Tire Maintenance

December 8, 2022

How to Properly Maintain Your Vehicle’s Tires

By Steven Ross – Service Manager

Auto House Scottsdale


If you own a vehicle that you drive on or off road, chances are that it has tires on it. Most auto service and tire specialty shops keep a tire maintenance record on your vehicle. This is to ensure that the correct rotation patterns are performed, the proper amount of air is in them and most importantly, a safe amount of tread life still remains. How often should you rotate your tires? The right time can sometimes seem unclear unless there is an obvious issue and you may hear a few different answers depending on who you talk to. For most cars, trucks and SUVs, a good rule of thumb is to rotate them every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first. A good rule of thumb is to  rotate tires after every oil change. Rotating your tires can be more crucial than you think as when it is neglected, you could find yourself in an unnecessarily dangerous situation.


If you notice that your car is pulling to the right or the left, see a decrease in gas mileage or feel like your car just isn’t handling like it’s supposed tochances are you don’t have the right PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) in your tires. Yes, any of those things can occur when your tires are underinflated or overinflated.  If you know how to check tire pressure on your ride, you will be able to keep those pesky issues from happening. Most modern vehicles now tell you exactly how much air pressure your tires have in them directly from the driver information center. The PSI is continuously monitored by the tire pressure monitor system (TPMS) which are read by small sensors attached to the inside of the air fill valves. To find out how much pressure your tires may need, you can consult the owner’s manual, read the text on the sidewall of your tires or check to see if there is a tire pressure information sticker which is usually located in the driver’s side door sill. 


If your tires don’t have the proper PSI, you will see this icon somewhere on your dash which is your warning to correct that pressure as soon as you can. If your car doesn’t happen to have a TPMS, we recommend keeping a good old fashioned manual tire pressure gauge handy in your glove box or center console. Make sure to check air pressure every month or so, especially right before a road trip or any time there is an appreciable change in the outside temperature. Low tire pressure from cold weather is to always be expected just like higher than normal tire pressure from warmer weather. If you find yourself having to put more air in a particular tire over the other ones, you may have a puncture in it. In some cases, the tire can be safely repaired without having to replace it, but either way you should always address punctures as soon as you can to avoid uneven tread wear and reduce the risk of tire damage.


If you are unsure of how to tell if you need new tires, using a tire depth gauge is a perfect tool for you. A tire depth gauge simply measures from the deepest part of your tire’s grooves to the tops of the tread block. If you don’t have a tire depth gauge, you can alternatively use the coin test. That’s right, all you have to do is place Honest Abe’s head upside down in the tread groove and as long as the tire tread covers past the top of his head, you know that you still have enough rubber left. If your tire tread is lower than 2/32 of an inch (right below the former president’s hairline) your tires need to be replaced ASAP! If your tread is well above that threshold, you can alternatively use a quarter to see how much tread you have left on your tires. If your tread is below Mr. Washington’s head, the distance that is required to stop begins to increase greatly. Once your tires have reached this stage, which is 4/32 of an inch, you will want to keep in the back of your mind that you’ll need to replace the tire(s) soon. In addition to monitoring your tread life, you will also want to keep an eye out for any bubbles, cracks or unexpected separations, which if neglected, can lead to a tire blowout.


As you can imagine, there are a few exceptions out there so make sure to always refer to your vehicle’s maintenance manual or local service shop. Make an appointment today with one of our service shop locations, and we will be glad to make sure that your tires are up to speed!

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