How to check tire safety

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Checking your tires is one of the most basic, and most important, maintenance tasks a car owner must perform. Luckily, it's easy. Here is AAA's Allan Stanley to show you how to check your tires.

How to check tire safety

According to AAA, tires should be checked once a month. There are three things to check:

Air Pressure

  • On the driver’s side doorjamb is where you'll find the recommended air pressure for your vehicle. The specification is listed as PSI (pounds per square inch) which is the same calibration as you'll find on a tire gauge.
  • Remove the tire valve-stem cap.
  • Measure the tire pressure by holding a tire pressure gauge against the valve stem and pressing firmly. The pressure inside the tire will push the gauge's meter out. The engraved numbered line on the meter will indicate how many pounds of air per square inch the tire currently has.
  • An over-inflated tire will give you a harsh ride and decreased stability. An under-inflated tire can overheat and cause a safety issue, so proper inflation is critical.
Tire Tread Inspection
  • You also want to check your tire tread for uneven wear or nails that can get stuck and cause flats.
  • Be sure not to use your hands or you may cut yourself with a sharp bit of road debris if it's lodged in your tire.
  • If the tread is unevenly worn, you may need a wheel alignment.


Tread Depth

  • You also want to check for depth of the tread by inserting a ruler in a tread groove and taking a measurement of its depth. If it's less than an eighth of an inch, it's time to replace the tire.
  • Proper pressure and even tread will keep you safer on the road and save you a few dollars in gas mileage, too.
Transcript

I'm Allan Stanley for howdini.com. In this segment we'll be talking about tire pressure and tire wear.

You want to be sure to check your air pressure at least once a month. On the drivers side doorjamb is where you'll find the recommended air pressure for your vehicle. This particular vehicle recommends thirty-two PSI air pressure for your tires.

First thing we're going to do is remove the valve-stem cap. Take the pressure gauge, hold it against the valve-stem, and press firmly. This particular tire has thirty-two pounds. An over-inflated tire will give you a harsh ride and decreased stability. An under-inflated tire can overheat and cause a safety issue so proper inflation is critical.

You want to check your tire tread for uneven wear or nails that can get stuck and cause deflation. Be sure not to use your hands or you may cut yourself with any item that may be sticking out.

We also want to check for depth of the tread by inserting a ruler in, taking a measurement and reading it. If it's less than an eighth of an inch it's time to replace those tires. Be sure to check your air pressure and your tread condition on a regular basis. It will not only increase your safety but it will also save you a few dollars in gas too.

I'm Allan Stanley for howdini.com

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  • Allan Stanley

    Allan Stanley Manager, Technical Training and Research, AAA Allan Stanley is the Manager of Technical Training and Research for AAA. Stanley is an Automotive Service Excellence, Master Certified Auto Technician and has extensive experience in many facets of the automotive repair industry. He serves as Vice President of the Automotive Managers Training Council. more about this expert »

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