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All You Need to Know About Tire Safety
Tires are one of the most hugely underestimated aspects of a car by regular drivers. It’s easy to forget that a car only interacts with the ground through four small contact patches on the tires—in other words, every change of direction and speed caused by either you or the environment is both felt and influenced by the tires. That’s a big responsibility to have, and it’s why responsible car owners should always ensure their tires are up to snuff.

Checking for Wear and Tear

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The first and easiest way to check if your tires are in good shape is to look at the tread—and all it takes is a penny. Insert the penny into a tread groove—if you can see above the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires are worn dangerously low and it’s time to shop for new ones.

The rest of the wear-and-tear examination requires only your eyes. If tread is worn mostly on one edge rather than evenly, this suggests the wheels are out of alignment. If the wear is erratic, the wheel is out of balance, and the suspension may need to be looked at.

Checking Inflation

The pressure inside a tire slowly decreases as it is used and can also fluctuate based on temperature. Underinflated tires lead to increased wear and reduced fuel economy, while overinflated tires are at higher risk of bursting. Check your cold tire pressures regularly and adjust them based on the recommended values in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.

What to Look for While Driving

Sometimes it’s easier to feel rather than see tire problems. If the car pulls to one side while driving at a steady speed, this suggests the tire on the side of the car to which it pulls is underinflated or damaged. If you feel unusual vibrations or a thumping noise, this suggests a tire is out of balance or flat-spotted—in the latter case, this would have been caused by locking the wheels in a panic stop and would be easy to identify.
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Here at Nissan of Lake Charles, we want to make sure that your vehicle and you are kept safe. Tires are an important aspect of your vehicle and we hope that this helps you better understand how your tires work and what you can do to keep them runner better, longer. For more questions about tire or other parts of your vehicle, contact our Service or Parts Department for more information. We proudly serve the Lake Charles area including Opelousas, Jennings, Lafayette, Sulphur and even Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas!  
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