Tire care advice from Allied auto insurance

Caring for your car's tires doesn't require you to reinvent the wheel. It's simple, easy and takes only a few minutes a month. Proper tire care can often mean the difference between arriving at your destination safely and finding yourself on the side of the road with a flat – or worse.

Here are a few tire care tips for checking and maintaining safe tires, courtesy of Allied and the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

Pressure is important

The number one tire care tip is to maintain proper air pressure in your tires. Underinflation can result in tire failure. It can also lead to irregular wear, unnecessary tire stress, a hard-to-control vehicle and even accidents.

A tire can lose up to half of its air pressure without appearing to be flat, so it's important to check your tire pressure regularly. When checking pressure, make sure the tires are cool and have not been driven on recently. If they need air, the proper pressure levels are often posted on the tire or your vehicle's door, glove box or fuel door.

Rotate regularly

Have your tires rotated regularly so they wear evenly. Consult your owner's manual, tire dealer or the manufacturer for rotation recommendations and rotation patterns. If there are no specific recommendations for rotation, tires should be rotated roughly every 5,000 miles.

Alignment issues

Poor alignment can cause uneven and rapid tread wear to your tires. Have your alignment and tire balance checked periodically as specified in your owner's manual for optimal tire care. Shaking, vibrating and the tendency of your vehicle to "pull" in one direction are all signs of misalignment.

Check your tread

Here's a simple tire care rule to ensure your safety. Once the tread on your tires is worn down to 1/16 of an inch, they should be replaced because they can no longer grip the road in bad weather. The manufacturer reminds you of this with built-in tread wear indicators, sometimes called "wear bars", which become visible on your tires when the tread reach 1/16 of an inch. These "wear bars" look like narrow strips of smooth rubber.

You can also use a penny to test your tread manually. Simply place the penny into the tread groove. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, you're tread is generally considered in good condition. If you can see his whole head, your tires should probably be replaced.

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Source: Rubber Manufacturers Association

Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Allied-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverage, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.