As your vehicle’s only points of contact with the road below, your tires play a huge role in how your vehicle drives. With only a small patch of each rubber tire touching the road at any given time, it’s pretty important to keep your vehicle’s tires properly maintained and regularly inspected. Things like proper fit, proper tire inflation, and proper tire tread go a long way in ensuring you have a comfortable and safe ride.
Automobile manufacturers are pretty specific about which tires should be on your vehicle. Issues such as purpose, performance, and weight load are all taken into consideration when determining the right tire.
Due to the high specificity in choosing the proper tires, new owners should not just slap on any tire that fits the wheel. Instead, owners should research the exact tire that the manufacturer recommends. Choosing the wrong tire could leave drivers with an uncomfortable and/or dangerous situation.
Proper Tire Inflation
Having the proper amount of inflation in your tires is important for three very important reasons: safe handling, comfortable ride, and fuel efficiency. Your vehicle’s manufacturer’s guide will tell you the exact amount of inflation and air pressure your tires require. If the tire pressure is higher than the recommended amount, you’ll get less rolling resistance and higher fuel efficiency, but less traction and a rougher ride. On the other hand, if your tire pressure is too low, you’ll get much better traction and a much more comfortable ride, but you’ll have bad fuel economy and worsened wear.
The manufacturer will have taken all of these factors into consideration when determining the precise range that your pressure and inflation should be at.
Proper Tire Tread
Tread is also extremely important when it comes to safe driving. Your vehicle relies on good tread in order to safely navigate you down the road, dry or wet. Top mechanics suggest you closely inspect your vehicle’s tread for excessive or uneven wear at least once a month. Most automotive parts stores sell tiny tread rulers, but you can also use the quarter or penny trick below.
The quarter trick involves turning a quarter upside down so that Washington’s head is facing down. Insert the upside down quarter into the tread. If the top of Washington’s head is not visible, then that means your tires still have at least 4/32″ of tread and are considered safe to drive on. If, on the other hand, you can see the top of his head, it’s time to replace your tires. To be safe, you’ll want to take measurements using the same tactic on 3 seperate locations on your tire: outer edge, center, and inside edge.
The penny trick is very similar, except for the measurements. If you insert a penny (upside-down) and you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, this means your tire has at most 2/32″ of tread, which is way below the legal and safe measurement and cause for immediate tire replacement. Tires that are worn down to this level will show other signs of poor tread as well, such as thin, bald, wear strips that will stretch from side to side.
- Tire Rotation: Your vehicle’s front and rear tires carry different loads and operate different steering and braking functions, which can lead to unequal wear patterns. If you wish to get the maximum performance and life out of your tires, you should have them rotated regularly. Your specific vehicle’s owner’s manual should tell you exactly when this rotation should occur, but it’s generally between 5,000 and 7,000 miles.
- Tire Balancing: If your tires are properly balanced, this too will go a long way in ensuring even wear and extended life. Tires that are not balanced will give you a pretty shaky ride. To correct this excessive vibration, mechanics add weights to the wheels which limits this vibration as your tires roll down the road.
- Wheel Alignment: Another issue that can cause uneven tire wear is tires that are out of alignment. Each vehicle has very specific wheel alignment settings. Simply put, alignment describes the measurement of the position of your wheels.
Trust our Experts at Euroservice Automotive
If your tires need inspected, maintained, or replaced, and you live in the Bristow, Gainesville, Haymarket, Manassas, or Warrenton, VA areas, visit us at Euroservice Automotive. We are the best service center for your Jaguar in our area. We look forward to earning your business today!
* Jaguar Car image credit goes to: photosvit.