Driving on any tire that does not have the correct inflation pressure is dangerous. Recent research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates about 30% of cars and light trucks have at least one tire under-inflated by 8 psi or more (DOT HS 809 317). Under-inflated tires and overloaded vehicles are the leading cause of tire failure. It is extremely difficult to tell just by looking at your tires if they are properly inflated.
Purchase an accurate tire gauge and check your tire pressures at least once a month along with their overall condition. Proper inflation pressure for your tires may be found in the vehicle owner's manual or the vehicle's tire information placard. If you have changed your tire size, ask the tire dealer for the new recommended inflation pressure. Never exceed the maximum pressure indicated on the tire sidewall.
Making sure that your vehicle is operating with properly inflated tires will make you safer on the highways and increase fuel savings.
Where To Find The Correct OE Inflation Pressure
You will find the original equipment (OE) recommended pressure on a placard or sticker in the door jam, glove compartment or near the gas cap. If your vehicle does not have a placard, check the owner's manual or consult the vehicle manufacturer, tire manufacturer, or your local tire dealer. The tire placard tells you the maximum vehicle load, the cold tire pressure, and the tire size recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Air pressures may be different for front and rear tires. If your vehicle no longer is equipped with the OE size tires, consult your Toyo dealer for proper inflation information.
When To Check Tire Pressure
Check inflation pressure, including the spare, at least once a month and before every long road trip. Tires must be checked when they are cold which means you have driven less than one mile on them. If you must drive over a mile for air, measure and record the under-inflation amount of each tire. Upon arriving at the service station, measure each tire's inflation again and if the pressure has increased, adjust the amount of additional air pressure needed. For example, if cold pressure should be 35 PSI, but cold pressure was 28 PSI, and current pressure is 33 PSI, you should inflate the warm tires to 40 PSI and recheck them again when cold.
How Do Tires Lose Pressure?
Tires lose pressure naturally through the process of permeation or, air passing through the pores of the tire. Changes in outdoor temperature can affect the rate at which tires lose air. This change is more pronounced in hot weather. Generally speaking, a tire will lose one or two pounds of air pressure per month in cool weather and even more in hot weather. Remember, underinflation is the leading cause of tire failure, so check inflation pressure regularly.
- Never "bleed" or reduce air pressure when tires are hot. It is normal for pressures to build up as a result of driving.
- Make sure all tire valves and extensions are equipped with valve caps with rubber gaskets to keep out dirt and moisture. Have a new valve stem assembly installed whenever a tire is replaced.
Using Your Spare
Most vehicles come equipped with a temporary spare. These tires are usually much smaller than the other tires on your car. It is important to realize that these spares have far more limitations than a typical tire, including speed and recommended driving distance. Some spare tires even require the use of a special canister to inflate the tire.
You should familiarize yourself with the spare by reading the owner's manual and the sidewall of the spare. And remember to check the air pressure of your spare frequently.
The purpose of regularly rotating tires is to achieve more uniform wear for all tires on a vehicle. Rotation is important because each tire on a car carries a different amount of weight, making them wear at different rates. By rotating them, you basically even out those differences. Follow your vehicle owner's manual for tire rotation intervals. Our Limited Warranty recommends rotating your Toyo tires every 3,500 miles or less for high performance (low profile) tires and every 7,500 miles or less for standard passenger and light truck tires. More frequent rotation or a thorough vehicle inspection may be necessary if upon inspection you see signs of uneven wear.
If your tires show uneven wear, ask your Toyo Tires dealer to check and correct any misalignment, imbalance or other mechanical problem before rotating the tires.
After rotation, adjust individual tire air pressures. See the proper inflation section for details.
Popular Rotation Patterns
The following are popular rotation patterns. However, some tires cannot be rotated according to popular patterns. Such tires include uni-directional tires with asymmetric tread designs. Also, some vehicles may have different sized tires mounted on the front and rear axles, and these different sized tires may also have rotation restrictions. Check your owner's manual or visit your Toyo tire dealer for recommendations for these special cases.
You may have noticed small metallic weights placed on the rim of your tire. These weights are applied to balance the wheel and tire assembly when one or both lack uniformity. Quality-made tires with higher uniformity require fewer wheel weights. An unbalanced wheel and tire assembly can generate severe vibration which you will feel in your steering wheel. It can also lead to irregular treadwear and shorten the life of your tire.
It is important to note, alloy wheels can be damaged with the use of standard weights and may require the use of a coated weight. See your Toyo Tires dealer for more information.
Proper alignment is essential for optimum performance and maximum tire life.
Misalignment in the front or rear, improperly operating brakes or shock absorbers, bent wheels, worn bushings, and any other mechanical problems can cause uneven and rapid treadwear. See your Toyo Tires dealer to correct any of these issues immediately.
It is also important to note that front-wheel-drive vehicles and those with independent rear suspensions require special attention, and alignment should be checked periodically.
And finally, a bad jolt - such as hitting a pothole - can throw your vehicle out of alignment. Such an impact can also bend the rim, causing a loss of air pressure and damage to your tires with little or no visible evidence present. If this happens, see your Toyo Tires dealer for a tire inspection.
At least once a month, inspect your tires closely for signs of tire damage such as cuts or punctures as well as uneven or excessive wear.
When inspecting your tires, you should also look for any stones, bits of glass, metal, or other foreign objects in the tread or sidewall. These may work deeper into the tire and cause air loss. If any tire continually needs more air, have your Toyo Tires dealer check to find out why it is leaking. Damage to the tire, wheel, or valve may be the problem.
Tire Damage - Repair or Replace?
Which types of tire injuries are serviceable? The answer to that question depends upon the injury itself.
Air loss due to punctures can ruin tires that might have been saved had they been removed in time for proper repair. Gradual air loss causes a tire's operating temperature to rise, which can cause some components to separate, or damage the tire body in ways that create rapid, or sudden air loss.
To be safe, a Toyo Tires dealer should evaluate every injury, including punctures, scrapes, bulges, separations, or cuts.
When the tread is worn down to 2/32nds, or one-sixteenth of an inch, the tire is worn out and it is time to replace it. Built-in treadwear indicators, or "wear bars," which look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread, will appear on the tire when that point of wear is reached.
Tires must be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch in order to prevent skidding and hydroplaning. An easy test: place a penny into a tread groove, with the Queen going in head first. If the top of the Queen's head is covered by tread, you're driving with the proper amount of tread. If you can see the top of her head, it's time to replace the tire.
Improper inflation pressures, misalignment, improper balance, or suspension neglect may cause uneven wear patterns. If not corrected, further tire damage will occur. If you discover uneven wear, take your car to your nearest Toyo Tires dealer. In many instances, the dealer can correct the problem so you can continue to use your tires.