May 2010 Safety Tip

Tires

  • If you don't keep enough air in your tires, they can wear irregularly, which in turn can make it harder to control your car.
  • Don't eyeball your tires--use a pressure gauge.
  • Check it every week, and before trips.
  • Check the air pressure when the tires are cold.
  • The recommended pressure is usually listed on a label in the glove compartment or on the driver's side door frame.
  • The maximum inflation pressure appears on the side of the tire.
  • Keep your wheels aligned. Pay attention if your car pulls to one side or shakes.
  • Slow down if you have to drive over a pothole or debris. If you ram a curb or hit a big pothole, get your alignment checked.
  • Rotate your tires every 6,000 miles, unless the owner's manual recommends a different interval.
  • Measure the amount of tread in your tires, and inspect them every once in a while. Too little tread means less traction, especially when roads are slippery. A good rule of thumb is to insert a penny into the tread, with Lincoln's image head-first. If the top of Lincoln's head is in the groove, you still have enough.
  • Modern tires have "warning bars" that appear across the tire when it is time for replacement.
  • Don't overload your car or truck. The tire-information placard or owner's manual will have information about load limits.
  • Inspect your tires for uneven wear, cracks, and foreign objects in the tread. If you find nails, screws or rocks in the tread, remove them.
  • Make sure your tire valves are protected with valve caps.
  • If you're towing a trailer, remember that some of the weight of the trailer is transferred to your car or truck.