- Inspect your tires. Tire tread tends to wear down gradually, so you may not notice problems unless you inspect your tires on a frequent basis. Give them a quick once-over every time you fill up for gas, and once a year have them looked at by a professional.
- Maintain proper air pressure. Driving with over- or underinflated tires can compromise safety, especially in wet road conditions. To keep them properly inflated, check your tire pressure at least once a month using the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure guide.
- Don’t exceed the load capacity. Tires are designed to carry a maximum weight limit. Exceeding your tires’ load capacity can build up excessive heat that may result in a sudden blowout.
- Balance your tires. Improperly balanced tires can wear out more quickly and unevenly, causing vibration problems. Always have tires balanced when first placed on the vehicle or if remounted for any reason.
- Rotate your tires. Tires don’t always wear out at the same rate, which can cause vibration and safety problems. To ensure even wear on all four tires, experts recommend rotating them about every 6,000 miles.
- Maintain proper alignment. Tire problems can also occur when the front end of your car gets out of alignment. If you notice uneven wear even after rotating your tires, have your alignment checked as soon as possible.
Most vehicles now come with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) that alert drivers when one or more tires get dangerously low. If your TPMS light comes on, pull over to the side of the road and check for damage. If necessary, change the tire or call for roadside assistance.