No matter what car you own, you should have a tire inspection at least every six months. It is the most over looked auto service, and it's extremely important when it comes to your safety.
Regular tire inspections may seem like they aren't a big deal, but every day you see cars on the side of highways with flat tires. It is so common, I doubt if you give it a second thought; you may even think it is part of owning a car to get punctures in your tires. Well, it is not. You can help prevent this from happening by having your car serviced at least every six months. (And this doesn't mean going to a quick lube place.)
Who wants to be on the side of a major highway? Miss a meeting? Be late for an important appointment? Or even have an accident when a tire blows out?
Having your service and repair facility check the tires carefully at least every six months can drastically reduce the chance of having a tire go flat.
This is how your tires should be checked:
- Raise the car up on a lift that leaves the wheels free to rotate.
- Spin the wheel to see if the tire and rim are true and ensure that there are no bulges in the tire.
- Check the thickness of the tread.
- Check the age of the tire and for dry rot cracks.
- Check the surface of tire for any object that could have punctured the tire.
- Check the tire walls for damage.
- Check that the protective cap on the tire pressure valve is secure and sealing. (When the cap is left off for extended periods of time, moisture can enter the valve and cause the tire pressure sensor to fail.)
- Check the tire pressure. (The correct tire pressure data for your tires is normally on the driver's door jam. See photo below.)
It seems so simple, but very few auto service and repair facilities do this and most quick services don’t even put your car on a lift where the tires can be inspected properly. In other words, if your car isn't being placed on a lift during your regular preventive maintenance or oil change service -- find another auto service shop!
Next time your vehicle is due for service be sure to pick an auto service and repair facility that understands the importance of checking your tires.