TOP MYTHS ON TIRES AND TIRE MAINTENANCE
This is a Great article from AF that applies to every day drivers, weekend racers and fleet maintenance shops. We added a few of our own.
Myth #1: You can check air pressure by just looking at your tires or kicking the tires. According to Marble, this method is usually off by 10-20 percent or more.
Myth #2: A plug-type repair or using flat fixer fluid injected through the valve is OK. Neither tire companies nor the U.S. Department of Transportation accept this practice, and it will void the tire warranty.
Myth #3: Re-inflating a tire that has been run more than 10 percent low will make it A-OK. “This is like believing that putting the potato salad back in the refrigerator after it sat all day out in the sun will make it OK to eat,” Marble noted.
Myth #4: As long as there is tread design left, the tire is safe to use. Certain applications do not put a lot of miles on a tire, so the tire rubber can get too old to properly stretch, causing it to crack. “Tires should be inspected by a tire dealer and a written report issued after five years of use and every year thereafter, and replaced at 10 years, no matter how much tread is left,” Marble said.
Myth #5: It is OK to ignore the warning from tire pressure monitor system (TPMS), as you can probably drive for hundreds of miles before service is needed. As with any vehicle warning system, drivers need to take them seriously — ignoring them could cause damage to the vehicle or possibly an accident.
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Kurt Berger, manager, consumer sales engineering for tire manufacturer Bridgestone Americas, offered a trio of tips to help fleet drivers ride on road-ready rubber:
- Inflate: The most important aspect of tire maintenance is proper tire inflation. “Tires can lose one pound per square inch per month under normal conditions,” Berger explained.
- Rotate: Regular tire rotations also will help prevent irregular and premature wear. According to Berger, as many as 40 percent of drivers have not rotated their tires within the recommended distance of 5,000-7,500 miles.
- Evaluate: Routinely look for signs of tread wear or damage. “The ‘penny test’ is a simple way to check tread wear,” said Berger. “Place a penny in the tread. If Lincoln’s head is visible, the treads are too worn and need replacing.”
The time of day can affect the tire’s pressure reading, which is why Remsberg suggested checking the pressure when the tires are cold, usually first thing in the morning.
All four tires need to be checked monthly, since keeping the tires inflated to optimum pressure allows for maximum fuel efficiency and longevity.
A QuickTrick note for the Road savvy: Always check the tire pressure in your spare when you check the ones on the vehicle
Roll em if you got em, but only if the pressure is right!!