Checking your tires is incredibly important for staying safe on the road. You should frequently check your tires yourself at home. It’s also important to have them professionally checked periodically. Some cars will alert you if you have tire issues, but others do not and it’s up to you to see warning signs. A quick glance over can tell you if you should take your tires to get checked by a professional. You can use a penny to check your tire tread. And it’s easy to check tire pressure at home with a pressure gauge. Keeping your tires in good shape will help your car run smoothly and efficiently. It will also keep you safer on the road.

Checking Your Tires: Tread and Pressure for Safe Driving

Visual Check

Checking your tires is sometimes accomplished by just a quick glance over before you get into the car. You might be able to tell if your car is under or over-inflated just by looking at it. Look for punctures and for objects like nails stuck in your tire. Wear and tear are normal on a tire, but if you see uneven patches it could indicate a problem. If only one tire has unusual wear and tear, it could be an issue with a wheel alignment. A quick look-over can help you see any glaring issues.

Professional Check

If you do notice warning signs while visually checking your tires, it’s best to take them into an auto care center for a professional opinion. They’ll do a diagnostic test and check your alignment for you. It’s also important to have your tires rotated periodically so that they have even wear and tear. It’s best to take your car in for maintenance about every 5000 miles and at least once a year. Newer models have maintenance reminders, so if your car is equipped with this, follow its prompts.

Checking Tread

Checking your tires for tread wear and tear is easy at home. All you need is a penny. Take the coin and place it upside down inside one of the tread valleys on your tire. The president’s head should be facing down. If you can see the top of their head or if the tire is right on the top of the head, your tires are getting worn. Part of their head should be covered up by your tire. If it’s not, take the car in for service as it might be time for new tires.

Checking Pressure

One final piece of checking your tires is to check the tire pressure. Tire pressure can fluctuate some based on weather. Most cars now are equipped with monitors to tell you when a tire is low on pressure. However, you can also check your tire pressure manually with a tire gauge. Never check your tires when you’ve recently driven – wait at least three hours. Remove the cap from your tire valve, and then put the tire gauge on top of it. It should push the interior section out and the distance it travels will show you your tire’s pressure reading. Compare this to the recommended pressure which you can find in your car’s user manual. Most cars also have a sticker on the interior side of the driver’s door which shows recommended pressures for each tire.

Checking your tires is important for overall safety on the road. You can visually give them a once-over before you drive them each day. Look for wear and tear that seems uneven, or for punctures. If you check them and find any issues, take your car in immediately and have a professional check it. You’ll also want to check your tire’s tread with the trusted penny test. Although your tire might warn you when the pressure is off, you can manually check it with a tire pressure gauge. Check your tires frequently to make sure that there in top shape and will get you to your destination safely.