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Here's How to Properly Take Care of Your Tires

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Properly Take Care of Your Tires
Image: Andrea Piacquadio (RatedRadarDetector)

What You’ll Need:
Jack Stands | $59 | Amazon
Digital Tire Pressure Gauge | $11 | Amazon
Portable Air Compressor | $20 | Amazon
Tread Depth Gauage | $5 | Amazon

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According to Consumer Reports, tires on average range from $137 on small cars to $187 for large SUVs and sports cars. Tires are not just expensive, they are also vitally necessary for the safe operation of a car. However, there are some fairly simple ways you can maintain your tires and help them last as long as humanly possible.

Rotations

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Properly Take Care of Your Tires
Image: Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels)
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Recommended by most car manufacturers every 6,000 miles, rotating your tires helps them maintain even wear. Depending on where you bought your tires from, you might get tire rotations for free. If not, many repair shops include the service with a standard oil change purchase.

With a jack and stands, you can also attempt to do this on your own in your driveway. While it might not be worth your time, you might learn something by trying it out.

Tire Pressure

Illustration for article titled Heres How to Properly Take Care of Your Tires
Image: Amazon Basics

Making sure your tires are properly inflated is a major part of proper tire care. That means checking your tire pressure at least once a month and inflating your tires when needed.

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Over inflating your tires will cause rapid wear on the center of your tires. If your tires are under-inflated, the outer edges of your tires will wear. Checking your tire pressure and then inflating carefully will help avoid this wear. Make sure to check it first thing in the morning or after the car has been sitting for a few hours.

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Alignments

Alignments are more important than most people think. Tires are supposed to run parallel to the ground. As you drive, hitting potholes and maybe even curbs, you may slightly nudge your tires out of place.

Getting an alignment annually will help make sure your tires don’t wear prematurely. This will help extend the life of your tires as well.

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Illustration for article titled Heres How to Properly Take Care of Your Tires
Image: Steelman

The bottom line is that paying attention to your tires every once in a while will help you get the most of your tires. But how will you know when it’s time to replace them? I love my trusted tread depth gauge. You could use the penny trick, but this $5 tool is more precise and easy to use.

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Chaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, writer and speaker who's made it her mission empower the average driver. She believes that anything is possible and can be done on your own terms.

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