Fall Tire Maintenance

Preventive maintenance for vehicles is essential to road safety. Regular fluid checks, oil changes, brake pad replacements, and engine checkups ensure your car stays in tip-top shape. Besides these, your routine car maintenance must include tire inspections for when the seasons change.

Tire performance is affected by many factors, including driving style, road surfaces, and weather conditions. As the temperature changes from fall to winter, it is even more important to check if your tires are in good condition. If you haven’t done it yet, here are some reminders for your fall tire maintenance.

Fall Tire Maintenance

  1. Check tire pressure.

The air pressure in your tires changes with the air temperature. Tires can lose around one to two psi for every ten-degree drop in temperature. When the tire pressure is lower than the ideal range, your car uses more gas than usual. Your tires also become susceptible to faster wear and tear.

As temperatures drop during the fall season, keep a tire gauge handy for checking your tire pressure on the go. Generally, car tires should have around 32 psi to 35 psi but check your tire manual for the recommended range for your specific car.

  1. Examine tire treads.

Tire treads give you the traction you need to stay on the road. This grip is crucial during seasons like fall, as the weather quickly changes. In some geographical areas, fall comes with unexpected shifts from dry, warm weather to thunderstorms.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends a tread depth of no less than 2/32 of an inch. To check if your tires are still suitable for the road, check the built-in wear bars on your tires, or use the penny test. Wear bars are tread wear indicators that appear when the tread wears down to 2/32 of an inch. Once you see them, you should have your tires changed.

To do the penny test, simply place an upside-down penny into a groove. If you can see the head of  Lincoln, schedule an appointment with your mechanic for a set of new tires. Do the penny test regularly on different spots on your tire – along the inner edge, in the center, and on the outer edge. If the measurements of your tires are remarkably different, they are wearing unevenly. Have them checked so they can be realigned or rotated.

  1. Take note of the manufacturing date.

The rubber on tires wears out over time. Even if the tread depth is still within standards, tires over six to ten years old are prone to failure. To check the age of your tires, look at the Tire Identification Number printed on their sidewalls. The last two digits of this number indicate the manufacturing year.

  1. Rotate tires if needed.

Regular tire rotations extend the life of your tires by ensuring that they all wear evenly. Most tire manufacturers recommend that tires be rotated every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. This is often around the same time you get your oil changed, too.

  1. Don’t forget the spare.

Out of sight and out of mind – the spare tire is oft-forgotten during routine checks. But this can lead to potential hazards too. Inspecting and maintaining your spare tire is just as important. Remember to check its pressure, treads, and condition along with your other tires. If you have a full-size matching spare tire, include it in your rotations.

  1. Replace worn-out tires.

Aside from tread depth, watch out for bald spots and bulges. Carefully inspect your tires for leaks, embedded objects such as nails or sharp rocks, cuts or gauges, and other signs of deterioration. Replace worn-out tires to avoid accidents on the road.

  1. Switch to winter tires.

If you live in an area where the average temperature drops below 45 degrees during winter, you should switch to winter tires. All-season tires lose their grip and traction at low temperatures. You don’t have to wait for the first snowfall before switching tires. When early morning and evening temperatures drop below 45, and when the daytime temp is consistently below 60 degrees, change to snow tires.

Don’t Fall Behind on Safety

Stay safe on the road during the fickle Fall season by conducting Fall tire maintenance. This will not only extend the life span of your tires but will also give you better fuel efficiency and driving performance. Go to your mechanic immediately when you notice irregularities such as uneven wearing, unusual vibrations, or the car pulling to one side. If you need to replace worn-out tires, or get new winter tires, go to OEM Wheels Direct.

Changing your tire size can be confusing at the best of times, especially if you’re on the lookout for a new car or looking to change your tire size on your existing vehicle.