. This simple test, often called the “penny test,” could save you from a slippery situation.

Rotate Your Tires Regularly

Rotation, rotation, rotation—it’s not just a mantra for real estate but for your tires too. Regular rotation helps your tires wear evenly, extending their life and keeping your ride smooth. Most manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, or every oil change if you’re old school. This can prevent those awkward car wobbles and the uneven wear that makes your tires retire early.

Monitor Tire Age

Did you know that tires have a shelf life? Even if they still look new, old tires can be traitors. Rubber degrades over time, and aged tires can fail when you least expect it—like during a romantic night drive or, worse, in rush hour traffic. To find out how old your tires are, check the sidewall for a four-digit code. The first two digits represent the week and the last two the year they were made. If your tires are more than six years old, they might be plotting their retirement party, and you’re not invited.

Invest in Quality Tires

When it comes to tires, you get what you pay for. Opting for quality tires is like choosing a good pair of hiking boots—necessary for the long haul. Cheap tires might be tempting, especially when you see their price tags, but they can cost you more in the long run. They wear out faster, perform poorly, and can even be hazardous in challenging driving conditions. Remember, good tires are an investment in your safety and your car’s performance.

Align and Balance for a Smooth Ride

Alignment and balancing are the unsung heroes of tire longevity. If your car is pulling to one side or if you’re feeling vibrations in the steering wheel, it might be time for an alignment check. Proper alignment ensures your tires meet the road at the right angle, preventing uneven wear and tear. Balancing, on the other hand, makes sure the weight of the tire is evenly distributed around the axle. It’s like ensuring your record player’s needle is perfectly placed, avoiding any skips in your favorite track. Get these checked every time you rotate your tires, or if you start to notice any odd handling or vibrations.

Know When to Say Goodbye

It’s hard to say goodbye, especially to tires that have been with you through thick and thin. However, holding on to old tires can be a risky business. Keep an eye out for signs of severe wear like deep cracks, bulges, or bald spots. These are telltale signs that your tires need to be replaced pronto. Think of it as a tire retirement party—celebrate their years of service by ensuring you stay safe with a fresh set.

Seasonal Tire Considerations

For those living in areas with severe winters, having a set of seasonal tires can make all the difference. Winter tires are made from a softer rubber compound that stays flexible in cold weather, providing better traction in snow and ice. Swapping out your regular tires for winter ones can prevent your car from dancing across icy roads like a ballerina with two left shoes. And when the seasons change, don’t forget to switch back to your all-season or summer tires to avoid premature wear on your winter set.

Avoid Overloading Your Vehicle

Your tires have a maximum load capacity, which is how much weight they can handle safely. Overloading your vehicle puts extra pressure on your tires, which can lead to heat buildup and, eventually, a blowout. Check your tire’s load rating, usually found on the sidewall, and make sure your car’s load doesn’t exceed this limit. Remember, your car isn’t a cargo ship; it’s not meant to transport your entire attic or the contents of your garage sale.

Be Prepared with the Right Equipment

Last but not least, be prepared. Make sure you have a good spare tire, a reliable jack, and a tire iron in your trunk. Familiarize yourself with how to change a tire—it’s a valuable skill that can save you time and headaches if you find yourself stranded. Consider carrying a portable tire inflator and a tire pressure gauge as well to tackle any minor issues on the go.


Now you know how to take better care of your tires to make sure they are as safe as can be, you can drive with more confidence, but your trips will also likely be much smoother and more efficient as a result too. How’s that for benefits?

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