Toyota Service Tips: How to Care for Your Car’s Tires
Tires are the single most underrated part of your vehicle. They grip the road, allowing for smooth driving that keeps you safe.
Despite their importance, few people know how to prevent tire damage. They assume their tires are good to go because they don’t hear air rushing out of them.
This is often not the case. More than 700 Americans died in tire-related crashes in 2017.
It is essential that you know how to keep your tires in good shape. Thankfully, there are some Toyota service tips you can follow. Here is your guide on maintaining your tires.
Checking Tire Pressure
The best thing you can do is check your tire pressure once a month. You should also check your pressure before and after any long road trip.
Your Toyota dealership may recommend that you keep the pressure around 30 psi. However, some manufacturers may ask for a higher or lower reading. Check your manual to find the right amount.
Pull over at a gas station with an air pump. Take out a tire gauge and press it against the tire’s valve stem.
Make sure the seal is complete. If you hear air escaping, reset the gauge and try again.
Read the gauge to see if the pressure is within recommended limits. If it is lower, inflate the tire with the air pump. If it is higher, you should release some air through the valve stem.
Check the pressure again to make sure you have it right. Keep adjusting until the level is within recommended limits.
Other Tire Maintenance Tips
Rotate your tires after 7,000 miles or so. Your front tires wear faster than your back ones, and left-side tires wear out more than right-side ones.
Switch your tires to their opposite corners. You can rotate your tires with a floor jack or go to a Toyota service shop. While at the shop, you can get new tires if you need them.
You should also check the treads on your tires. The deeper the tread, the more the tire grips the road.
Take a ruler and stick it inside the tread. If it is shorter than 4/32 of an inch, you should replace it immediately.
Align your wheels. Take a look underneath your car and make sure that the wheels are parallel to each other. They should also be perpendicular to the ground.
If your wheels are misaligned, you need to adjust your car’s suspension. You should not do this yourself, since you may damage your vehicle. Go to a Toyota service and get computerized alignment.
Consider installing studded snow tires if you are in a snowy area. These can grip snowy or icy roads and prevent your car from sliding. You can also buy summer tires with smaller grooves for warm months.
Even if you think they are fine, you should get your tires inspected every year. Take that opportunity to have a full car inspection. You may have a problem you don’t notice.
Changing a Flat Tire
Toyota offers roadside assistance programs. You can receive a tire change if you have coverage under them. You should still know how to change a flat tire, in case others cannot reach you.
Find a safe spot off of the road. Stay away from passing cars and hazards. Put on your hazard lights and activate your parking brake.
Get out of your car and apply your wheel wedges. Remove the hubcap on the flat tire and loosen its lug nuts. At this point, you can slide the jack under your car and raise it off the ground.
You can then unscrew the lug nuts entirely. Remove the flat tire, then mount the spare on top.
If the lug nuts work, tighten them back on the tire. You can attach new ones if they don’t.
Lower the vehicle until it touches the ground. Tighten the lug nuts again just to be sure that the tire fits correctly. You can then lower the vehicle all the way down and replace the hubcap.
Test the tire pressure to make sure it’s correct. If it isn’t, drive to a gas station and adjust.
Spare tires are a temporary fix. You should not use them for long distances or high speeds. Go to a Toyota dealership and get a new tire as soon as you’re free.
You can modify your driving to preserve your tires for longer periods. Drive at slower speeds and for shorter distances. Apply your brakes over a few seconds and slowly come to a stop.
Avoid driving during inclement weather. Rain, ice, and road salt can grind your tires down and reduce their tread. When you stop during a long trip, clean the tires off to decrease their wear.
Do not drive over glass, potholes, and uneven pavement. If you must, drive at slow speeds without turning. Inspect your tires for damage after you’ve passed over sharp objects.
Do not drive while carrying heavy loads. These can apply pressure on your tires, increasing their wear.
Go to a Toyota Service
You need to follow good Toyota tire maintenance. Check your tire pressure once a month. Adjust until each tire falls within the recommended limits.
Rotate your tires and make sure their tread is deep. Inspect them to make sure they are aligned and get your suspension serviced if they aren’t.
Learn how to change a flat tire. For added security, drive slower and for shorter distances.
Find the experts on tire maintenance. Universal Toyota is San Antonio’s leading Toyota service. Contact us today.