Maintaining Your Tires
WHAT CAUSES TIRE WEAR
MEASURING TREAD DEPTH
The easiest way to check wear on your tire is with a penny. Place a penny upside down in between the tire tread as shown on the right. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the treads are worn and tire replacement is needed.
WHEN TO REPLACE TIRES
- You can see three or more tread wear indicators around the tire
- The tire cord or fabric is showing through the rubber
- The tire tread or sidewall is cracked, cut, or snagged deep enough to show cord or fabric
- The tire has a bulge or split
- The tire has a puncture, cut, or other damage that can’t be repaired correctly
Consider a wheel alignment check if there is unusual tire wear or the vehicle is significantly pulling to one side or the other. A tire that is out of balance often affects ride quality and can shorten the life of tires, bearings, shocks, and other suspension components. If the vehicle is vibrating when driving on a smooth road, the tires and wheels may need to be rebalanced.
It’s important to rotate your tires according to the correct tire-rotation pattern. Doing so will prolong the life of your tires and will reduce the risk of sudden tire failure. Front tires encounter different tasks than the rear tires. A front-wheel-drive car’s tires perform different tasks than those on a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.
Inflation pressure maintenance of tires is critical for overall tire and vehicle performance. Maintaining the correct inflation pressure allows the tire to perform as intended, including for comfort, fuel economy, stopping distance, cornering, traction, tread wear, and noise.