Tire care is simple and easy to do at home, but many people seem to ignore their tires when they do their own routine car maintenance. This may be caused by a lack of information on their part, or simply because they don’t realize how quick and easy it really is to do on your own! Read on to find out what you ought to know about your tires, and how to really get the most out of them.
We all know that tires are made of rubber and filled with air, but let’s break down some of the different components of your tire first from the outside in. You’re probably familiar with the tire tread, which is the grooves on the outside of your tire that help with traction. It makes contact with the road surface and varies by tire type. Then there is the sidewall, which is the area on the outside of the tire from the tread to the beads within the tire. The beads are actually inside your tire, and they hold the tire to the outer edge of the wheel. Made of copper, brass, or bronze-plated high tensile steel wires, they are wound into a rubber band placed to help prevent the tire from sliding out of place.
Next, there is bead filler, which is inside the walls of the tire to help provide stability to the lower sidewall and bead area. How dense and stiff a tire’s bead filler is helps to determine how the tire will react under certain road conditions. Then there is the radial cord body, made of rubber coated fabric cord which gives the tire its strength. The cord body helps to transmit cornering forces from the tread to the wheel. Outside the radial cord body layer is a layer of steel belt plies, which are two or more strong layers of cord under tire tread. They provide strength and stability to the tire tread, and help to improve mileage, impact resistance, and traction.
Now that you know more about the anatomy of your tires, let’s discuss proper maintenance. You should begin by checking your tires at least once a month for general wear. Check for chunks or gashes in your tires, as well as any other general wear. While doing this, you’ll also want to check your air pressure. You should add or decrease the air pressure according to your vehicle’s owner’s manual. You will also want to look at the tire tread and make sure it passes the penny test. Simply place a penny into your tire’s tread. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, you have less than 2/32 of tread left, and need to replace your tires. You’ll also want to take care of your tire’s rotation, balance, and alignment, to ensure your tires all wear evenly as time goes by.
By investing a little bit of your own time into the care and maintenance, as well as having a trusted auto repair shop taking care of your tires’ preventive maintenance needs, you can help to prolong the life of your tires and extend their performance over time. If you need tire care, auto repair, or preventive maintenance, schedule an appointment with AutoPro Auto Service today to keep your vehicle performing at its best! We are conveniently located at 7901 W. River Road in Brooklyn Park, MN.