On paper, it’s a lot to ask to expect today’s generation to know as much about cars as those folks of generations past. These days, people are likely to know more about the internal workings of their laptop rather than the internal combustion engine in their automobile. And this is a shame. After all, there are more cars on the road than ever before, so understanding even the basics of maintenance can help save headaches and cash over time, especially for those who shop at Mavis discount tires. Since auto maintenance is such a broad subject, it makes sense to start on a single topic. For the purposes of this post, we’ll focus on tires. Here are some tips even the most hapless of automotive neophytes can follow to keep their tires rolling.
Reading the sidewall
This is a useful skill, since knowing a tire’s specs and ratings is crucial when considering replacements. All tires have a series of numbers and codes written on the outer and inner walls (sidewalls), the largest representing the tire type, width, aspect ratio, construction, diameter, load index and speed rating. Next is the Department of Transportation standard, which is denoted by the letters DOT followed by the tire’s identification number, the week the tire was manufactured and, finally, the year in which it was manufactured. Finally, the UTQG code, as established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, tells the testing grades for three criteria: treadwear (the wear rate of the tire), traction and temperature.
Checking tire pressure
Like changing oil, checking a tire’s pressure is a task that should be performed regularly, about once a month. And there are no two ways about it: checking a tire’s air pressure requires purchasing a pressure gauge. (The good news is that a reliable gauge can be had for around $20 at most automotive supply stores.) Always check the tire pressure “cold,” meaning leave the car off for at least three hours beforehand. Insert the gauge into the valve in the tire and wait for the “psst” sound to emit. The gauge should then display a PSI. Check this PSI with the listing on the sticker inside the driver’s door of the vehicle and not any numbers on the tire’s sidewall. If the PSI is too much, let some of the air out; if it is too little, add some more air. Simple.
Inspect the tire
Tire inspection is another task that should be performed about once a month, and it involves checking the tire for damage and wear. The good news is that this is one of the quickest and easiest inspections there is, and anyone can do it—well, anyone with a penny, that is. Simply grip the area of the penny over Abe’s body with the thumb and forefinger. Then insert the penny head-side down in between the tire tread. If the penny goes deep enough that any part of Abe’s head is covered, the treads are good. If the head isn’t covered, the tread has worn down to the dire 2/32” mark and it’s time for new tires.
The above tips represent all anyone needs to keep their tires in business. And when the time comes, this info will tell a person just when he or she needs to replace their tires.