Tire Maintenance Checklist

Auto Smarts

Welcome to the Inside Track, where Farmers comes together with NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne’s No. 5 Farmers Insurance team at Hendrick Motorsports and other NASCAR partners, to give you their professional advice on everything from auto maintenance to healthy living tips.

 

Tires are built to provide thousands of miles of excellent service, but like many parts of your car, they need to be properly maintained to avoid excessive wear, damage, or poor performance.

That’s why it’s important to run down this tire maintenance checklist, from the tire experts at Goodyear, every so often and have a professional check your tires regularly, to help keep them in top condition.

 

1) Regularly check inflation

Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure. That’s why maintaining proper inflation pressure is the single most important thing you can do to help make your tires last longer. Inspect your tires at least monthly and before long trips to check for proper inflation pressure, damage, and tread wear.

 

2) Visually inspect for wear and tear

A tire’s tread directly affects how it grips the road, so it’s important to regularly inspect it for signs of uneven wear. Walk around your car and visually check your tires for irregularities in tread wear or tire wall integrity as these could indicate problems with alignment or inflation.

What you see and what it means:

  • Wear on both edges – Under Inflation
  • Wear in center – Over Inflation
  • Cups or dips in the tread – Worn Parts
  • Saw tooth edges – Misalignment
  • Cracks, knots, bulges, air loss – can be various causes. Requires tire removal and expert inspection.

 

3) Stay alert for any performance changes

You shouldn’t solely rely on the appearance of your tires to identify wear or changes. Be aware of other changes in performance such as increased air loss, noises, vibrations, or “pulling” to either side while driving. It could be a mechanical issue, or a sign that tires need to be replaced.

 

4) Rotate your tires regularly

Rotate your tires every 6,000 – 8,000 miles to help equalize tread wear and get more miles out of your tires.

 

5) Check alignment

Check tire alignment as specified in your vehicle owner’s manual, or if you feel the wheel “pull."

 

Additional Info:

How to check your tires’ tread:

  • Take the Penny Test
    • Insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of the head, it’s time to replace your tires.
  • Check the Tread Wear Indicator
    • All new tires have tread wear indicators which appear as smooth banks in the tread grooves when they wear to the 2/32” level. When the tread wears down to become even with this level, the tire should be replaced.

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