The holidays are hectic. Working, attending family parties, overindulging on holiday goodies and shopping for that perfect gift can be stressful. Although the holidays are busy, they're not the time to forget about regular tire maintenance.
Firestone Complete Auto Care recommends the following tire maintenance tips to help you and your family reduce stress and stay safer on the road this holiday season.
Don't let the pressure overwhelm you. Tires can lose one pound of air pressure per square inch (psi) every month and one psi for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit temperature drop, so it's important to check your tires, including your spare, monthly. Use an accurate tire gauge. To find out if your tires are properly inflated, locate the recommended tire inflation pressure listed on the sticker on your vehicle's driver's side door jamb or fuel filler lid, or in your glove box, trunk or owner's manual.
Never overfill -- the Max Press number shown on the sidewall of your tire should only be used if it is the recommended pressure listed in one of the previous locations. Make sure to check your tire pressure when the vehicle has been driven less than one mile or has been sitting for at least three hours.
Don't get stuck in a rut. Your tires should have at least 2/32 inch of tread depth. To easily determine if your tires are due for replacement, insert a penny in the tread with Lincoln's head down. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the tread is worn, and the tire most likely needs to be replaced. If that's the case, your next stop should be a trusted service center.
Live a balanced lifestyle. Uneven tread wear can signify a number of different problems, including over- or under-inflation, tires out of balance or wheels out of alignment. If your tread appears to be wearing unevenly, ask your service professional to take a look. Have your wheel alignment checked annually by an ASE-certified technician, and have your tires rotated every 5,000 miles or according to your vehicle's owner's manual.
Proper wheel alignment, rotation and balance are important for correct vehicle handling, tire wear, braking stability and a smooth ride.