Tire Tips At Toyota Vacaville, CA

Like many people, it may have been a while since you have thought about all of the things your tires do for you. They are the first line of defense in controlling your vehicle, absorbing impacts from imperfect roads to help with a smoother drive, and making sure your vehicle stops quickly in an emergency. Forgetting to take care of your tires probably doesn't seem like a big deal, until one blows out. Blow outs are not only annoying, but they are also dangerous. Like any other element of automotive maintenance, the more you take care of them, the longer they last. 

Toyota Vacaville has put together this convenient page of tire tips to help you information about taking care of your tires.

Keep Your Vehicle Balanced and Aligned

Making sure your tires are riding evenly is an important part of making sure your tires last you as long as possible. Wheel alignment is part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are set to the Toyota's specification. The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce tire wear, and to ensure that vehicle travel path is straight and true, without "pulling" to one side. Vehicle "pulling" can cause unnecessary wear on your tires. With the advances in todays equipment, having your balance and alignment kept in order is much easier than it used to be. Toyota Vacaville offer's great deals on such services!


Air Pressure and Nitrogen Gas

The benefit of installing Nitrogen in your tires is not so much what is put into the tires as it is about what is left out. The oxygen in the air causes the rubber to age (oxidize), and is easily permeates the sidewall causing a pressure loss of about 2 psi per month. Nitrogen is not reactive with anything (did you know most food is packaged in Nitrogen to extend its shelf life?) and is much slower to permeate the sidewall reducing the pressure loss to about 1 psi every 2-3 months. The other thing we want to leave out of the tire is the moisture in the air. The expansion and contraction of water vapor can cause a significant fluctuation in tire pressure as the temperature changes throughout the day. While there is some expansion of the dry Nitrogen, the pressure variance is reduced by about 60%.

Tire Pressure and Fuel Economy

Tire pressure is very difficult to judge by sight alone. Tires can be under-inflated 50% before it's noticeable to the eye. This is why it's so important to check your tire pressure monthly with an accurate tire gauge. Most cars newer vehicles will have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that will activate a warning light on the dashboard when your tire pressure is 25% above or below the pressure listed on your door placard. This is a warning to tell you that one or more tires are dangerously under-inflated. Tires normally lose about 2 psi per month through the sidewall and will change about 1 psi for every 10 degree change in temperature. Tire pressure can also directly effect your fuel economy. The United States Department of Energy says that properly inflated tires can add as much 3.3 percent to your vehicles’ fuel-economy scores. Under-inflated tires will have a larger than intended footprint on the road surface; making your vehicles’ engine work harder and in turn using more fuel. See the graph below.




Maintaining Your Tire Tread

The treads on your tires are the grooves between the raised portions. These grooves serve to channel water and dirt away from the surface of the tire to make sure as much of the surface is in contact with the road as possible. On average, new tires for a passenger car will have a tread depth of the 10/32 of an inch and light duty trucks/SUVs will have a tread depth of 13/32 of an inch. As you drive the treads on your tires will become more shallow, losing their effectiveness at their intended purpose. A tire will retain its effectiveness to a depth of 4 to 5/32 of an inch. Any tread depth less than that is considered a bald tire and should be replaced immediately. One major area worn treads will adversely affect in your vehicle's stopping distance. By allowing the tread to wear down beyond the 5/32 of an inch mark may cause your stopping distances to double.


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