A Guide to Basic Tire Safety and Maintenance
Tire maintenance is part of owning a vehicle, and you may be missing crucial tire care steps if you don’t know what to look for. Your Volkswagen’s performance and safety depends on your tires, so make sure you’re looking at them regularly and keeping to your rotation schedule.
Check Air Pressure Once a Month
Do you wait until your tires look a little flat to check their air pressure? Driving on underinflated tires is dangerous for a number of reasons, which is why you should check the air pressure once a month.
Underinflated tires will negatively affect your vehicle’s handling. The treads won’t contact the road correctly, which means that the tires wear too much on the outside edges, and that they’re especially dangerous in the rain. You may experience problems braking, and if your tires are underinflated enough they can overheat, which may cause a permanent rupture.
Inspect Your Tires While You Inflate
While you’re at the air pump, take a walk around your vehicle and look at your tires. The wear and tear on the tires tells you a lot about how your car is working. First, check the treads. Grab a quarter and put George’s head in the tire groove. If you can see the top of his head, you need new tires.
Next, look at the way the treads are wearing. You already know that underinflated tires will wear too much on the edges. If the tires are overinflated, they’ll experience too much wear in the middle. When your alignment is off, the tires will wear unevenly. You may see one side of a tire wearing more than the other side.
The tire’s walls are important, too. If they bulge, that means the interior structure of the tire has weakened, you might end up blowing out a tire if you keep driving on it.
Pay Attention While You Drive
You know how your Volkswagen is supposed to feel. After all, you’ve been driving it for thousands of miles, right? So when your tires start acting up, you’ll probably notice. Is your car pulling to the left or right? A tire might be losing air, or you might have an alignment issue. Do you feel or hear vibrating coming from your wheels? It could be your suspension, tires, or steering. Vibrating is bad for the tires no matter what’s causing it, so take it to the shop immediately.
Get Your Tires Rotated Every 6,000 Miles
According to AAA, you should get your tires rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Tire rotation is important because the front and rear tires of your Volkswagen don’t wear the same because of braking and load bearing. Getting them rotated helps preserve tire life and ensures that two tires don’t wear out early.
You don’t have to rely on the shop to tell you when your tires are going bad. Knowing the signs means you can take corrective action before you encounter a serious tire problem. Visit VW South Charlotte for tire rotation, inspection, or replacement. Stay safe by driving on well-maintained tires.