How Do I Care For My Tires? Tire Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Car Running Smoothly

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Your vehicle is your key to the world, and your tires are what keep your vehicle running at its best performance. Tire maintenance is key to preserving and prolonging the life of your tires and vehicle. With proper routine maintenance, you can avoid future maintenance issues, gain better gas mileage and have fewer money issues. Ultimately, it’s up to the vehicle owner to regularly service their tires in order to have the utmost performance.

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Tire maintenance may seem a little daunting, especially if you need to learn more about cars, but familiarizing yourself with the process can make it easier to keep up with. There are four simple ways to maintain your tires and vehicle performance.

What are some of the ways that you can care for your tires?

Tire Maintenance: Inspections

tire maintenance mechanic
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Proper tire maintenance requires effort and attention to detail. Experts recommend monthly tire inspections to optimize performance. Frequency of inspections depends on mileage. Consult a tire service professional for routine inspections and to identify damage that could impact long-term vehicle performance.

As a tire ages, inspections are needed more frequently. A service professional will check for worn tread, punctures, cuts, impacts and low tire pressure – areas that may be overlooked by the average driver. To ensure safety and longevity, all four tires and spare should be checked regularly.

Tire Maintenance: Tire Pressure

tire maintenance air pressure
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Proper tire maintenance is crucial, and tire pressure should be one of your top priorities. Fortunately, checking your tire pressure is a simple and hassle-free task that can prevent a host of issues. Start by determining the ideal PSI for your tires, which is often displayed on the driver’s door or in the car manual. Taking this small but important step can save you from the problems that come with incorrect tire pressure.


To maintain your vehicle’s optimal performance, it’s imperative to ensure that your tire pressure is at the correct PSI. Driving on an underinflated tire has several repercussions. The tire’s rubber wears down much faster due to increased ground contact. This not only increases the cost of replacing the tire earlier but also leads to decreased vehicle gas mileage. Due to the increased effort required by the vehicle with lower PSI levels, fuel costs will eventually rise.

A low tire could also cause more issues with vehicle control when it comes to driving in different weather conditions or on different terrain.


Just as an under inflated tire is hazardous, an overinflated one can cause problems for your vehicle. Overinflation gives you less control, since high PSI tires are rigid and have less rubber on the road. Driving over potholes can become perilous.

To avoid these issues, have a professional check your tires once a month. Properly inflated tires will keep your car running smoothly and your wallet happy.

Tire Maintenance: Rotation

Regular tire rotations are crucial for extending the lifespan of your tires. The longer your tires last, the better value you get from proper maintenance. By regularly switching the positions of your tires, you can ensure even wear and avoid troubling imbalances.

When it comes to tire rotation, it’s important to remember that the front wheels of your car wear down twice as fast as the back wheels. That’s why professionals recommend rotating your car’s tires every 5,000–8,000 miles.

Furthermore, some vehicle manufacturers may recommend the best placement for your tires. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a newcomer, paying attention to even the smallest details of your vehicle will help keep everything running smoothly.

Tire Maintenance: Tread Depth

tire maintenance penny test for tread
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Proper tire maintenance entails monitoring tire tread depth, which is critical for road safety and tire longevity. The tread depth is measured from the deepest groove to the height of the tread rubber. Regular checks on your tire’s tread depth are crucial to determine when it’s time for a replacement.

Multiple methods can be used to check your tire’s tread depth. While it’s always best to seek a professional’s opinion, an easy way to do this on your own is by conducting the penny or quarter test. Both tests are straightforward and can help indicate when it’s time to replace your tires.

The penny test involves inserting a penny into the tire tread groove. If Lincoln’s head is entirely visible, it’s a sign that your tread depth is too low and the tires need replacing. Similarly, using a quarter can indicate whether tread reaches the top of Washington’s head, which corresponds to 4/32 inch of tread remaining.

In addition to these tests, most tires have a tread wear indicator. This indicator serves as a warning sign that tire replacement is imminent once the tread is significantly worn down. By keeping your tires in check, you’ll be sure to maintain optimal safety and tire longevity for your vehicle.

Tire Maintenance: Seasonal Tires

Living in a climate with extreme weather fluctuations requires mindful car owners to consider changing their tires during harsh seasonal transitions. For example, if you expect fall rain and winter ice or snow, you’ll need to switch up your tires to avoid unpleasant surprises.

There are two primary approaches to safeguarding your vehicle during climatically unstable times: Switch your tires twice annually or invest in all-season tires varieties capable of withstanding a broader range of weather conditions. While changing your tires is pricey and cumbersome, opting for all-season alternatives can be a lifesaver for those living in volatile climates where tire switching is frequent.

Properly maintaining your tires is key to keeping your vehicle in good condition, and these four recommendations can save you trouble down the road.

Do you have any personal tire maintenance tips to share?