Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2020

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Your car’s tires take a daily beating from every trip you take, big or small. Proper maintenance and care is required for you to get the most use out of your tires. Listed below are some helpful tips to protect yours and your tire’s lives:

Keep Your Tires Inflated

The most basic tip, but one of the most important is to keep your tires regularly and properly inflated. Once a month is the standard amount of time to check your air pressure, and if it is low be sure to fill up as soon as you can. Under-inflation causes a lot of unnecessary heat friction and wear on your tires. For the most accurate reading check the tire when your car hasn’t been driven that day.

This picture shows a woman changing a tire.

Table – Items to Check for Your Tire Pressure

RankWhat to Check for Proper Tire Pressure
1Check Your Tire Pressure in the Morning Before Driving
2Check Your Tire Pressure Often: Every Month at Least
3Increase PSI when Carrying Heavy Loads
4Do not Run Over-inflated or Under-inflated Tires
5Keep Your Tire Pressure Consistent All Year Round
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Rotate Tires Regularly

Regular rotation of your tires will cause your tires to wear down evenly, resulting in a longer lifetime. Different cars have different rotation patterns, so check your owner’s manual for specifics. If not specified to do otherwise, it is recommended to rotate your tires every 6,000 to 7,500 miles.

Check the Tread

In the United States the standard for legal driving is 1/16 in. of tread. You’re not required by law to have more tread, but is advised to have more if you drive in the This picture shows a person changing a tire will broken down on the side of the road.rain, and even more tread if you drive in snow. Losing traction from a preventable issue will hurt your ego and your bank account.

Keep Inflation of Tires Based on Time of Year

Due to the seasonal changing of temperatures your car will be experiencing, your tire pressure will be altered by the environment. Extreme drops in temperature can decrease your tire pressure by a few pounds depending on the severity of change. This holds true for heat increases as well.

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Oil Up Lug Nuts

Keep the sockets and nuts that hold your rims in place properly oiled. Too much will cause them to loosen, but too little will cause them to be very difficult to remove. Save yourself the headache of towing your car the next time you get a flat, and make sure you can remove the flat tire by keeping your lug nuts oiled.

Some of the Worst Things You Can do to Your Vehicle

RankWorst Thing To Do a Vehicle
1Putting off scheduled maintenance
2Ignoring the check engine light
3FAILING TO CHECK TIRE PRESSURE*
4Neglecting to change your oil on time or at all
5Not changing the fuel and air filters
6Continuing to drive your vehicle when it overheats
7Not changing transmission, brake, coolant and other fluid services
8Unqualified service center
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*This item is in all capitals since the article is about tires.

Get Alignment Checked and Fixed

Every 30,000 miles it is recommended to get your alignment checked. If the alignment is off it could cause uneven tire wear and poor handling. It is an easy fix that could save you a lot of money. It’s also easy to diagnose an improper alignment; your car will either pull to one side or the steering will feel stiff and laborious.

Check Air Valves of Compressor For Moisture

Unwanted water may sometimes enter the air compression tank that you use to air up your tires. Before you put nozzle to valve, check the valve first. It’s quite easy, simply push down on the nozzle of the compressor with your thumb, and if your thumb gets wet, don’t use that nozzle to fill up your tires.

The excess water in the air tank will go directly into your tire and could cause multiple problems. Water in your tires could cause the rim to rust from the inside, and it could cause an imbalance in your wheel while you’re moving.

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Top Tips to Keep Your Vehicle on the Road Longer

MaintenanceTip
Check and change the oilCar Engine will last longer.
Flush the cooling system and change coolant once a yearUse distilled water. Tap water will ruin the coolant system faster.
Change out transmission oilChange out at service intervals.
Wash VehicleSalt especially will eat / ruin a nice car.
Park in the shadeSunlight will ruin the interior and paint of a vehicle.
Check / Replace brake fluidWater can get into the brake lines.
Tire PressureLow pressure means tires can be ruined faster.
Engine warm upLet your engine idle for 30 secs to a minute, then drive.
Lubricate U-jointsMoving parts need to be greased.
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