In addition to performing regular maintenance, you must also keep an eye out for potential problems that might affect your tires.
Regular inspections can help you prevent tire trouble, and keep you safely on the move.
When inspecting your tires, look for:
Uneven tread wear - This can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear, or exposed steel wire. Uneven wear can be caused by problems such as underinflation, misalignment and improper balancing or suspension problems.
Shallow tread - Wet Grip reduces as tires wear. To help you see tread problems, tires have built in "tread wear indicators." These are narrow bars of smooth rubber that run across the tread. When the tread is nearly even with the bars, it is time to replace the tires.
Troublemakers - Check for small stones, pieces of glass, bits of metal and other foreign objects that might be wedged into the tread, and carefully pick them out. They can cause serious problems if they are pushed further into your tire as you drive.
Damaged areas - Cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes and bulges in the tread or on the sides of the tire can indicate serious problems, and the tire may need to be replaced. Seek professional advice immediately.
Slow leaks – Wheel and tire assemblies may lose some air pressure (about 2 psi) over the course of a month or so, but if you find that you have to add air every few days, have the tire, wheel and valve checked - and if necessary, repair or replace the tire.
Valve caps - Those little caps on your tire's valve stem keep moisture and dirt out, so make sure they are on all your tires. Also, when you have a tire replaced, have a new valve stem assembly installed at the same time.
Driving on a damaged tire can be dangerous. If you see something you're not sure about during your inspection, have it examined by your tire dealer.