Category Archives: tire pressure

7 New Year’s Resolutions Your Car Wishes You Would Make

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car mechanic working on carWhat would your car say about you? Are you conscientious car owner, careful to schedule every maintenance appointment? Or do you only take care of your car when absolutely needed? If you’re the latter, we’ve compiled a list of New Year’s resolutions your car wished you would make for the New Year—for both your sakes. Here are the resolutions your car wished you would add to your list of resolutions, and keep:

I will get regular oil changes.

Your car needs regular oil changes to ensure that your engine is properly lubricated. Dirty oil from infrequent oil changes can damage your engine parts and cost you more money than a car with regular oil changes. Talk to your mechanic about how often your oil needs to be changed, schedule regular oil changes for your vehicle, and stick to your schedule.

I will check my tire pressure.

TPMS light on dashYour tires could be five pounds low, and you may not even know it. If you have a newer car, your TPMS sensor light does not typically activate until your tires are 20% (or more) underweight. The good news is it only takes a few minutes to check your tire pressure (we’ve posted directions here) and only costs you a few dollars to buy a tire pressure gauge. But wait, there’s more good news: checking your tire pressure can help your gas mileage, ensure you’re driving safely, and giving you a smoother ride.

I will get my brakes replaced.

worn brake pades & rotorsSometimes your brakes start to wear down and you don’t even know it. Other times, your brakes are squealing, growling, or making other signs that they’ve had it. Whatever signs you’re getting that you need new brakes, seize the day and get them done. You’ll be a lot safer in the New Year with new brakes.

I will pay attention to my battery.

Believe it or not, a car battery is under the most stress during the summer; but a battery can give out any time during the year. There are ways you can tell your car battery is dying, so pay attention to your car battery to make sure you’re not stranded when you’ve got places to go.

I will check my fluids regularly.

winshield washer fluidCheck your oil and windshield fluid on a regular basis. A low oil level in your car can damage your engine and wear your oil out faster; both consequences cost you more money throughout the life of your car. If you are worried that either of these fluids are leaking, or you have other suspicious spots under your car (find out what kind of fluid those spots are here), schedule an appointment so your mechanic can diagnose and fix the problem before it causes problems.

I will buy new tires.

How bad are your current tires? Can you see the tread wear indicator bars? Are you adding air to your tires every time (or every other time) you drive? If your tires are showing signs of replacement, it’s time to bite the bullet and purchase the right tires for your car (read our tips on how to choose the right tires here). Contact your local tire shop to find out what deals they offer on tires, and to schedule an appointment to get them mounted—and get you on the road.

I will find out what that nagging car problem is.

check engine light on dashIs your check engine light on? Does your car pull to the left or right? Ignoring warning lights on your dash can seem harmless, but can cause long-term damage to your car and cost you a lot of money. Don’t procrastinate with this New Year’s resolution; schedule an appointment today to get your car looked at and that nagging problem taken care of. When you car is running better, and you don’t have to worry about being stranded, you and your car can both breathe a sigh of relief.

Why should I check my tire pressure?

checking your tire pressureMaintaining your car can seem like a major pain in the butt, but it’s also vitally important since most of us spend a lot of time in our cars and/or have plans to get every mile we can out of our cars (see our tips to get your high mileage beauty in our recent blog post). In the same way, keeping your tires in peak condition so you can get every mile possible out of them may seem inconvenient, but is vitally important both for the life of your tires and your safety. Getting every mile you can out of those tires starts before you even buy your tires by selecting the right tire for your car and driving style and ends when you tires show signs that it’s time for tire replacement.

So what do you do in the middle of the process to keep those tires in good condition and you safe? There are a few things you can do, including checking for alignment issues, regular tire rotation and checking your tire pressure on a regular basis.

Why is tire pressure important?

  1. Safety. Tires with improper tire pressure can cause handling and traction issues, which are dangerous especially during our Wisconsin winters. In addition, overinflated or underinflated tires are both vulnerable to unpredicted flats, which can cause you to lose control of your car or leave you stranded on the side of the road.
  2. Saves money. An underinflated or overinflated tire can accelerate the tread wear of your tires. With an overinflated tire, less of the tread is touching the road wearing parts of your tire tread more quickly. An underinflated tire does the opposite: more of the tire is wearing down faster. Either way, a tire not wearing properly leaves you vulnerable to blown tires and more frequent tire replacement.
  3. Smooth ride. Tires with too much pressure guarantee a bumpy ride. Underinflated tires give you a softer ride, but can cause handling problems.
  4. Gas mileage. Underinflated or overinflated tires can actually cost you more over the life of your car. That’s right. Tires with too much pressure or not enough decrease your gas mileage, making you stop at the pump more often.

How do I check my tire pressure?

You can’t check tire pressure by looking at them; some tires may be down 10 pounds of air pressure and you can’t tell! The best way to check your tire pressure is by using a tire pressure gauge, or by asking your mechanic to check your tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge. Don’t forget to check your spare tire, in addition to all four tires.

  1. Get a tire pressure gauge. The good news: tire pressure gauges are pretty cheap, depending on the type you buy. (We’ve also found this great video as a reference for checking your tire pressure.)
  2. Remove the cap from the tire stem. (The tire stem is a small rubber piece sticking up from your tire.)
  3. Insert the tire pressure gauge into the tire stem. You will feel the gauge fit in there correctly. (If you have a gauge with a knob for deflation, you will know if you are using the right end if you DON’T hear air escaping.)
  4. The end of your tire pressure gauge will register a number electronically or the white numbers will rise at the other end of the tire pressure gauge.

What is the proper tire pressure for my tires?

Good question! A common misperception is that the tire pressure is on the tire. Not true! The proper PSI (pounds per square inch-tire pressure) is in your car’s owner manual or on a decal on the bottom of your door frame on the driver’s side.

How often should I check my tire pressure?

Tires can actually lose or gain pressure with the seasons. Check your tire pressure seasonally, or ask your mechanics to check your tire pressure at every oil change appointment. Another opportunity is to check your tire pressure when you take your car in to the shop to have tires rotated (if you don’t know how often that is, read our blog post).