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1) Are You Ready for a Flat Tire?
 
If you are prepared for the possibility of a flat tire, a puncture will be a mere inconvenience rather than a source of frustration.
 
Imagine you’ve had a flat tire and you’re on your own.
  • Are you safely off the road?
  • Can you find the jack? On some vehicles it’s under the hood. On others it’s under or above the spare.
  • Do you know how to assemble the jack and make it work? Read the directions in your owner’s manual or on a sticker under the trunk lid.
  • Can you find the spare? Maybe it’s mounted under the vehicle, as in the case of some pick-up trucks and SUVs. If it’s in the trunk, can you get to it?
  • How long since you checked to see if it’s still inflated?
  • Most cars now have space-saving (nicknamed “Mickey Mouse”) spares. They’re smaller, lighter and easier to install than conventional wheels but they’re for emergency use only.
  • Have the flat tire repaired or replaced and reinstalled as soon as possible.
 
 
 
2) Tire Care Cuts Tire Wear
 
By taking care of the tires on your car, you can improve its fuel economy and lower its maintenance costs.
 
Looking for a way to occupy the kids on a long winter road trip? Assign them the project of comparing odometer readings with highway mileage markers. A difference of tenth of a mile or two in a 10 mile stretch is not unusual. Oversized tires will cause both your odometer and speedometer to read low.
 
New tires, with full tread, make fewer revolutions per mile than do bald tires. What happens to all that rubber that’s worn off millions of tires? It accumulates alongside our nation’s highways. Some of this rubber was scrubbed off because the wheels are out of alignment.
 
Imagine a car, driven about 12,000 miles a year, going down the road with wheels misaligned by just 0.17 inches. The driver must constantly tug at the wheel to keep the car going straight. In effect, the tires are being dragged sideways for the equivalent of 68 miles over the course of a year. This condition, along with under-inflation, increases rolling resistance. End result, tires are wasted away and fuel economy plummets as gas goes out the exhaust.
 
How do you know if your tires are wearing too quickly or unevenly? Steering irregularities, such as pulling in one direction or wandering, indicate either one tire under-inflated or misaligned wheels.
 
 
 
3) Tire Inflation
 
Correct inflation pressure is critical for good fuel economy, safety, maximum tire life, and proper vehicle handling performance.
 
What is it?
Proper tire inflation pressure is the specified air pressure given by a carmaker for a certain tire on a specific vehicle. This pressure specification should not be confused with a tire’s maximum pressure, which is usually listed on the tire’s sidewall. Some vehicles may specify different pressures for the front tires and the rear tires.
 
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions
For the small amount of time it takes, checking tire inflation at least once a month is one of the best investments you can make to get the maximum life out of your tires. Proper inflation can also improve gas mileage by more than 3%, when maintained regularly. Keep this in mind: Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi (pounds per square inch) drop in pressure of all four tires. You may want to check your tires more often during the winter months. Tires will lose about 1 psi of pressure for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature drop.
Keep an accurate tire pressure gauge in your car’s glove box (many gauges at “air stations” give false pressure readings) and check the tire pressure when the tires are cold. Never trust the appearance of a tire as a gauge for inflation. A tire could be 10 psi low on pressure and not appear to be low on air. Use the recommended inflation pressure listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the inflation sticker found on the driver’s door jamb. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the spare. There’s nothing more annoying than a flat spare when you have a flat tire.
 
 
 
4) Tread Depth
 
The tread depth of your tires is so important to the overall safety of your vehicle that it is against the law for the tread on your tires to be too worn.
 
What is it?
There are several ways to check tire tread depth. The first way is to measure tread depth with a tread depth gauge. The second method involves the use of a penny inserted into the grooves of the tread. Tire wear bars are also used on today’s tires as a hands-off visual indication that a tire needs replacement.
 
What does it do?
Regular tread depth checks are important to ensure that your car’s tires are safe. Excessive wear can result in a loss of traction, especially on wet and slippery roads. Tires are regular wear items and staying on top of their condition not only ensures your safety, but also gives you the opportunity to plan ahead and budget for inevitable tire replacement.
 
Maintenance Tips/Suggestions
When using a tread depth gauge, tires need to have at least 1/16-in. of tread or more (this is the minimum amount of tread allowed by law). By using a penny as a quick reference, insert the penny into the tread groove with Lincoln’s face showing, but with his head upside-down. If you are able to see all of Lincoln’s head, the tire needs replacement. If you see a wear bar across the width of the tread while facing it, it’s time to replace the tire. Generally, it’s best to replace tires in sets of four. If your car’s tires show signs of abnormal or unequal wear, have this looked into by a professional technician. Excessive wear on both outer edges generally indicates under-inflation. Excessive wear in the center of the tread generally indicates over-inflation. Cupping or dipping of certain tread sections may indicate worn suspension parts or a wheel balance problem. Saw-toothed or feathered tread edges may indicate wheel misalignment. If your car needs alignment or suspension work, have it done before you drive off with a new set of tires. Taking a “big picture” approach to protecting your tire investment will reap many rewards for miles to come.
 
 
 
5) Checking Tire Pressure
 
How often should you check the tire pressure on your car? If you’re not sure, read on…
 
Correct tire pressure is important for the safety, comfort, and economy of your car. So how often should you check the pressure of the tires on your car? That depends mainly on the season, with a few other considerations you should always keep in mind.
 
During Warm Weather
During warm weather you should check tire pressure at least once a month. But if the weather changes or if any other considerations become important, then you should check tire pressure at least once a week.
 
During Cold Weather
During cold weather, and particularly if there is snow or ice in your area, you should check tire pressure at least once a week. If snow and ice affect the roads in your area, you should visit your nearest Great Deal Tires store and seek advice on special tires and equipment that are designed to provide grip in slippery conditions.
 
When the Weather Changes
When you notice a change in the weather, you should check the pressure of the tires on your car. If it is noticeably warmer now than when you last checked tire pressure, your tires may now be over-inflated. Conversely, if it is noticeably cooler now than when you last checked tire pressure, your tires may now be under-inflated.
 
Other Considerations
If you are driving and you hit a curb or run over debris on the road, you may have damaged your tires. Should you have any reason to believe that your tires may have suffered damage, you must visually check the tires each day and properly check tire pressure each week. Driving with damaged tires is dangerous and illegal, which makes the following guideline one of great importance: if in doubt, do not drive your car. Instead, visit your nearest Great Deal Tires store and seek advice on how you can properly check your tires, which may involve purchasing a tire gauge.
If you have not driven your car for more than two weeks, you should visually check the tires before driving again. If any of the tires look flat, do not drive the car. Even if all the tires look okay, you should check their pressure at the first available service station as they may still be under-inflated.
When you buy a new car, or when you borrow or hire another car, you should check tire pressure as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you are ultimately responsible for the road-worthiness of any vehicle you drive, so you must never assume that the driver before you has checked its tires.
Finally, don’t forget to check the pressure and condition of your spare tire at least once every six months.
 
 
 
6) Wheel Alignment
 
Discover why poor wheel alignment on your car costs you money.
 
Wheel alignment is the position of the wheels relative to your car. When properly aligned, the wheels point in the right direction. Without proper alignment, the wheels resist your steering commands, as well as each other.
 
Alignment also affects gas mileage and tire wear. If your tires are pointed in different directions, they fight against each other and can cause tread wear.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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