In this episode of Tech Talk, Jon Hansen talks about tire basics. Watch the video or read the transcript below!
Hey guys. I’m Jon Hansen, and this is Tech Talk. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about tires and tire maintenance.
A lot of people are intimidated by tires, but they’re actually a pretty simple thing to deal with.
If you never know what your tires’ PSI needs to be, it actually shows you on a plaque inside the driver’s door. You can just walk over and view your tire size that the factory recommends, as well as the pressure that they recommend you keep them at.
To check that PSI, I would recommend keeping a tire gauge in your glove box at all times. This ensures you’re never going to run into a time that you’ve put air into a tire and don’t know what you’re doing with it.
To actually check it, you’ll just go down, find your valve stem, and take the cap off. You’re going to take your tire gauge and plug it directly onto the valve stem. It’s going to give you a reading. For instance, on this F-150 it wants you at 35 PSI; we’re all good to go here.
If you needed to adjust it, you can go to your nearest gas station or shop and they’re going to be able to provide you with some air to top that off.
If you have a tire that you top off a lot, it probably has a leak and you should get that checked out.
As far as maintaining the tread on your tires, there’s a lot of different ways to go about that.
I would recommend getting a rotation with every oil change, a balance every 15,000 miles or so, and maybe an alignment every time you get new tires.
If you have bad driving roads or conditions, or you hit a lot of potholes, you might want to do alignments more often than that.
To check the tread on those tires, a lot of people use something called the penny trick. You take the penny with the face out and with Abraham Lincoln’s head pointing down, then go down to your tire and you’re going to put him head down. If you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head over your tread you probably need new tires.
Besides that, it’s pretty simple. Stay safe, protect your investment and I’ll see you next time.
Jon works with dealerships as well as independent garages of all types and sizes. He has almost 13 years of technician experience before starting his BG career. In addition to BG, Jon does freelance writing and photography for multiple magazines on newsstands including Street Trucks Magazine, C10 Builders Magazine, and Tread Magazine.