Tire Care & Maintenance Guide

Of all the things you worry about in any given day, how often do you think of your car's tires? Are they too worn to drive on? Are they properly inflated? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 33,000 injuries and 600 deaths per year can be tied to under-inflated tires. A whopping 84% of tire-related insurance claims involve tires that are at least six years old. Tire maintenance is obviously something we neglect. Here is absolutely everything you need to know about taking care of your tires to ensure your safety on the road.

The Penny Test

A tried and true way to assess the tread of your tires is the tire penny test. Simply grab a penny and stick it into the tread. If the tread still covers part of Lincoln’s head, you are not yet due for a replacement. Be sure to do this on several areas of your tires as tire wear can be uneven, especially if your car needs an alignment. Avoid driving on bald tires at all costs. Waiting to replace them is not worth risking your safety.

Check Tire Pressure

Maintaining proper tire pressure is not just a safety precaution. It also makes driving more comfortable and promotes fuel efficiency. This may seem complicated but do not be intimidated. Learning how to check tire pressure is extremely easy. First, find out the recommended tire pressure for your car by consulting the owner’s manual. Then you will need a gauge to read the current PSI (pounds per square inch) of your tires. Press the gauge into the valve stem of the tire to measure the PSI. If they are running low on air, do not over-inflate them as that could increase the likelihood of a blowout.

Tire Rotation

A tire rotation is recommended every 5,000 miles. This may seem pretty straight-forward but there is actually more than one tire rotation pattern. The rearward cross pattern takes the front tires to the back while swapping left for right as the back tires
move up to the front but stay in their respective left and right positions. An X-pattern swaps all tires from front to back,
left to right. Finally, the front cross pattern takes the back tires to the front, swapping right for left while the front tires go to the back but will not be switched from left to right. Ask your maintenance professional which rotation pattern they will be
using and why it is recommended for your vehicle for additional insight.

Tire Balance

After you take your car in for an alignment and a tire rotation, you may want to look into tire balancing especially if you still feel excessive vibration while driving. This can indicate that one or more of your tires may be heavier on one side than the other. It can be caused by uneven wear, a bent wheel, a problem with your wheel mounting, poor wheel alignment, and more. Even if you don’t feel a vibration, there could still be issues with your tire balance and it could be worth looking into since tires are a pricey investment. Protecting them could ensure a longer life.

Tire Alignment

As mentioned before, wheel alignment is a huge factor in maintaining your tires. If your wheels are out of line, it can cause excessive wear to your tires. Always look into getting a wheel alignment if you’ve hit a large object with your car,
if you see wear on the outside edges of your tires, or if there are any differences in the way your car handles. Other indicators include vibration in the steering wheel and drifting to one side while driving.

Changing A Flat Tire

If your tire has gone flat, don’t worry. It may actually be salvageable with a simple patch depending on the extent of the damage. Of course, you should never drive on a flat tire. Learning how to change a tire can make sure you are back on the road in a snap despite this annoying


Swing By For A Visit!

Now that you know the ins and outs of tire maintenance, don't hesitate to visit your local Big Brand Tire to assist you in all your tire needs. From wheel alignments to tire rotations, we provide fast and friendly service with one objective--getting you back on the road safely.

Happy driving!