As we head into a brand new year we find ourselves thinking about starting or getting back into some good habits. For 2015, why not add a commitment to car care to your list? Not only does good car and tire care make sense for protecting and prolonging the life of your vehicle and tires, it also means that you and your passengers will be safer on the road.
Here is my suggested list of simple car and tire care actions:
Check Tire Pressure & Tread Depth
At least once a month, make it a point to check your tire pressure. You can find the proper pressure for your vehicle’s tires listed in your owner’s manual. Keep in mind that the maximum pressure is not the same as the recommended pressure. Don’t forget to also check the pressure of your spare tire.
Two or three times a year you can check the tread depth by using the penny test. Hold a penny so you can read “In God We Trust” across the top. Insert it into five different sections of the tire and look at Lincoln’s head. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your treads are excessively worn, and it is time for a new set of tires. If Abe’s head is covered to about the forehead hairline, the tread is in good shape and you probably do not need new tires.
Tire Balancing & Rotation
Tire balancing and rotation should be part of your regular service and done according to your owner’s manual recommended schedule. Tire balancing provides a smooth ride and assures even tire wear by properly adjusting the wheel weight distribution around the vehicle. Tire rotation is an important maintenance step that will greatly extend the life of your tires. Manufacturers have specific recommendations, so it is advisable to refer to your owner’s manual tire rotation guidelines to ensure proper tread wear.
Keep Up on Regular Maintenance
To keep your car running properly and performing at peak levels, it is essential to stay up-to-date with recommended regular maintenance services. Like us, our vehicles need regular check-ups to maintain good health and catch potential problems before they become serious issues. The following is a list of typical services – consult your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s recommended services and frequency.
- Coolant Flush and Replacement
- Oil Change
- Fluid Checks – Power Steering and Brake
- Brake Inspection
- Check Belts & Hoses
- Filters – Air and Fuel
- Battery & Cables
- Exhaust System
- Windshield Washer Fluid & Wiper Blades
Once you establish a solid car care routine, you can drive with added confidence that you are traveling safely and cost efficiently wherever the road takes you. Happy New Year!