Inflating Your Tires
Safe operation of your vehicle requires that your tires are properly inflated. Remember that a tire can lose up to half of its air pressure without appearing flat. Every day before you drive, check your tires. If one looks lower than the others, use a tire gauge to check pressure of all tires and adjust if required.
At least once a month and before long trips, inspect each tire and check the tire pressure with a tire gauge (including spare, if equipped). Inflate all tires to the inflation pressure recommended by car manufacturer.
When checking the air pressure in your tires, make sure that you carefully attach the air pressure gauge/air hose to the tire’s valve stem directly on top of the valve stem. If you bend the valve stem, it may become damaged and cause an air leak.
Use a tire gauge to check the tire inflation pressure, including the spare (if equipped), at least monthly and before long trips. You are strongly urged to buy a reliable tire pressure gauge, as automatic service station gauges may be inaccurate.
Use the recommended cold inflation pressure for optimum tire performance and wear. Under-inflation or over-inflation may cause uneven treadwear patterns.
Under-inflation is the most common cause of tire failures and may result in severe tire cracking, tread separation or “blowout”, with unexpected loss of vehicle control and increased risk of injury. Under-inflation increases sidewall flexing and rolling resistance, resulting in heat buildup and internal damage to the tire. It also may result in unnecessary tire stress, irregular wear, loss of vehicle control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its air pressure and not appear to be flat!
Always inflate your tires to the car manufacturers recommended inflation pressure even if it is less than the maximum inflation pressure information found on the tire. Often the recommended tire inflation pressure is found on the certification label which is located on the edge of the driver’s door or in the owner’s manual. Failure to follow the tire pressure recommendations can cause uneven tread wear patterns and adversely affect the way your vehicle handles.
Maximum Permissible Inflation Pressure is the tire manufacturer’s maximum permissible pressure and/or the pressure at which the maximum load can be carried by the tire. This pressure is normally higher than the manufacturer’s recommended cold inflation pressure which can be found on either the tire label or certification label. The cold inflation pressure should never be set lower than the recommended pressure on the certification label.
When weather temperature changes occur, tire inflation pressures also change. A 10° F (6° C) temperature drop can cause a corresponding drop of 1 psi (7 kPa) in inflation pressure. Check your tire pressures frequently and adjust them to the proper pressure which can be found on the tire label or certification label.
If you are checking tire pressure when the tire is hot (i.e. driven more than 1 mile [1.6 km]), resist “bleed” or reduce air pressure. The tires are hot from driving and it is normal for pressures to increase above recommended cold pressures. A hot tire at or below recommended cold inflation pressure could be significantly under-inflated.
To check the pressure in your tire(s):
1. Make sure the tires are cool, meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile.
Note: If you have to drive a distance to get air for your tire(s), check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tires to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up as you drive. Never “bleed” or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.
2. Remove the cap from the valve on one tire, then firmly press the tire gauge onto the valve and measure the pressure.
3. Add enough air to reach the recommended air pressure
Note: If you overfill the tire, release air by pushing on the metal stem in the center of the valve. Then recheck the pressure with your tire gauge.
4. Replace the valve cap.
5. Repeat this procedure for each tire, including the spare.
Note: Some spare tires require higher inflation pressure than the other tires.
6. Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an air leak.
7. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts or bulges.
Inspecting Your Tires
Periodically inspect the tire treads for uneven or excessive wear and remove objects such as stones, nails or glass that may be wedged in the tread grooves. Check for holes or cuts that may permit air leakage from the tire and make necessary repairs. Also inspect the tire sidewalls for cracking, cuts, bruises and other signs of damage or excessive wear. If internal damage to the tire is suspected, have the tire demounted and inspected in case it needs to be repaired or replaced. For your safety, tires that are damaged or show signs of excessive wear should not be used because they are more likely to blow out or fail.
Improper or inadequate vehicle maintenance can cause tires to wear abnormally. Inspect all your tires, including the spare, frequently, and replace them if one or more of the following conditions exist:
When the tread is worn down to 1/16th of an inch (2 mm), tires must be replaced to help prevent your vehicle from skidding and hydroplaning. Built-in tread wear indicators, or “wear bars”, which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread will appear on the tire when the tread is worn down to 1/16th of an inch (2 mm). When the tire tread wears down to the same height as these “wear bars”, the tire is worn out and must be replaced.
Periodically inspect the tire treads and sidewalls for damage (such as bulges in the tread or sidewalls, cracks in the tread groove and separation in the tread or sidewall). If damage is observed or suspected have the tire inspected by a tire professional. Tires can be damaged during off-road use, so inspection after off-road use is also recommended.
Tires degrade over time, even when they are not being used. It is recommended that tires generally be replaced after 6 years of normal service. Heat caused by hot climates or frequent high loading conditions can accelerate the aging process.
You should replace the spare tire when you replace the other road tires due to the aging of the spare tire.
Information Contained On The Tire Sidewall
Federal law requires tire manufacturers to place standardized information on the sidewall of all tires. This information identifies and describes the fundamental characteristics of the tire.
Tire Replacement Requirements
It is important to equipped your vehicle with tires designed to provide a safe ride and handling capability. Consult with the professionals at Affordable Tires and Wheels to ensure your old tires are properly replaced.
It is recommended that the two front tires or two rear tires generally be replaced as a pair.
Driving Habits have a great deal to do with your tire mileage and safety.
• Observe posted speed limits
• Avoid fast starts, stops and turns
• Avoid potholes and objects on the road
• Do not run over curbs or hit the tire against a curb when parking
If your vehicle is stuck in snow, mud, sand, etc., do not rapidly spin the tires; spinning the tires can tear the tire and cause an explosion. A tire can explode in as little as three to five seconds. Never spin the tires in excess of the 35 mph (55 km/h) point indicated on the speedometer.
No matter how carefully you drive there’s always the possibility that you may eventually have a flat tire on the highway. Drive slowly to the closest safe area out of traffic. This may further damage the flat tire, but your safety is more important.
If you feel a sudden vibration or ride disturbance while driving, or you suspect your tire or vehicle has been damaged, immediately reduce your speed. Drive with caution until you can safely pull off the road. Stop and inspect the tires for damage. If a tire is under-inflated or damaged, deflate it, remove wheel and replace it with your spare tire and wheel. If you cannot detect a cause, have the vehicle towed to the nearest repair facility or tire dealer to have the vehicle inspected.
For immediate assistance call 516-505-8473