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Upkeep on one’s tires can save money

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:40 a.m. CDT

When it comes to retail shopping, many people are happy to spend their money, but when it comes to tires ... not so much.

Every vehicle needs tires, but when it comes time to replace one, the others seem to need replacement as well. Although replacement will eventually happen, be sure to follow these simple tests to ensure that tire replacement is the best option:

The penny test: Turn a penny with Lincoln’s head facing upside down in the groove of the tire. If the top of Lincoln’s head can be seen, it may be time to replace the tire.

Tire inflation: Not only will over- or under-inflating tires affects one’s gas mileage, it can often lead to a misconception about tire replacement.

When the weather warms up, be sure to check your tires. The heat can cause air molecules to expand. If your vehicle does not have an automatic tire pressure reader on the dashboard, be sure to check your tire pressure about once a month.

Tire alignment: This test is fairly simple; when traveling let go of the wheel for a few seconds and see if your car drifts in either direction. If your car drifts, it more than likely means your vehicle’s alignment needs to be adjusted.

If left untreated, it can affect one’s tires. The reasoning for this is the constant drift causes strain on only a certain part of the tire. Consult your mechanic if you suspect your alignment is off.

Surprisingly, one of the most common reasons for replacement is tire punctures. Usually, stores can plug the tire with a substance, but sometimes the puncture can be so severe that a new tire is the only option.

There are several products on the market that can prevent this. One of the most successful products is called Slime. It is a green slime that can both plug and prevent tire deflation due to punctures and minimize air loss with a sealant.

Slime can be used in almost any tire product. To properly use the sealant, one must deflate one’s tire and fill it with the recommended amount of sealant.

Once this is completed, fill the tire back up, and you are done. The sealant reacts to any air puncture by filling the tire once a leak is detected.

If a spill occurs, cleanup is easy. Just wash the inside of the tire and wipe away.

Prices vary on the size of the product, but it can be worth it. It not only saves time, but money.

If purchasing a tire is the only option, be sure to find a knowledgable salesman,. The best way to ensure that you are getting a tire best suited for your vehicle is by purchasing the tire at the original dealership. The salesperson more than likely wants to keep his or her clients happy, and you maybe surprised on how helpful the dealership can be.

If you have any doubt on a tire related question, be sure to check out your owner’s manual and information placard. The placard is located on the vehicle’s door edge, door post, glove compartment door or inside the vehicle’s trunk lid.

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