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Tires are a critical part of keeping your car on the road, but they are often ignored until a problem occurs. Firkins Automotive is always ready to help you with tire service or new tires, but there are a few things you can do to keep your tires in good condition.
The most important thing you can do yourself is to check your tires’ pressures. Go to an auto parts store and buy a good quality tire gauge. Then simply take the valve stem cover off of each tire and firmly press the tire gauge onto the valve to get a reading. Compare the reading to the tire pressure recommended in your owner’s manual. Always check tires first thing in the morning when the weather is coolest, and wait a few hours after driving the car to check pressures since the tires will warm up as you drive.
It is important to remember that tire pressure changes with outdoor temperatures. As the weather warms tire pressure will go up and you may need to remove a bit of air to maintain the proper temperature. As the weather cools you will need to add some air to maintain the correct pressure. If you don’t have an air compressor, your auto parts store can sell you a small compressor that plugs into your accessory plug in the car for power. Most of these portable units are small enough that you can keep them in the car for future use.
It is easy to do a visual inspection of your tires. Take a good look at each tire for the following issues:
- Uneven tire wear can indicate an alignment problem or improper tire pressures.
- Missing tread can occur if you drove over a sharp object on the road
- The presence of nails or screws in a tire — don’t remove them as they may be keeping air in the tire, come to Firkins Automotive and have the tire plugged.
- Any cracks, bubbles, or cuts in the tread area or sidewalls of each tire.
Tread Depth Check
All tires now have tire wear indicators built into the tire tread. As the tread wears a solid bar will appear across the tire indicating the tread is at a safe minimum and should be replaced. However, it is easy to check tread depth yourself. Take a penny and place it upside down into the groove between treads on each tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head the tread is low and the tire should be replaced. About this same time you should start seeing the tread wear bar appear as well. The penny test is an easy way to keep track of your tread wear so you can anticipate getting new tires.
Tires have a date stamp molded into the sidewall which can be easily found by looking for a DOT number. Following that number, you will see a four-digit number molded in the tire, which is the week and year the tire was made. For example, 4718 would indicate the tire was manufactured the 47th week of 2018. Some manufacturers recommend tires should be replaced after 10 years regardless of how much tread wear has occurred.
Contact Firkins Automotive for help with any questions about your tires or provide you quality replacements when needed. Call us at 941-877-5162 for more information.