Inspecting tires, Carlson Auto


When you own a car, inspecting tires regularly is important for the overall performance and safety of your vehicle. The tires are the only part of the vehicle that makes contact with the surface of the road, so you will want them to be in as ideal of condition as possible. If you start to notice that the vehicle pulls in a certain direction, the tires could cause it. Remember to check the tread, air pressure, and condition of the tires on a regular basis. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the tires for you.


You should always set your tires to the pressure specified in your vehicle’s owner manual or tire information placard. If you drive on the tires when they are under inflated, it can lead to damage to the tire, and risk damaging the rims. Over inflated tires are more prone to picking up sharp objects like a nail on the road. Inspecting tires regularly will help increase the chance you notice an issue before it turns into a larger problem.


Remember to check and adjust your tire pressure first thing in the morning before driving on them. Temperature differences affect your tire pressure. Cold winter weather may cause your pressure to drop. Although you should check your tire pressure periodically as part of good vehicle maintenance, it is exceptionally important to check it when the season changes.

Always check your tires with a good quality tire pressure gauge. Many vehicles come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system. Generally, this system will alert you if your tires are losing air or are below the recommended pressure. You should never try to visually estimate your tires inflation pressure. We recommend keeping a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment, even if you have a TPMS built into your vehicle, as sometimes the system could fail. This will ensure you are getting a consistent reading each time rather than using multiple gauges at different gas or service stations.

Overinflated tires are rigid and stiff causing the tire’s contact patch to be reduced. That leads to a harder ride as well as uneven tread wear. The most common type of uneven tread wear due to over inflation is referred to as center wear. Exactly what it sounds like, the center of the tire will be smooth and worn down while there will be more tread on the sides of the tire. Due to the rigidity of an overinflated tire, it can be more easily damaged by everyday road hazards such as potholes and imperfections in the road.

Underinflated tires do not hold their shape and are flatter to the ground. Therefore, more of the tire comes in contact with the road, causing the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. That is referred to as shoulder wear. There will be a strip of normal tread down the center of the tire while the shoulders of the tire will be smooth and worn down. Underinflated tires are more flexible when they roll, leading to increased rolling resistance and therefore a decrease in fuel economy. If the tires can no longer hold the correct amount of air, then they will need to be replaced. When inspecting tires, if you notice an issue with the tires, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as possible, so we can inspect it for you.