It is already that time of the year where the kiddos are heading back to school. With the convenience of online schooling this past year, it may take some getting used to getting back into the rhythm of what used to be. When you – or one of your kids – head back to school this fall, make sure you properly inspect all your tires. Routine tire care and safety are simple and easy. All you need is several minutes of your day to check your tires for damage, uneven wear, tread depth, alignment, and proper inflation. By doing this at the start of the school year, you can save yourself time, aggravation, and money down the line.
The first step is to ensure you've got the correct air pressure in your tires. Underinflation of tires can lead to tire failure and blowouts, whereas overinflation can cause uneven tire wear. The vehicle manufacturer specifies the right amount of air pressure for your tires and is usually listed on the vehicle door frame.
The next thing you should monitor is the tires' tread depth for maximum safety and performance. Tires must be swapped out when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch to prevent mishaps like skidding and hydroplaning. The easiest way to measure it is to do the penny test! All you have to do is place a penny into a tread groove, and if the tread covers part of Lincoln's head, you're driving with the appropriate amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, it's time for a tire replacement!
Regular tire rotations will also promote more even tire wear. The rule of thumb for rotation intervals is approximately 5,000 miles. Most of the time, people couple this service up with an oil change.
An unexpected shock from hitting a curb or pothole can throw your front end out of alignment and hurt your tires. Misalignment of wheels can produce uneven tread wear and should be corrected ASAP. If your vehicle shows any sign of instability and uneven tire wear, you should have your alignment checked before school fully commences.
For assistance on any of the tire maintenance practices above, please visit Strande's Garage! Our certified team is ready to take on your vehicle's tires and get you back on the road with your kiddos safely.