Tire Pressure and Tread

tireTires are your contact with the road, and since losing contact generally results in the remains of your vehicle being vacuumed up, check ’em out. Most people believe the appropriate tire pressure is listed on the tire itself. Actually, the number on the tire is the maximum amount of pressure the tire can hold and, if combined with extreme heat and speeds, could lead to a blowout. Be safe. Look on your driver’s side door, in the glove compartment, or on the fuel filler door for the recommended tire pressures, and check the pressure before you leave with a good gauge (available from your auto parts store) and an air hose (available at the corner gas station). Low tire pressures waste fuel and, more importantly, cause the tire to run hotter from the extra friction.

Also, look at the tread on all four tires to make sure it’s not too worn or unevenly worn. Most new tires come with about 10/32” of tread depth. If your tire tread-depth gauge (just a buck or two at the parts store) shows less than 2/32”, it’s time for new tires. You can also use a penny. If the depth is below Lincoln’s shoulder, it’s time to change. If your tires are on the bubble in terms of wear, or have a bubble in the sidewall from a recent bounce against a curb, it’s better to install new tires now than to take a chance on them wearing out while you’re on the road.

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