Tire Maintenance FAQ

Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac of Bellingham

How Frequently Should I Look at Tire Pressure and Tread Depth?

You are encouraged to frequently look at your vehicle's tire pressure because all tires will lose pressure as time goes by, during both warm and cold temperature months. Climate is not the only element that results in a reduction in pressure either. Altitude variations, flexing and tire wall impacts will slowly decrease air pressure. The most suitable process for optimal tire care should be to check tire pressure every alternate trip to the gas station. With regards to tread depth, you should examine that every time you change your oil and you should rotate your tires every other oil change as a way to extend the life of your tires. Rotating your tires every 6 to 8 thousand miles can help sustain a level tread wear through the life of the tire.

What Are Ideal Tire Pressure and Tread Depth Levels?

Optimal tire pressure ranges will change by tire size and type. You'll find the suitable air pressure level outlined within your vehicle owner’s manual or on the tire placard, which is usually mounted on your vehicle’s door edge, glove box or fuel door. Most tires will also have an ideal PSI scale etched on the tire sidewall. Concerning tread depth, your tire is considered to be at the end of its life when the tread is worn down to about 2/32 inches.

Just How Do I Check Tire Tread Wear On My GM Vehicle?

  • Do the penny test. Place a penny inside your tire's tread with Lincoln's head inverted. If you can see all of Lincoln's head, you should buy new tires. 
  •  Or perform the quarter test. In the event the tread touches Washington's head, you possess not less than 4/32 inch of tread left over and you should begin monitoring your tires closely.
  • Finally, you can check tread depth by your tire's indicator bar. The indicator bars are normally found at the base of the tread grooves. Any time these indicator bars come to be visibly flush with the adjacent ribs, this can be a visible warning sign that the tire needs to be replaced. 

Exactly how Do I Assess Tire Pressure?

  • First. Get yourself a tire pressure gauge. The gauges mounted on air hoses and compressors at service stations commonly are not as reliable as handheld gauges due to a lack of upkeep and excessive use. The cheaper metal dial tire gauges will be adequate to get a decent reading of tire pressure. 
  • Second. Know it's best to check tires when they're cold; cold means they have been sitting for a while. Driving warms up tires and causes air to expand. 
  • Third. Remove the tire valve cap and put the tire gauge securely on top of the valve. This will push the air through the gauge, producing a reading. 
  • Fourth. Compare the reading to your pressure guidelines and then refill your tire with air as needed.