How to take care of your tires and the consequences of ignoring them

Tires are one of the easiest items to check and maintain on your vehicle. They do not even require you to open the hood; you simply need to pay attention when you walk around your vehicle. The only special tool required to check your tires is a tire gauge to check the pressure, which can be purchased very inexpensively at any local store. They are small and compact and they are inexpensive enough to buy a spare to keep in your glove compartment.

Checking and maintaining your tires only takes a few minutes and can eliminate larger, most costly problems. You can also check them anytime, anywhere, and if you see a problem, get it taken care of as soon as possible before a problem occurs. To follow are some of the important points to remember when checking your tires as well as the consequences of not following them.

Maintain proper tire pressure

One of the easiest yet most important ways to maintain your tires is to check and maintain the proper tire pressure. Using a tire gauge is easy, and the recommended amount of tire pressure can be found right on the sidewall of your tire. You should always check your tires when they are cool, as when tires are warm the air inside expands and can give you an inaccurate reading. If you notice a large amount of pressure loss in a relatively short amount of time, this is a sign that there is a bigger problem than just fluctuating air pressure. This is when you want to look for any foreign objects lodged in your tire as well as cuts or cracks in the sidewall. Proper tire pressure also assures that you are getting every dollar you can out of the gas in your tank by helping your vehicle maintain its fuel efficiency.

Not maintaining adequate tire pressure, and ignoring a tire that is obviously leaking, can lead to many other problems. Not only are you using more gas by driving your car with low tire pressure, you are also causing stress on the sidewalls. If you are causing stress to the sidewall by not having properly inflated tires, any small cut or crack can give way and cause a blowout. If a blowout occurs while you are driving at highway speeds it can lead to accidents or injuries that could have been avoided by taking just a few minutes to check your tire pressure.

Check your tires for excessive wear, foreign objects or other signs of breakdown

Always be observant to any signs of wear, foreign objects or other signs that your tire may be starting to have a problem. Excessive tire wear can be caused by low air pressure or a vehicle that is out of alignment. If excessive wear has occurred and the tire has maintained a constant pressure, you want to take your vehicle to your mechanic to check your alignment. If you do have a tire that is leaking, do your best to search for any foreign objects that may be lodged in your tire causing the leak. Depending on where you drive, it is very possible to pick up a nail, screw or other foreign object that will lodge in your tire and cause a slow leak. You also want to check your sidewalls for signs of dry rot, or any other areas that appear to be breaking down.

Ignoring any of these signs can very easily lead to a blowout or tire failure on wet or slippery roads. Excessive wear cause by a vehicle out of alignment can be a sign of mechanical problems in the front end of your vehicle, which if left unchecked, can break and cause a serious accident. If there is an object lodged in your tire causing a slow leak, it needs to be removed and the hole plugged as soon as possible. Low air can lead to accidents and loss of control on wet or icy roads. Tires that are starting to wear out or dry rot are less able to stand up to even normal tire pressure and bumps and potholes in the road. They can also very easily blowout and cause an accident.

Have your tires rotated and checked by your mechanic regularly

When you take your car in for an oil change, be sure to ask your mechanic to rotate and check your tires as well. This is something that you simply need to ask for; you do not even have to get your hands dirty. Your tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 6,000 miles, just about the same schedule that you change your oil. Your mechanic will check for uneven wear, any damage to your tires as well as any foreign objects lodged in your tires. The wear pattern will also tell your mechanic if you need an alignment or not. They also have the expertise to be able to tell you if you have a problem with your car that is causing excessive wear, or you just need new tires.

Failing to rotate your tires leads to tires wearing out before they should. By rotating them, you provide them with even wear, as well as having them checked for additional problems. Having your mechanic point out an issue that needs addressed and not taking care of it can lead to much more expensive problems. Worn out tires can lead to loss of control, accidents, blowouts and other bigger, more expensive problems as well as injuries or fatalities if the incident occurs at a high speed.


Tires are one of the most important, yet easiest items to maintain on your car, even if you have no mechanical aptitude at all. Simple steps you can take to maintain your tires can help you maintain fuel efficiency, allow you to stop your car in an emergency situation, and not have to worry about a tire blowing out while you are driving. Following these simple points can help you to maintain your vehicle helping it to keep you safe and last longer as well.