How to maintain your tires

24 October 2015

How to maintain your tires





Check your tire pressure monthly.


Rotate your tires as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or every 5, 000 miles


Routinely look for signs of tread wear or damage.

Follow this easy step-by-step checklist to maintain all tires, including the spare.

Tire Pressure Basics                                                      Tire can lose 1 psi (pound per square inch) per month under normal conditions. Additionally, tires can lose 1 psi for every 10 F temperature drop.

Just a look won’t do it. One of these tires is actually 10psi underinflated. Your eyes can deceive you, so rely on a good tire gauge for an accurate reading.

Look for the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure listed on the sticker of your vehicle’s door jamb or owner’s manual. Example:

This chart shows you how underinflated can create an overload on tires. Check your air pressure every month to make sure it’s up to specification, especially before long trips or when carrying extra weight.

Lower pressure increases heat. Inflated photography of tires tested at high speed. Damaging heat increases as inflated pressure drops.

Air Pressure – Monthly Check

For accuracy, check your air pressure with a tire gauge when tires are cold. Driving heats up tires and makes the reading incorrect.

  1. Remove tire valve cap.
  2. Place the end of the tire gauge over valve.
  3. Press the tire gauge straight and firmly until the scale extends.
  4. If needed, add air and recheck pressure with the tire gauge.
  5. Replace valve caps.

Tire Rotation

For maximum mileage, rotate your tires according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations (see your owner’s manual), or if not provided, rotate every 5,000 miles using a rotation pattern such as

Tire Wear— Visual Check

Check for obvious signs of wear.

Place a penny in the tire as shown.

If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the treads are worn and need replacing.


Any tire, no matter how well constructed, may fail in use as a result of punctures, impact damage, improper inflation, overloading or other conditions resulting from use or misuse. Tire failure may create a risk of property damage, serious personal injury or death. To reduce the risk of tire failure, we strongly recommend you read and follow all safety information contained in this manual.

We recommend periodic inspection and removal of any embedded objects by a qualified service person. The use of PROSEAL or SEALIX tire still requires following the important safety information contained in this manual.


Serious personal injury or death may result from a tire failure. Many tire failures are preceded by vibration, bumps, bulged or irregular wear. If a vibrations occurs while driving your vehicle or you may notice a bump, bulges or irregular wear, have your tires and vehicle evaluated by a qualified service person


It is not often that a properly maintained tire will “blowout” while you are driving. More commonly, if air is lost, it will be gradual. If you do experience a blowout or sudden tire failure, the following information should be helpful:

When the failure occurs, you may hear a loud noise, feel a vibration, and/or the vehicle may pull toward the side of the failed tire. DO NOT ABRUPTLY BRAKE OR TURN. Slowly remove your foot from the accelerator, hold the steering wheel firmly, and steer to maintain your lane position. Once the vehicle has slowed, apply the brakes gently. Gradually pull over to the shoulder and come to a stop.


Always keep the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation air pressure in all your tires, including the spare. This is an important requirement for tire safety and mileage. Your vehicle tire placard or owner’s manual will tell you the recommended cold air pressure. On some vehicles, the recommended front and rear tire pressures will be different. Your retailer will be happy to point this out to you.


Driving on tires with too little air pressure is dangerous. Your tires will get overheated. This can cause a sudden tire failure that could lead to serious personal injury or death

Under-inflation may also:

  1. Damage the tire, leading to tire failure
  2. Adversely affect vehicle handling.
  3. Reduce tire life.
  4. Increase fuel consumption



Driving on tire with too much air can be dangerous. The tires are more likely to be cut, punctured or broken by sudden impact. Serious personal injury or death could result. Consult your vehicle tire placard for the recommended inflation and your owner’s manual for other tire information.


Never inflate a tire unless it is secured to the vehicle or a tire mounting machine. Inflation an unsecured tire is dangerous. If it bursts, it could be hurled into the air with explosive forces resulting in serious personal injury or death.


  1. Check your tire air pressure, including your spare tire, at least once a month and before long trips. Be sure to use an accurate pressure gauge.
  2. Check your air pressure when the tires are “cold”. The tires are “cold” when your vehicle has been driven less than a mile at moderate speed or after being stopped for three or more hours.
  3. If you must add air when your tires are hot, add four pounds per square inch (psi) (28kPa) above the recommended cold air pressure. Recheck the inflation pressure when the tire is cold.
  4. Never release air from a hot tire in order to reach the recommended cold tire pressure. Normal driving causes tires to run hotter and air pressure to increase. If you release air while your tires are hot, you may dangerously underinflate your tires.
  5. If your tires loose more than two pounds per square inch (psi) (14kPa) per a month, the tire, the valve or wheel may be damaged. Consult your retailer for a free inspection.
  6. Check your spare tire. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for the correct inflation and use of a “temporary use” spare tire.
  7. Use valve caps to keep valve cores clean, clear of debris and to help guard against air leakage.


Driving your vehicle in an overloaded condition is dangerous. Overloading causes excessive heat to build up in your tires. This can lead to sudden tire failure and serious personal injury or death while the tire is overloaded or at some later date.



Consult your vehicle tire placard and owner’s manual for the vehicle load limits, proper tire inflation and special trailer towing instructions that apply to your vehicle and tires.

Never exceed the maximum load rating stamped on the sidewall of your tire or the maximum vehicle load rating, whichever is less. The maximum vehicle load rating (GVWR) is found on the certification label on the driver’s door.



