Record high gas prices have everyone thinking about ways to save money. While you may not have the option to drive less, there are other vehicle related expenses you can reduce to make your overall driving budget go farther.
Taking care of your tires will help extend your driving budget by protecting your tire investment. Not only will your tires last longer and perform better, you will also get better gas mileage and be safer on the road.
Five Tire Care Tips for Extending Your Driving Budget
Inspect Your Tire Tread on a Regular Basis
The tread on your tires is essential for proper performance. Regular tread inspection is important for identifying tread wear problems before too much damage is done. The penny test is a simple way to confirm that your tire tread is in good shape.
Hold a penny so that “In God We Trust” appears across the top. Insert it into five different sections of the tire, taking note of the visibility of Lincoln’s head. If you can consistently see the top of Lincoln’s head, your treads are excessively worn, and it is time to go shopping for a new set of tires. If the top of Lincoln’s head (to about the forehead hairline) is covered throughout the tread grooves, the tread is in good shape and your tires probably do not need replacement.
Check Your Tire Pressure Monthly
Check your tire pressure at least once a month. This one quick chore could save you money by improving your tire life and gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual to confirm the proper pressure for your vehicle’s tires. Remember that the maximum pressure is not the same as the recommended pressure. Don’t forget to check the pressure of your spare when you check your other tires, so it is ready when you need it.
Get Your Tires Balanced
Tire balancing should be part of your regular scheduled maintenance. Your owner’s manual will provide a recommended schedule for your car, truck, or SUV. Tire balancing promotes a smooth ride and even tire wear by correctly adjusting the wheel weight distribution around the vehicle.
Get Your Tire Alignment Checked
Incorrectly aligned tires will decrease tire life because poor alignment leads to uneven tread wear. Poor alignment also compromises the safety of your vehicle. Have the alignment checked any time you notice problems with your vehicle’s handling to assure your safety and protect your investment.
Get your Tires Rotated
Having your tires rotated on a regular basis is an important part of tire maintenance that will significantly extend tire service life. Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for the tire rotation recommendations for your particular vehicle.