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Tire Safety Tips

Do you know what condition your tires are in? Tire maintenance is essential to ensure your vehicle is operating at its best. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 11,000 accidents occur annually because of “bad tires.” With fall and winter right around the corner and weather changing rapidly, make sure your tires are prepared for all road conditions by following these tips for taking care of your vehicle's tires:

1. Check your tire's pounds per square inch, or PSI, regularly. Experts recommend checking each of your tire's pressure at least once a month and after cold fronts. Underinflation is a tire's No. 1 enemy because it can cause damage that may lead to tire failure. Overinflating can also be harmful, causing uneven wear as well as handling and stopping problems. Check your tires by using your personal tire gauge. Recommended PSI can be found on your tires, on the printed label located on the driver's doorframe, or in the glovebox. 

2. Measure your tires' tread health with some assistance from Abraham Lincoln! To check to see if your tire tread is too shallow, insert a penny upside down into the groves on your tire tread. If any part of Lincoln's head is hidden by the tread, your tires are fine. Tire treads that are too shallow will not allow your vehicle to properly handle weather conditions like rain and snow.

3. Avoid overheating your tires. High tire temperature is caused by high speeds, heavy loads, underinflation, coarse pavement or concrete, and aggressive driving. To maximize tire life and safety, it is important to minimize these factors that contribute to high tire temperature.

4. Replace your tires on time and correctly. For your vehicle's anti-lock brake systems, or ABS, to operate properly, your vehicle must be on balanced, healthy tires. When replacing, tires should either be installed in front and rear pairs or as complete sets. To get the most out of your tires, rotate them every 6,000 miles. Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that you replace your tires every six years, regardless of tread wear. While most tire manufacturers recommend that you replace your tires at 10 years, tire selection should be based on the correct size recommended for the vehicle and its load recommendations. Consult with a knowledgeable tire or auto dealer about selecting the proper tires for your typical driving patterns.

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