Well, it seems like every two years I find myself with bald tires. Not a cheap purchase, but unfortunately you can’t just “comb” the tread over the bald spots. So, let’s just say these new tires are a very expensive Christmas present…from me to me. Honestly, I’d rather have diamonds. But I realize they’re an investment in my safety as well as an investment in my livelihood. Every two years I complain about having to purchase new tires and it seems like soon after there is inevitably a freak winter storm that, without the new tread, would surely be a disaster. So it’s not surprising my mind has been on my cars tire care. What can I do differently (besides driving to kingdom come for my job) to prolong the life of my tires.

Goodyear recommends that you have your tires balanced and rotated every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. So, while I’m getting my oil changed I will have them do this as well. Often times irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. It is also recommended that the alignment is checked at least once a year. Misalignment of the front or rear tires can cause rapid or uneven wear. Front wheel drive and cars with independent rear suspension require alignment of all four wheels instead of two.

A tire’s tread directly affects how it grips the road, so it’s important to inspect them regularly for visible signs of uneven wear. The penny test is recommended since it is easy to do. Insert a penny into your tire’s groove (with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you). If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, your tire depth is less than 2/32 inch and it’s time to replace them. If you have a pocket full of change, or a quarter instead, insert it into the groove. If the tread touches Washington’s head, you have at least 4/32 inch of tread remaining.

And, as they say, the best solution is often the easiest. Properly inflated tires can benefit more than just the tread wear. It will help to ensure your safety, extend the life of your tire and even help your fuel economy.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Car Tire Care – Comedy Defensive Driving