Back in the old days, when a car pulled into a service station, a crowd of attendants immediately gathered to check the oil, fill the car with gasoline, clean the windshield, and check the tire pressure.
Those days are, of course, long gone, with self-service stations now the norm. But while drivers have no problems pumping their own gas, remembering the importance of proper maintenance on their tires is another matter.
The High Cost of Ignoring Your Tires
The Car Care Council estimates that ignoring routine tire maintenance — such as tire rotation, wheel alignment, inflation, and checking for wear — results in thousands of car accidents each year, causing more than $2 billion in damages. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tires were the partial cause of close to 11,000 automobile accidents last year, around 200 of them fatal.
Don’t Spare the Air
In many of those accidents, low tire pressure was determined to be a contributing factor. Incorrectly filled tires can affect handling and braking, and the NHTSA estimates that 25 percent under-inflation triples the risk of having an accident. It takes very little time to check tire pressure, and that time could end up saving your life.
Proper Tire Care
It is easy (and doesn’t take much time) to properly maintain your tires. If you perform or schedule the following four activities, you will keep your tires in good shape until it is time to replace them:
Wheel Alignment – Have the alignment checked once a year or whenever you think there might be a problem. If you hit a large pothole or drive over an obstruction in the road, get your wheel alignment checked.
Tire Rotation – Tires need to be rotated regularly to keep them from wearing unevenly. One way to remember to rotate your tires is to do so whenever you have your oil changed.
Monitor Wear – Make sure that your tires have enough tread to hide Abraham Lincoln when inserting a penny into a groove of the tire.
By following these easy tips and remembering the risks of ignoring potential issues, your tires are sure to last well into the future. If you need a tire rotation or a new set of tires, contact a Tipton Autoservice center.