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Tire Maintenance 101

You won’t get far without a good set of tires. Even on a beautifully sunny day with dry and smooth pavement well cared for tires are essential to your driving pleasure and safety.

Good tires represent a significant investment for most drivers. Caring for them properly will help you get the best possible performance out of your vehicle and reduce the likelihood that you’ll have to replace them prematurely.

Check tire pressure regularly
Most auto repair shops and dealerships will check your tire pressure when they change the oil in your car. But, tires can lose 1psi (pounds per square inch) per month or more, depending on weather and driving conditions. For this reason, it’s important for you to check your tire pressure more often than once every few thousand miles.

Keep a pressure gauge in your car. You can get a reliable one at your local auto parts store. Always check tire pressure at least three hours after you park your car. When you insert the pressure gauge into the valve stem of your tire, it will pop out and show a number.

Look inside your car door for a sticker that shows the ideal tire pressure. You may also be able to find the number in your car’s manual. Don’t worry about the numbers on the tire’s sidewall. If your tire pressure is low, add air until it matches level recommended by your car’s manufacturer.

Even if you have nitrogen in your tires, you can add air at a properly equipped gas station. It’s OK to mix oxygen and nitrogen, and it’s much better than driving on underinflated tires.

If your tires aren’t inflated to the proper level, it could affect your alignment, leading to more expensive repairs. It could also cause your tires to wear unevenly and prematurely. You’ll get the best gas mileage with tires that are inflated to the recommended level, too.

Rotate your tires

It’s not a gimmick or money-making scheme; rotating your tires helps them last longer. Your owner’s manual will have information on how and when to rotate your vehicle’s tires. Most car manufacturers say that you should rotate your car’s tires every 6,000-8,000 miles or twice each year.

Even vehicles with two rear tires should undergo tire rotation regularly. The rotation pattern varies according to your car’s drivetrain. Check with the shop where you purchased your tires to see if they offer complimentary tire rotation. This could help you save money at your auto repair shop.

How to care for your tires

Deep black, shiny tires are the perfect touch to a detailed car. There are a multitiude of products on the market to make your tires look like they just rolled off the showroom floor.

Choose tire care products that don’t contain acid, which could degrade the surface and lead to brown spots. Harsh detergents and alkalis can damage the paint on your hubcaps, as well. One highly rated product is Sonox, which is PH balanced and acid-free. It also turns pink as it works, so you know when it’s time to wipe or rinse off. Another popular option is Tire Guys Super Cleaner. It’s safe for all surfaces except instrument panels and glass, so there’s no need to worry about overspray that lands on your car’s paint. It’s also non-toxic and comes with a towel.

Keeping your car looking brand new isn’t difficult if you have the right products on hand. Take care of small scratches and scuffs with the Quixx line of products, specially designed to remove damage permanently and prevent your car’s paint from degrading. The Quixx High Performance Paint Scratch Remover is great to keep close by so you can immediately deal with small surface scratches that go through you car’s clear coat and could cause oxidation, blistering, and peeling.

You can find Quixx products at big box retailers as well as your local auto parts store or shop for them online.

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