Checking Tires Regularly Adds to Vehicle Safety

Taking good care of your vehicle’s tires will save you money and, perhaps, your life. In addition to lasting longer and helping with fuel efficiency, properly inflated and well-maintained tires support optimal handling and traction.

No matter how old or new the vehicle, its tires should be inspected monthly and always before a long trip. Look in the vehicle owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door panel to find the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. Tires not inflated to the correct pressure can be dangerous. Wear on the outside edges, which can generate excessive heat and reduce a tire’s toughness, is increased by under-inflation. In the cold winter months, under-inflated tires can be treacherous on icy, snowy roads when there’s not enough tread with contact to the pavement. In rainy weather, the risk of hydroplaning and losing control of the vehicle increases when water is not shed away from the under-inflated tires. Over-inflation increases wear on the center tread. In addition to checking for proper inflation and excessive or irregular tread wear, it’s important to watch for punctures, scrapes, cracks and bulges that could necessitate replacing a tire.

There are a couple of ways to check if your vehicle’s tires need to be replaced. New tires have a wear indicator that can be found less than an inch from the bottom of the tread groove; the tire should be replaced when the tread becomes even with this level. Another method for determining if a tire needs replacement is to insert a penny into the tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head facing out and upside down; if all of Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s time for a new tire.

“Ford performs extensive evaluations to determine which tires are best suited for each vehicle,” said Chris Gasser, service manager for Larry H. Miller Lakewood Ford. “Our tire center provides options in all approved sizes to meet most customers’ brand preferences. Driver safety is very important to us, which is why we go to great lengths to ensure the correct tire is on every vehicle.”

Driving on a flat tire, even for a short distance, can ruin it. To ensure a vehicle’s spare is ready if needed, the air pressure should be checked on a regular basis. Many newer cars come with space-saving convenience or temporary tires, also known as “spares,” meant to be used with the vehicle’s original tires. However, this type of spare should never be used on a vehicle with which it is not compatible. Also, only one convenience tire should be installed on a vehicle at the same time.

Drivers should always consult the vehicle owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations before replacing tires. A change in tire size or type can significantly affect vehicle handling. Other important facts to remember include: tires of different sizes and types should not be mixed on the same axle, a standard load (SL) tire should never be substituted for an extra load (XL) tire, and radial and non-radial tires should not be mixed on the same axle. Be sure to check with a certified technician for specifics on your tires for any clarity that is needed.
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About Larry H. Miller Dealerships
Larry H. Miller Dealerships operates 55 dealership locations under 20 different automotive brands in seven western states. The group employs more than 1,000 individuals at 11 Colorado locations, including two in Colorado Springs. Larry H. Miller began his career as a parts salesman in Denver, Colorado in 1970. He opened his first store in the state in 1987, and his dealerships now include Toyota, Ford, Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Nissan, Fiat and Volkswagen stores. For more information on Larry H. Miller Dealerships, please visit

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