Archive for the ‘alignment’ Tag

Do Your “PART” during Tire Safety Week

Maintaining your vehicle’s tires is not only essential to getting better gas mileage, but it is also crucial to ensuring safety on the road. To maximize tire life, the Car Care Council recommends checking tire condition and pressure regularly, and there is no better time to start than National Tire Safety Week.

“It takes only five minutes to check tire inflation, including the spare. Since tires effect a vehicle’s ride, handling and traction, checking tire pressure frequently and having tires rotated and balanced are an important part of vehicle safety,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “We encourage all motorists to do their ‘PART’ and check vehicle tire Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread on a regular basis.”

Pressure – Correct tire pressure is good to your wallet and the environment as properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by three percent or ten cents per gallon. Underinflated tires are under stress and wear uneven, causing them to be replaced sooner.

Alignment – If your car is shaking or pulling to one side it could be a sign of an alignment issue. Because uneven or accelerated tire wear may indicate an alignment problem, it’s a good idea to have your car’s alignment checked at least once a year.

Rotation – Unless your car manual has a specific recommendation, the Car Care Council recommends having tires rotated every 6,000 miles to promote uniform tire wear. Unbalanced wheels can cause rapid wear of shock absorbers and struts, and wheel balance can change as a result of normal tire wear. Rotating the tires to keep their sizes equal is critical on full-size four-wheel drive vehicles as a difference of only 1/4 inch between the outside circumference of the front and rear tires can cause expensive damage. Replacing all four tires at the same time, rather than just the front or rear tires, is highly recommended for these vehicles.

Tread – Use the penny test and visually inspect tires for sign of uneven wear. If the tread depth falls below the minimum legal requirement or the sidewalls become severely cracked or punctured, tire replacement will be necessary.

The Car Care Council supports the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Tire Safety Week (June 1-7, 2014). For more information on service interval schedules, questions to ask a technician and tips to drive smart and save money, check out the council’s free digital Car Care Guide online at

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit

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Tires are the critical connection between your car and the road in all sorts of driving conditions. To maximize tire life and safety, check the condition and inflation pressure regularly and have the tires rotated and balanced, says the Car Care Council.

“Your car’s tires affect its ride, handling, traction and safety, so this National Tire Safety Week be sure to do your PART and check the Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

Pressure: It’s important to have the proper inflation pressure in your
tires, as under inflation can lead to tire failure. The
“right amount” of inflation for your tires is specified by
the vehicle manufacturer and is shown on either the
vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel
door. It is also listed in the vehicle owner’s manual.


– Check inflation pressure at least once a month and before
long trips.
– Check tires when cool. After driving, tires need
at least 3 hours to cool.
– Remember to check the spare.
– Visually inspect the tires to make sure there are no nails
or other objects embedded that could poke a hole in the tire and cause an
air leak. Check the sidewalls to make sure there are no gouges, cuts, bulges
or other irregularities.
– Tire inflation pressure increases (in warm weather) or decreases (in cold
weather) 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.

Alignment: Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid treadwear and should be corrected by a tire dealer. Have your alignment checked periodically as specified by the vehicle owner’s manual or whenever you have an indication of trouble such as “pulling.” Also have your tire balance checked periodically.

Rotation: Tire rotation can prevent irregular tire wear. Always refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for rotation recommendations. If no rotation period is specified, tires should be rotated approximately every 5,000–8,000 miles. (NOTE: After rotation, make sure inflation pressure is set to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification.)

Tread: Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. Traction, particularly in bad weather, and resistance to hydroplaning is reduced as tires wear. An easy test: place a penny upside down into a tread groove. If part of 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. Built-in tread wear indicators, or “wear bars” will appear on the tire when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch. When the top of the “wear bars” are flush with the tire tread, the tire is worn out and needs to be replaced. Visually check your tires for signs of irregular tread wear, such as high and low areas or unusually smooth areas. Consult your tire dealer as soon as possible.

– Always buckle your seat belt.
– Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
Vehicles equipped with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) can help
motorists detect loss of inflation pressure. Federal regulations require
TPMS to warn drivers when tires are 25% under inflated. For many vehicles
this warning may be too late to prevent damage caused by under inflation.
TPMS units are NOT a replacement for monthly tire pressure checks
with a gauge.
– Tire care is pro-environment.
Properly inflated tires help promote better fuel economy. Regular care helps
tires get the most potential wear so they don’t need to be replaced as often.