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Three Tire-Related Tasks That Every Driver Should Know

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As a driver, it's a comforting feeling to know how to properly maintain your tires for longevity and safety. And even if you're not particularly mechanically inclined, it's important to be able to perform a few simple tasks that relate to your tires. Knowing this information can make you safer on the road, as it lessens the chance of losing control or not being able to stop because of a lack of tire traction. Here are three simple tire-related tasks that you should brush up on before your next trip.

Check Your Tread Depth

Being able to check the tread depth of your tires helps indicate whether the treads are sufficient or if it's time to visit a tire shop for a replacement set of tires. The only tool you need for this simple job is a penny. Kneel next to one of your tires and press the penny into deepest part of the tread with the penny's head facing down. If the tire rubber partially obscures the top of the head, your tread depth is sufficient. If, however, you can see a definitive gap between the tread and the top of the head, it's time to replace that tire. Repeat this process on your three other tires, as tires can wear unevenly.

Check Your Air Pressure

Buying a digital or manual tire gauge at an automotive store, and then keeping it in your glove compartment, gives you all you need to check the air pressure of your tires. To perform this basic task, unscrew the cap of one tire and then firmly place the tip of the gauge onto the valve stem. Move the gauge, as necessary, to ensure you don't hear the sound of air leaking. Check the readout on the gauge; if it's digital, the number will appear. If the gauge is manual, the slider will stop and reveal the pressure. Compare this number to the suggested air pressure, which is typically located on a sticker on the frame of the driver's-side door, and repeat the process for each of your other tires. If one tire is low, visit a gas station and fill the tire by following the instructions on the air machine.

Check If You Need An Alignment

If your vehicle needs a tire alignment, you won't be able to do the work yourself. However, with the right knowledge of the symptoms to watch for, you can reduce the risk of vibration-related damage from continuing to drive when an alignment is needed. You can often tell that you need an alignment if you notice your steering wheel pulling the vehicle to either side. An additional check that you can perform in your driveway is to visually inspect each tire's tread. If one tire is unevenly worn, it's time to visit an auto shop for an alignment.

For more information, contact Collier Goodyear Car Care Center or a similar location.