April is #NationalCarCareMonth! Preventative maintenance increases the longevity of your car AND allows for the features on your vehicle designed to keep you safe to continue to work properly.
Calspan is a world leader in automotive safety research, helping to make the roads a safer place, providing dynamic test services to manufacturers to ensure their products meet the highest safety and/or performance standards before going to market.
Calspan’s ground transportation test services includes automotive crash testing in an indoor or outdoor track setting, vehicle crash simulation with a HYGE sled for various components in a vehicle such as child restraint systems , and tire performance testing on the world’s largest indoor flat track.
Calspan’s tire test operations team would like to use #NationalCarCareMonth to share best practices to maintain your tires to stay safe on the roads. Spending a few minutes each month inspecting your tires can help improve your vehicle’s performance on the roads and help to protect you and your passengers.
Rotate & Inflate – Tires should be inflated to a predetermined PSI to maintain peak performance. Monitoring the PSI level in your tires regularly is important as they tend to lose about 1 PSI of pressure each month. To extend the life of your tires, it is also recommended to rotate your tires between every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Refer to your vehicle’s owner manual a more specific mileage range.
Inspect the tread – Tires depend on good tread condition and depth to maintain traction on the road. Best practice is to check the tread on your tires at least once a month for excessive or uneven wear. While there are tools you can use to measure the tread, a U.S. quarter can also be used to gauge how much tread is left on your tires. To measure, insert a quarter into a tread groove with the top of Washington’s head facing down. If the top of his head is not visible, your tires have at least 4/32” of tread and are fine for continued use. If you can see above the top of Washington’s head, it is time to start shopping for new tires. When measuring, check across three locations on the tire: outer edge, center, and inside edge.
Know the signs of tire wear – Inspecting where the tire’s tread is wearing out could be symptom of a problem with your tire. Ideally, the tire should be wearing down evenly with proper use. Having uneven wear on the tires may be a result of being over/under inflated, misaligned, or misbalenced. Similarly, you may notice tire wear from behind the driver’s seat if you are experiencing unusual vibrations, thumping noises, or feel a pull to one side. Be sure to investigate any of these symptoms to avoid developing bigger problems.
Calspan is home to the world’s most powerful flat track tire testing machine. Together with its highly experienced team, Calspan’s tire research facility helps innovators measure and understand tire performance and characteristics for all types of tires, including those used on automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and aircraft.
To learn more about tire testing at Calspan, click here.