Put your hand on the ground and see just how much space it covers. It’s about the same size as the contact patch for each of your tires. That small area is all that separates good traction and losing control. Does that provide a bit of perspective on why good tires are important?
Life happens, and sometimes it happens in the blink of an eye. Before you know it, your tire tread is worn down or you’ve bashed into a curb. You’ve picked up a nail on the highway or you have a shimmy in the steering wheel. Is your tire alright or do you need to get it fixed? And what is a proper tire repair?
Luckily for you, we’ve put together a tire safety checklist. For your safety and ours, check out these tire safety tips.
Check Your Tire Pressure. Your tires should always be within two or three PSI of your vehicle’s specifications. You can find that spec in your owner’s manual, on the yellow and white placard when you open the driver’s door (either on the pillar or door), and sometimes on a sticker in the glove box. Check the pressure every time you fill with fuel and correct your tire pressures if they’re off.
Make Sure Your Tread is Sufficient. Your tires will wear out eventually – that’s just a cold, hard fact. Do the penny test to see if they’re finished or not. Simply put a penny in between the tread blocks on your tire with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If the top of his head is covered, your tires have at least 2/32nds of an inch remaining tread. If you see the top of his head above the tread, they’re done. When they’re worn out, there’s no point in waiting to replace them. One of the most important tire safety tips is this: replace worn out tires immediately.
Look for Even Treadwear. Regularly inspect your tires for even tread depths. Have your tires rotated every 6-8,000 miles as routine maintenance. If you notice one of your tires is wearing out faster than the others, have it checked out! It could be telling you a wheel alignment is required or you have steering or suspension issues.
Patch Leaky Tires. Nothing is more annoying than coming out in the morning to a flat tire, especially when you know you have a tire leak. If you have to add air regularly to your tires, have them inspected and patched properly.
Replace Damaged Tires. If you see damage on the side of your tires – a big goose egg, a slice, or a foreign object sticking out – forget a tire repair. No tire patch can fix a sidewall leak, and a bubble or cut can blow out without warning. Cut your losses and stay tire safe. Replace damaged tires ASAP.
Never Drive on a Flat Tire. A common question – “is it safe to drive on a flat tire?” The answer is NO. Even if you drive just a short distance at slow speeds, your flat tire is going to be destroyed inside. On top of that, it’s incredibly hard to control a car with a flat tire.
It’s a SPARE tire, Not a Long-term Replacement. If you’ve had a flat tire and you’ve put the compact spare tire on, it’s already time for it to come off. Compact spare tires, known as donuts, are strictly meant for temporary use. Most even state on the wheel on a big yellow sticker that it should only be used for 50 miles. And if you’re wondering how fast you can drive on a spare tire, keep reading the sticker: MAX 50 miles per hour on a compact spare. If it’s a full-size spare, drive like you normally would.
Are Tire Plugs Safe?
The proper tire repair according to the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association is a combination plug-patch repair. It’s a procedure done on the inside of the tire, which is how MM Tires performs a tire repair. Completed properly, it’s totally safe.
If you’re asking about tire plug kits that you might find at the discount store parts bins, they’re NOT approved repairs. That style of repair might be used in an emergency or for off-road use, but it’s not meant for your car! If it’s used temporarily, it should be replaced with a proper tire repair as soon as possible.
We know, tire problems are always inconvenient. And even though your tire leak or replacement can set you back time and money, MM Tires is your best solution in Rockland County. All it takes is one phone call and we will come to your rescue, whether at home, work, or the side of the road. We have competitive prices, top-rated service, and the most convenient solution to any tire problems you have.