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Video:3 Essential Tire Maintenance Tips

with Jeff Hinckley

Maintaining your tires is important not only for their longevity, but also for your safety. In this About.com video, learn three tips for prolonging the life of your tires.See Transcript

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Transcript:3 Essential Tire Maintenance Tips

Hi, I'm Jeff Hinckley for About.com. Today I'm going to share with you some tips on tire maintenance.

Step 1: Ensure Proper Tire Pressure

The first essential tire maintenance tip is ensuring proper tire pressure. Each of your tires has markings on the sidewall that specify the maximum tire pressure. However, the tire pressure recommended for your particular vehicle is likely much lower. To find out the tire pressure appropriate for your car, check the inside of the driver's door panel or consult the owner's manual. Make sure your pressure stays around that level.

It is recommended to check your tire pressure at least once a month. There are a variety of tools available at your auto parts store that will allow you to do it yourself. A small reminder: measurements should be taken when the tire is cold, so it's best to perform your checkup after the car has been sitting for at least 3 hours.

Step 2: Regulary Inspect Your Tire Tread

The second essential tire maintenance tip is regular inspection of your tread. The first thing to keep an eye on is the wear bar indicators at the bottom of your tread grooves. When the surface of the tread becomes level with them, it's time to replace your tires. As you inspect the tread, pay attention to the patterns of wear present on the tire. Ideally, tires should wear out evenly. If you see wear maintly along the center of the tire, that means your tire is overinflated. If wear occurs mainly on the oustide of the tread, the tire is probably underinflated. If you observe lopsided wear, irregular bald spots, or one tire is wearing faster than the others, you most probably need to align or balance your wheels.

Step 3: Practice Safe Driving

The third essential tire maintenance tip is to practice safe driving. Something as minor as running over a pothole or taking on a speed bump agressively may damage your alignment and lead to uneven tire wear. Avoid potholes, approach speed bumps slowly, ease into turns, and, needless to say, always avoid debris and other things that may puncture your tires and cause them to lose air pressure.

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