Ensuring that the tires on your vehicle are in good shape is an important way to keep you and your passenger’s safe while you drive. The tires are literally all there is between the rest of your car and the road – and so should be chosen, as well as maintained, with care. When purchasing your tires safety should be a top priority. You should also know when it’s the right time to go out and buy new ones, as they do degrade over the years and with heavy use. Tires are made of rubber, and do wear down over time – this is especially noticeable in places with warmer temperatures where the heat can cause them to wear down rapidly.
One of the first things you can do is to find out what kind of tread the tires have. Certain patterns on the tread provide more traction, helping the tire keep a better grip on the ground. There are different types of tires for various cars and activities, and so you should choose the type available that best suits your needs. You might want to see if the tires you are considering purchasing have limit indicators that are easy to read. Many tires that have limit indicators can be checked by seeing how worn down they are on the tread pattern, when it gets to a certain point it’s time to either buy new tires or get them re-treaded. By occasionally checking to see how worn down they are you can make your commute that much more safe.
It’s especially important to check and replace tires before winter starts – particularly if you live in an area that gets icy roads or heavy snowfall during the season. When the treads on the tires wear down it doesn’t grip the road as easily, making you much more likely to skid off the road in icy or rainy conditions. They should also be checked before going on long trips in the summer when you know you’ll be in hotter climates, long hours of hot rubber on road can really add to the wear of your tires. If not replaced they are a serious safety hazard not only to you and your passengers, but also to anyone else on the road.
Sometimes your tires can show signs that they need to be realigned. Some signs are things like having a tread that’s worn down heavily on only one side. This should be addressed immediately, because if allowed to stay that way they pose a serious safety risk by causing the tire to show signs of wear down at an accelerated pace. Various things can cause them to become unaligned, from hitting potholes to simply having an older suspension system in your car.
Air pressure in the tires might either be too low or too high, and you should check the pressure of the tires you own and for those you are considering purchasing. Either too high or low of a pressure can wear down the pattern on the treads, once again leading to your tires being unable to grip the road properly. A proper safety precaution might include checking them every few weeks or right before and after long trips.
In tough economic times it’s hard to justify something that might be seen as pricey, but in some circumstances investing in a good set of tires could mean the difference between life or death for both you and anyone else out on the road. By checking your tires to see if they need repairs or if they need to be replaced you are making yourself that much safer.