Tires are where the rubber meets the road. Literally! They are your cars contact with the pavement. Those four small patches of tire contact are all that keeps you in line. When you think about it, there isn’t really a lot keeping you moving in that one direction.
So taking care of your tires is an important thing to do. You need to check the inflation in the tires and keep an eye on them for wear. Tires now have a built in wear detection bar to let you know when it is time to get new tires. Since tires are so important you don’t want to neglect them. They should be added to your Saturday morning maintenance checklist.
First thing you want to do is just give the car a walk around and look at the tires. Make sure there is nothing odd about them. Look for things like bulges, cuts or separations in the tire. Anything that makes that tire less than good. Chances are you won’t find anything wrong most times but that one time you do catch something wrong before it leaves you stranded will make your Saturday morning exercise worth it.
After inspecting your tires make sure they are properly inflated. One of the biggest wastes of fuel is under inflated tires. Have you ever tried to push a car with a flat or low tire? It is about impossible. Put some air in that tire and the car rolls like nothing. Same with your bike. Ever ridden with low tires and then fill them up? How much easier the bike is to peddle? That is how much extra energy the engine has to waste to move your car on low tires everywhere it goes.
You can check the recomended tire pressure in a few places. One that everyone is familiar with now is to just Google your car make and model and ask what the tire pressure should be. Or, you can go old school and look on the tire or insde the drivers door. Once you know what the recomemded pressure is supposed to be now you can set about making sure your pressure is correct.
There are two ways to do that. You can carry a small tire gauge or, visit a gas station that offers an air hose that has the guage built in. It is a simple as filling the tire to the recomemded pressure.
One thing to keep in mind is that you are filling an object with compressed air. Compressed air does not want to be compressed so if there is one weak link in the compression system that is below the failing point of that pressure it can be dangerous. In other words, if your tire is bad and you put too much pressure on it it will explode. So when you are filling the tires that is one of the reasons you wanted to inspect them first. At least you know that there isn’t some huge bubble about to fail. But be careful. Turn your body away from the tire as you fill it so that if anything does go wrong you don’t get blasted in the face.
Motor vehicles are dangerous items. We’ve just integrated them into our lives so much and depend on them so much that we often don’t look at the danger they present.
Here is a video below that shows you how to properly inflate your tires.