You’re driving with your significant other on a Valentine’s Day date only to have an icon light up on your instrument panel indicating a flat tire. You need to pull over and change it out. There goes your romantic evening.
We can all expect the unexpected in life, but some problems are avoidable. To reduce the chance of this scenario playing out on your romantic outing (whether on Valentine’s Day or some future date), make sure to check your tires before you head out. Your tires might be low on air pressure, or they may need to be rotated or be aligned. Your tires may even be bald and need to be replaced. Taking your car to a tire professional regularly can help ensure that your tires will be in good condition every time you venture out.
Tire professionals can assist you with the following important services:
- Tire pressure – This is the most basic tire maintenance step. Manufacturers will recommend a different tire pressure depending on the make and model of the car. The optimal pressure range is usually printed in the car’s owner’s manual. Drivers need to be aware of that range and make sure their tires stay within it. It is normal for tires to lose pressure over time. Even if your tire is new, it will lose approximately 1 pound per square inch each month. Thus, it is critical to regularly check and top off the air in your tires. The best time to check your tire’s air pressure is after it has been resting for about three hours.
- Tire rotation – When your tires are rotated, each tire is removed from the car and rotated to a different position. This is done to ensure that the tires will wear evenly and last longer. Tires need to be rotated every six months or every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Tire alignment – Tire alignment involves making adjustments to your car’s suspension. The suspension is the system that connects the car to its wheels. The purpose of alignment is to adjust the angles of the tires that will affect how they make contact with the road. Properly aligned tires will wear evenly, extending the life of the tire.
- Tire replacement – No matter how well you maintain your car, the standard wear and tear of travel will reduce the life of your wheels. Speeding and quick stops are especially hard on tires. When your tires are nearing the end of their life expectancy, it is important to replace them. Driving with worn tires could be dangerous.
There’s no good time to break down on the road, but it’s especially embarrassing in the company of your sweetheart. To avoid Valentine’s Day disasters, take your car to a tire professional for a quick checkup.