For many motorists, the benefits of properly maintained tires are not something on the top of the to-do list. It can be all too easy to forget about tire maintenance in the grand scheme of auto care. However, your tires are one of the most essential pieces of your vehicle’s safety and lifetime. Properly maintained tires not only help  maintain the life of your vehicle, but they also work to keep you safe.

As we think more and more about spring cleaning and all of the items on our to-do lists that may often go avoided, put  properly maintained tires on the top of your list. Keeping the proper inflation and tread  depth is essential to your vehicle’s safety. The good news is this: if you haven’t checked on your vehicle’s tires in a while, it’s easy to get into a habit and check on them regularly.

Check your inflation. Regularly checking on the inflation of tires is hugely important for their lifetime and your safety. The first rule for this is to be sure to do it when tires are cool. You can find the proper inflation guidelines in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires can lead to stress and irregular wear.
Be wary of warning signs. Have you noticed the tires are losing pressure quicker than normal? Are you getting less miles out of your tank? These are both signs of wear on your tires. If you notice any of these warnings, you may want to test the tread on the tires. You can do this easily with a penny. Place the top of Lincoln’s head down on the grooves- if you can see the top of his head, you tires are likely too low.

Pay attention to alignment: If you happen to notice the vehicle is pulling to one side, vibrating or that the tires are rapidly wearing, you may need an alignment. A good rule of thumb for alignments and tire rotations is to have it done every 6,000 miles. This will help prolong the life of your tires – which will end up saving you money, too!

It can be easy to procrastinate when it comes to tire maintenance. But don’t! Old and worn down tires require more stopping distance and can be dangerous. The last thing you want is to have to file a claim on your vehicle insurance policy for something preventable!