Your tires are four of the most important things on your vehicle — without them you go nowhere. If they are not properly maintained, you risk poor driving performance, paying out more for gasoline and being involved in an auto accident.
Three things you should know about your tires:
- Pressure: is everything and knowing how to read it, gauge it, and pump it will save you many headaches out on the road. Read your car’s manual and educate yourself on the tires you buy for it and how much pressure you need in your tires to stay safe. Essentially, the more air you put in your tires, the better off you’ll be in terms of fuel efficiency. But each tire is only designed to handle a certain amount of pressure. Look at the sides of your tires to find out what the maximum PSI is for the tire.
You can fill the tire up to the max, or just under, although most cars will have a recommended max pressure based on the weight of the vehicle itself, which is the safest measure to use. You will also lose 2% of your gas mileage for every 5 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure that you are below the manufacturers recommended pressure.
- Balance: Make sure that your wheels are properly balanced and aligned. While this isn’t really something you can do at home without specialized equipment, your local auto repair shop can easily do this for you. Keeping everything aligned and balanced means that your tires will roll as freely as possible, helping you consume less gas. While there are a lot of things you can do to save money on gas, make sure you don’t neglect looking at improving your tires since they’re the only part of your vehicle that actually touches the road.
- Size: Having the right size tire for your car affects gas mileage and helps to prevent an accident. Using steel belted tires can help you improve your gas mileage by up to 10%. And when you’re buying tires, try to find a tire that has a low rolling resistance. Wide tires and studded tires will both significantly lower your gas mileage.
A tire blowout at 65 miles an hour can force you to lose control of your car and cause a serious accident. A blowout will occur when a flat tire is so severely damaged that it loses all air pressure. This is one of the main causes of auto accidents.
The Ft. Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at the Florida Injury Law Group have seen many cases in which people have incurred personal injury driving on substandard tires. You put gas in your car and change your oil regularly — so don’t neglect your tires. Check them regularly, too. With gas prices on the rise, you want all the help you can get in improving miles per gallon. Be kind to your tires and they’ll keep you safe on the road.