Part of Rethinking Your Relationship with Tires, and keeping them out of landfills, means thinking about their maintenance. Here are some expert tips to help keep your tires in good condition and on the road as long as possible.
Remember PART: Pressure, Alignment, Rotation, Tread
- The recommended tire pressure is set by your car’s manufacturer. It can usually be found on the edge of the driver’s door or on the doorpost
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month or any time there is a temperature change of more than 15°C
- Make sure the car has not been driven for at least three hours before measuring pressure
- To reduce the risk of sudden tire failure, measure tire pressure before heading out on long trips or when carrying a heavy load
- Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems: some systems are set to warn you only when a tire becomes significantly under-inflated. To ensure your safety and optimal gas mileage, check your pressure manually, even if the monitoring system has not gone off
- Have your car’s alignment inspected annually or every 25,000km
- If you feel your car pulling to the left or right when you are trying to drive straight, have your alignment inspected
- Rotate your tires every 10,000 km to minimize wear, prolong tire life and reduce the risk of sudden tire failure
- Check the depth of the tread on each tire using the tread wear bars found on the tire, or use a ruler or other indicator to check the depth of the tread
- Tire tread depth should be at least 1/8” or 3.2mm. You must replace your tires if the tread depth is less than 1/16” or 1.6mm
- Check tires regularly for cuts, snags, punctures, or irregular wear
- Ensure tires are balanced when mounted for the first time or when remounted after a repair
- Tires should be rebalanced at least once a year, or at the first sign of vibration
- Read When It’s Time to Scrap Your Tires for more tips
With these simple tips, not only are you making sure your tires are safe for when you hit the road, but you’re helping the environment by prolonging the life of your tires!
How to cruise through this winter season
“Tougher driving conditions mean more wear and tear on your tires, so it’s a good idea to check your winter tires before hitting the road – especially if they’ve already seen a few seasons,” says Andrew Horsman, Executive Director, Ontario Tire Stewardship. “While its always important to have a well-maintained set of tires on your vehicle the difference in performance can be even more dramatic in the winter. Making sure your winter tires are up to the snowy roads will help keep you safe all season long.”
Driving slowly and more carefully is the best way of staying safe in the winter, but a well-maintained set of proper winter tires is paramount to a smooth ride.
Tips for keeping your tires rolling this season:
- Put a lid on it. If valve caps are left off, the moisture in the valves can freeze. This can lead to escaped air and a flat tire
- Stay watchful. Make checking your tire pressure a regular habit. While this is good practice all the time, it’s especially important in the winter when air pressure and temperatures are at their extremes. Good traction is especially important in the winter, and keeping in line with pressure guidelines helps tires maintain their grip
- Be consistent. If you choose to use winter tires, use them on all four wheels. Inconsistent traction can be dangerous and can lead to sliding and skidding
- Keep cool. Store your all-season tires in a cool, dry place. Pile them up to four high, but don’t stack them tread side down
- Replace and recycle. Part of safe winter driving is knowing when your tires have outlived their lifespan. Replace winter tires every two-to-three seasons, and drop-off up to 4 used tires free at a registered Ontario Tire Stewardship collector. Collectors are stationed all over Ontario, and drop-off is easy.