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You may not give your car’s tires much attention, but perhaps you should. Consider the fact that what amounts to four patches of rubber smaller than a dollar bill are responsible for accelerating, steering and stopping a vehicle that can weigh 3,000 pounds or more.

Fortunately, ensuring that your current set of tires is up to speed, so to speak, is a relatively easy task.

1. Start with a visual inspection of each tire. Most car-care experts recommend check ups each month and before long road trips. Inspect them for uneven wear, cracks, foreign objects or signs of damage. Remove bits of glass and other foreign objects that may have become wedged in the tread. Ensure each of the tire valves has a valve cap.

2. Check the air pressure in each tire regularly using a good quality tire gauge. If your car came with an onboard tire pressure indicator that gives an exact reading at all four corners, so much the better. If it only has a low-pressure alert, don’t wait for a warning light to flash to go out and check each tire.

Driving with incorrect tire pressures can adversely affect a vehicle’s handling and braking. It can also lead to uneven or premature tire wear, and be detrimental to a car’s fuel economy. Be sure to check the spare tire as well.

3. Always keep your tires inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommended “psi,” or pounds per square inch. Proper inflation levels can be found in a car’s owner’s manual as well as on a sticker affixed to the inside of the driver’s door. Note that this differs from the inflation number indicated on a tire’s sidewall, which is the maximum pressure the tire can support. Depending on the model, the recommended pressure for the front tires may be slightly different than for the rear set.

Check the pressure after the car has been sitting for a few hours – first thing in the morning works best. You get a more accurate reading from a “cold” tire, as the friction and heat created by driving tends to increase tire pressure a bit.

4. Be sure not to exceed the tires’ load capacity as stated on the sidewalls; this is especially important with trucks and large SUVs used for towing and hauling purposes. Over-burdened tires can build up excessive heat that could lead to sudden destruction.

Likewise, watch your speed. Slow down if you have to go over a pothole, broken pavement or other object in the road. Avoid running over curbs, and try not to strike the curb when parking.

5. Have the tires rotated by a technician according to the service interval noted in the car’s owner’s manual. Experts recommend having this done every 3,000-5,000 miles to help extend and equalize the treadwear on all four tires.

Be aware, however, that some models (usually performance cars) use different sized tires at the front and rear, which limits the rotating process to left-right swaps. If your car uses so-called “directional” tires of the same size, this would limit rotation to only front-rear swaps.

6. Get your tires replaced as soon as a series of horizontal warning bands appear across the tread. Otherwise, you can see how close you’re getting by placing a penny into a tire’s tread grooves – if you can the very top of Lincoln’s head it’s time to go tire shopping. If one tire is damaged, it’s best to replace them in pairs.

While it’s prudent to purchase the same type, size and brand that originally came with the car, astute shoppers can customize the performance of their vehicles in certain respects by choosing a different type of tire.

To find the best replacement tires for your vehicle and budget, consult the experienced technicians at Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care.

For more than 55 years, the experts at Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care have been serving the Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley and Sierra Vista communities. Whether you’re looking for new tires or need repairs, the team at Jack Furrier is here to service your vehicle’s needs. They were even voted “Best Auto Repair Shop,” “Best Tire Store,” “Best Locally Owned Business” and “Best Customer Service” in the Arizona Daily Star’s 2016 Reader’s Choice awards.

To find the Jack Furrier Tire and Auto Care location nearest you, visit JackFurriers.com.

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