It may come as something of a surprise to hear, but as it turns out, regularly checking the state of your vehicle’s many parts can be a wise idea.
If you can catch a bit of minor wear and tear and have it addressed in its early stages, chances are that you’ll save yourself from a breakdown or accident later down the line when the fledgling corrosion inevitably turns into full-blown damage.
And while you may be tempted to prioritize the bigger, more obvious pieces of your gas-guzzling puzzle — the engine, the brakes, the windshield — it’s important to remember that a system only thrives if it has a solid foundation to fall back on. When it comes to your car, that base is a pretty literal one, because all 3,000-plus pounds of hot metal, leather interior, and never-enough cup holders are being balanced on four pieces of rubber, and they’re being dragged across potholed surfaces at high speeds.
Tire maintenance is the name of the game, and that game is all about keeping your ride safe and your wallet (mostly) untouched. Your biggest concerns are going to be twofold:
The amount of air in your tires should be kept at a proper equilibrium, as doing so will minimize the deterioration of their tread — keeping your ride smooth, your control of the vehicle ideal, and your fuel efficiency optimal. Straying too much in one direction or the other will upset that balance and cause problems: over-inflation will give you too little contact with the road and make your car harder to handle, while under-inflation will give you too much and lead to a loss in fuel economy.
Wear: Improper pressurization will result in the accelerated and uneven erosion of your wheels. The more quickly your tires degrade, the more frequently you’ll need to replace them, and doing so isn’t likely to be cheap! Similarly, if that degradation is irregularly applied to different parts of your tires as you drive, the rougher your ride will be, and the greater the chance of an accident — from a blowout, from a loss of control, from a too-slow reaction by your vehicle — becomes.
We all rely on our cars for day-to-day life, which means that we’re racking up a lot of miles in a fairly short amount of time. While tires are designed to last, rough roads and constant acceleration are going to steadily take their toll, no matter how carefully you may drive. Why wait until the unavoidable becomes a real problem? Bringing your vehicle in for regular inspection and rotation will maximize your wheels’ lifespan (and therefore your money’s worth in inevitable replacements) and keep thing handling smoothly, reducing the risk of damage or loss to you, your passengers, and your investment in transportation.
And with that foundation solid, you’ll be able to devote more serious time and money to other auto-related projects. Like installing more cup holders.