Our Simple Tire Care Guide to Keep You Safe

May 10th, 2024 by

Two butterflies are shown near four tires.

One of the most important aspects of safe driving is minimizing the unexpected—routine driving is predictable and safe, which is why there are all sorts of habits that are best practices when behind the wheel so other people can predict what you’ll do. The unexpected can lead to catastrophe—case in point: driving along the highway, minding your own business, and actively watching the road, only to have one of your tires explode. A blowout at high speeds is a fear that many of us have somewhere in the back of our heads while driving. Fortunately, there are some pretty simple ways to avoid this happening, and they come down to proper tire care.

For starters, it’s a good idea to regularly check the tire pressure and tread depth of all your tires to ensure they’re in good shape; this is something you can easily do each month. Beyond this, you should head to your trusted Ford service center near Marietta, Jim Ellis Ford. You can count on us to make sure your tires are ready for the many miles ahead. Routine service like having your wheels and tires inspected, having your brakes checked, rotating your tires, and having your suspension checked and adjusted can help extend the life of your tires and keep you safer on the road. Let’s take a closer look at some essential types of tire care you should keep in mind.

Easy Tire Care You Can Do at Home

Although we suggest leaving some more serious car service to professionals who can take expert care of your vehicle, there’s plenty that you can still handle. Simple, routine maintenance and care at home can ensure your vehicle runs beautifully and keep you safer while driving around Marietta. We suggest doing these things about once each month, and once you get into the habit of doing them, it’s pretty easy to take care of them without interrupting your life too much.

Check Your Tire Pressure

One of the simplest things you can do to stay on top of the condition of your tires is to check their pressure levels on a regular basis. The only stipulation is that you generally need a special tool to check your tire pressure at home, but they’re inexpensive and last a long time. You can also find pressure gauges at air pumps located at some gas stations, but that’s not always an ideal solution. You’re better off simply buying a tire pressure gauge and keeping it in your vehicle for when you need it. It’s not a bad idea to use one periodically, even if you have a newer model vehicle with features that provide tire pressure information, like in an App.

To check your tire pressure, you simply remove the cap from the tire’s valve and insert your pressure gauge, and you’ll see the result. One important thing to note is that the pressure that’s printed on the side of your tires is not the suggested pressure—that’s the maximum pressure for the tire. Check the sticker on your driver’s side door jamb for the recommended pressure for your tires and compare that to the result on your gauge. As we said, many gas stations have air pumps you can use if your tire pressure is low. If this is a frequent issue, your tire might be leaking or have other problems.

A mechanic is shown checking the tire pressure on a vehicle at a Ford service center near Marietta.

Check Your Tire Tread Depth

The other simple thing you can do to check the condition of your tires is to test for their tread depth. Your tires have treads with deep grooves designed to ensure optimal traction and control on wet roads. As you drive, the rubber on your tires will wear down over time, resulting in shallower grooves that no longer work as well. The depth of these grooves in your tread is what you want to test each month.

You can buy a small measuring tool for this or simply use the penny test: insert a penny with the president’s head pointing downward into a groove in the tread. If the depth is good, you won’t be able to see the top of the president’s head—if you can see it, it’s time for new tires. You can also do this test with a quarter, which gives you more of an early warning that you’ll need new tires soon, but it’s not dire yet. With a penny, if you see Lincoln’s head, get tires as soon as possible, while using a quarter means you have a short while longer.

Tire Service From Our Experts

In addition to these things you should do each month to check the tires on your vehicle, there are also some crucial services that you should let our experts at Jim Ellis Ford handle for you. Some of these are types of service that some people prefer to do on their own—if you have the right equipment and experience. Otherwise, the best way to ensure your vehicle is safe for driving around Marietta and beyond is to let us take care of it for you. Based on your service schedule, you should schedule the following maintenance regularly.

Tire Rotations

As we mentioned earlier, your tires will wear down over time as you drive—this wear and tear is often uneven and based on where the tire is aligned on your vehicle. When we rotate your tires, we shift them forward or back and can also swap them from one side to another. This ensures more even wearing on your tires rather than keeping them on the same wheels the whole time you use them. Tire rotations are a great way to extend the lifespan of your tires and can provide you with a smoother drive and peace of mind for the miles ahead.

A mechanic is shown performing a tire alignment.

Suspension and Alignment Services

Speaking of a smooth drive, few parts of your vehicle impact your ride quality and comfort as much as your suspension and the alignment of your wheels. We can check your alignment regularly—about once each year is a good idea—and adjust it if needed to get your wheels positioned how they should be. Similarly, we can check out your suspension, which has a lot of different components, and make adjustments or repairs to it as needed to ensure you have a great drive and to help your tires last as long as possible.

Tire Replacements

Although you can do a lot to keep your tires in great condition and extend their lifespan, inevitably, you will need to replace them. Your tires take a lot of abuse, and the rubber they’re made from will degrade over time, so proper tire replacements are essential to keeping you safe on the road. When the time comes, it’s important that your tires are replaced with ones that are the right size and of high quality to ensure you continue to get a great driving experience. That’s why you should trust your car and new tires to experts who know your vehicle well and will take great care of it.

Stay Safe When Driving Around Marietta

As you can see, proper tire care isn’t especially complicated or demanding, but it does require a bit of thought and effort. We know that taking the time out of a day each month to check your tire pressure or insert a penny into your tire tread is not what most people consider entertaining, but it’s essential for keeping you safe on the road. These little things can make a huge difference, and you’re much better off stopping to add a bit of air to an underinflated tire or coming to us for a tire rotation rather than having a tire come apart while you’re driving. Getting ahead of issues before they become major problems is a great way to save money by avoiding expensive repairs and getting the most from your vehicle every time you hit the road.