Look for a tire pressure sticker inside your driver-side door or in the glove compartment. If it’s not there, check your owner’s manual. The numbers listed on the sidewall of a tire should not be used when inflating. Those numbers are the maximum pressure the tire holds, not the proper pressure for the vehicle.
Buy a tire pressure gauge and keep it in your vehicle. Keeping the correct tire pressure can save money by reducing fuel costs and extending the life of your tires.
Check tire pressure after the vehicle has sat a few hours and the tires are cold. Why? As tires roll, friction between them and the road generates heat, which can increase tire pressure and give you an inaccurate reading.
Investing in good tires is a simple way to upgrade vehicle performance. Quality tires last longer, ride smoother, and provide solid traction.
Tires may look the same, but they’re not. They come in a variety of sizes, constructions, tread designs, speed ratings, and load capabilities. Buy tires designed to perform best with your vehicle and driving conditions you encounter. All-weather or all-season tires are a good choice.
As tires wear, they lose traction — especially on wet roads where worn tires can hydroplane. Worn tires also are more likely to puncture, blow out, or skid. Driving on worn tires is not only dangerous, it’s against the law. The State of Texas requires a tire tread depth of at least 1/16th of an inch.
Here’s a simple way to ensure proper tread depth: place a penny into several tire tread grooves. If part of Lincoln’s head is consistently covered by the tread, more than 1/16" of tread depth remains. Flip the coin over. If the top of the Lincoln Memorial is always covered by the tread, more than 3/16" of tread remains. Continue the test by inserting the penny at 15" spaces around the tire to determine uneven wear.
Regularly check your tires’ tread depth. Also look for bulges, cuts, sharp objects, slashes, and uneven wear. Don’t put off replacing worn or damaged tires.
Tires should be balanced and aligned properly. As your vehicle’s suspension system wears, it can become unbalanced. Regularly have your tires balanced and rotated, shock absorbers inspected, and suspension alignment checked.