Today at Dallas Lease Returns, we are shining a spotlight on a critical yet often overlooked aspect of car safety: tires. As your reliable guide in the world of leased vehicles, we aim to empower you with the knowledge necessary to navigate the road of tire safety.
Understanding Tire Importance
Tires are your vehicle’s sole contact point with the road, bearing the entire weight of your car. In essence, they are the unsung heroes of safe, comfortable, and efficient driving. Your car’s braking, handling, ride, and fuel efficiency are all heavily influenced by the tires’ condition. Therefore, regular inspection and maintenance of your tires can mean the difference between smooth driving and an unexpected incident.
Reading Tire Wear
One fundamental aspect of tire safety involves understanding tire wear. The tread on your tires should never fall below 1/16-inch in depth. If you regularly drive on slick, wet surfaces, you’d be safer with twice that amount.
A quick way to check tread depth involves a simple tool we all have in our pockets: a penny. Insert a penny into your tire’s tread with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
Tire Pressure Checks
Proper tire inflation can increase your vehicle’s performance and prolong the life of the tires. Underinflated tires may lead to poor gas mileage, reduced handling, and even tire blowouts due to overheating. On the other hand, overinflated tires can lead to a harsh ride and increased wear in the tire’s center portion.
You can check your tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge. Most vehicles also come with a sticker located in the driver-side door jamb, glove compartment, or fuel hatch that tells you the recommended tire pressure. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure at least once a month and before long trips.
Rotations and Alignments
To maintain even tread wear and extend the life of your tires, have them rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. The front tires wear faster than the rear ones, especially in front-wheel-drive vehicles because they do all the work. Tire rotation helps even this out.
In addition to rotations, alignments are critical for the longevity of your tires. Misaligned tires can cause uneven tire wear and steering or tracking problems. If you notice your car pulling to one side or the steering wheel vibrating, this may indicate that your tires are misaligned.
Buying the Right Tires
When it’s time to replace your tires, make sure you purchase the right ones for your vehicle and driving conditions. Look for tires that match your vehicle’s load-carrying capacity. If you drive in harsh winter conditions, you might need snow tires. If you drive on rough terrain, you may need all-terrain tires.