As a first time car owner, it is important that you understand how to take care of your tires so that you are able to stay safe when you are on the road. