Proper tire care and safety is simple and easy. The rubber manufactures Association (RMA) recommends getting in the habit of taking five minutes every month to check you tires, consult a tire dealer as soon possible.
Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 1/16 of an inch in order to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. An easy test: place a penny into tread groove. If part of the Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see all of his head, you should buy a new tire.
- Number of tires on the road in America in 1999 on non-commercial vehicles (cars and light trucks, including SUV) : 882 million
- Number of tires shipped in 1999 : 316 million
- Miles driven by non-commercial vehicles in 1998 :2.4 trillion
- Occupant fatalities in 1999 in cars and light trucks :35,806
- Number of fatalities in 1999 that involved "tire related factors" :647 or 1.8 percent
- Recommended frequency for visual inspection and air pressure check of all four tires and the spare : one a month and before every long trip.
*(Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Rubber Manufacturers Association)
Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. Consult your vehicle owner's manual, the tire manufacturer or your tire dealer for the appropriate rotation pattern for your vehicle. NOTE: If your tires show uneven wear, ask your tire dealer to heck for and correct any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem involved before rotation.
Before rotating your tires, always refer to your vehicle owner's manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 10000Km.
It 's important to have the proper air pressure in your tires, as under inflation can lead to tire failure. The "right amount" of air for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner's manual.
- When you check the air pressure, make sure the tires are cool – meaning they are not hot from driving even a mile. (NOTE: if you have to drive a distance to get air, check and record the tire pressure first and add the appropriate air pressure when you get to the pump. It is normal for tries to heat up and the air pressure inside to go up drive. Never "bleed" or reduce air pressure when tires are hot.)
- Remove the cap from the valve on one tire
Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread wear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Front-wheel-drive vehicles and those with independent rear suspension, require alignment of all four wheels. Have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner's manuals or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as "pulling" or vibration.
Also have your tire balance checked periodically. An unbalanced tire and wheel assembly may result in irregular wear.