Driving on damaged tires is dangerous. A damaged tire can suddenly fail causing serious person injury or death. Have your tire regularly inspected by your retailer for damage.


  1. After striking anything unusual in the roadway, ask your to demount the tire and inspect it for damage. A tire may not have visible signs of damage on the tire surface. Yet, the tire may suddenly fail without warning a day, a week or even months later.
  2. Inspect your tire for cuts, cracks, splits or bruises in the tread and sidewall areas. Bumps or bulges may indicate a separation within the tire body. Have your tire inspected by a qualified tire service person. It may be necessary to have it removed from the wheel for a complete inspection.
  3. Inspect your tire for adequate tread depth. When the tire is warned to the built in indicator at 2/32nd inch (1.6 mile-meters) or less tread groove depth, or the tire cord or fabric is exposed. The tire is dangerously worn and must be replaced immediately.
  4. Inspect your tire for uneven wear. Wear on one side of the tread or flat spots in the tread may indicate a problem wit the tire or vehicle. Consult your retailer.
  5. Inspect your rims also. If you have a bent or crack rim, it must be replaced.



Driving on an improperly repaired tire is dangerous. An improper repair can cause further damage to the tire. It may suddenly fail, causing serious personal injury or death. To be safe, go to your retailer for proper tire repairs.


Before having a tire repaired, tell the retailer if you have used an aerosol fixer to inflate/seal the tire. Aerosol fixers could contain a highly volatile gas. Always remove the valve core outdoor, away from sources of excessive heat, flame or sparks and completely deflate the tire before removing it from the rim for repair.

  • Never repair a tire with less than 2/32nd inch (1.6 mile-meters) tread remaining. At this tread depth, the tire is worn out and must be replaced.
  • Never repair a tire with a puncture larger than ¼ inch (6.4 milemeters) in diameter. Such tires can not be properly repaired and must be replaced.
  • Repairs of all tires (radial and Non-radial) must be of the plug and inside patch type. Using plug alone on any type of tire is not safe repair.
  • Never repair a tire with any puncture or other damaged outside the tread area. Such tires can not be properly repaired and must be replaced.
  • Any tire repair done without removing the tire from the rim is improper
  • Tubes, like tires, should be repaired only by a qualified tire service person.
  • Never use tube as a substitute for a proper repair.


A tire’s speed rating is void if the tire is repaired, retreaded, damaged or abused or otherwise altered from its original condition. Thereafter, it should be treated as a non-speed-rated tire.


Some tires, especially “touring” or “performance” tires, bear a letter “speed rating” designation indicating the tire’s design speed capability. This speed rating system in intended to allow you to compare the speed capabilities of tire.

  1. Use the ranking in the following table to compare the speed ratings of all the tires and
  2. Follow the vehicle manufacture’s recommendations, if any, concerning the use of speed rating-tires. To avoid reducing the speed-rated tire only with another tire having replace a speed-rated tire only with another tire having at least the same speed rating. Remember it’s the “top speed” of the “slowest” tire on the car which cannot be exceeded without risk of tire failure.

The letter symbols and corresponding design speeds are as follows:

Speed-Rating-Symbols                  Speed Category

M                        Up to 81 mph (130 km /h)

Q                         Up to 99 mph (160 km /h)

S                         Up to 112 mph (180 km /h)

T                         Up to 118 mph (190 km /h)

U                         Up to 124 mph (200 km /h)

H                         Up to 130 mph (210 km /h)

V (with service description)          Up to 149 mph (240 km /h)

V (no service description)              Over 130 mph (210 km /h)

W                        Up to 168 mph (270 km /h)

Y                         Up to 186 mph (299 km /h)

Z (no service description)       Over 149 mph (240 km /h)

In laboratory tests that relate to highway speeds. Reminder: Actual tire speed and performance capability depends on factors such as inflation pressure, load, tire condition, wear and driving conditions.

Although no upper limit speed is specified here, the indicated tires nonetheless have limited rated speed capability. Call 1-800-356-4644 for a referral or more technical information.

Any tire with a speed capability above 149 mph (240 km /h) can, at the tire manufacture’s option, include a “ZR” in the size designation (p275/40ZR17). If a service description is not included, the tire manufacturer must be consulted for the maximum speed capability (p275/40ZR17 –speed capability is greater than 149mph) If a service description is included with the size description, the size capability is limited by the speed symbols in the service description, (example p275/40ZR17 93w= maximum speed 168mph)

These speed rating are based on laboratory tests under specific, controlled conditions. While these tests relate to performance on the road under those conditions, remember that the real-life driving is rarely identical to any test conditions. Your tire’s actual speed capability may be less than its rated speed, since it is affected by factors such ad inflation pressure, load, prior alteration or damage, driving conditions, alignment, wear, vehicle condition and the duration for which high speed is sustained.

A tire’s speed rating becomes void if the tire is repaired, retreaded, damaged or abused, or otherwise altered from its original condition. Thereafter it should be treated as a non-speed-rated tire.

The tire’s speed rating designation appears on the tire sidewall with the tire size. Examples:

P215/65R15 88H P225/50VR16 91V 185/70SR13

In these example the “H” “V” and “S” respectively are the speed ratings (“R” indicates that the each of the example tires sizes are radials). The “88H” and “91V” in the first two examples are called “service description.”