The tires on your vehicle will give you a smooth and fuel-efficient drive. They can also be dangerous to drive on if they are damaged or misaligned. Regular tire and wheel inspections are necessary to keep them in good condition and prevent you from having any driving problems. Many tire and wheel inspections are easy for you to complete at home. Other tire inspections may need the expertise of a service technician. Here are a few things to include in a tire and wheel inspection to determine if you need to get your tires checked by a professional.
Check the Tire Tread
The depth of the tire tread is important. Tire treads give you traction to help you drive safely, especially in wet or slippery road conditions. You can visually see if your tire treads are low. You can also use the penny test. Place a penny in several treads on all four tires with Lincoln’s head upside down. Your tire treads are too low if Lincoln’s entire head is exposed.
Check the Tire Pressure
Checking the pressure in your tires is another relatively easy inspection that you can do. All you need is a tire gauge and an owner’s manual with the tire pressure specifications. The proper amount of pressure in your tires is just as important as the depth of the treads. The right tire pressure ensures you will have a comfortable ride, excellent handling, and maximum fuel economy. It also ensures you will have the best possible traction.
Check for Bulges and Punctures
You can do this easy visual inspection from home. Debris such as rocks, nails, and pieces of metal can become embedded in your tires and cause air to leak out. Bulges or lumps on the side of the tires mean the air is in between layers of rubber where it does not belong. It is unsafe to drive on tires with bulges or lumps, so replace your tires immediately.
Check for Cracks
Cracks will begin to appear on your tires as they degrade over time. You may see these cracks on the side of your tire or within the tire treads. Fine cracks are not a problem, but you need to monitor these cracks to avoid a potentially dangerous driving situation. Replace tires with wide cracks immediately because they are not safe to drive on.
Inspecting your tires at home takes a few minutes. When you bring your vehicle in for regular maintenance, the service technician will perform these same inspections to make sure your tires are in great shape.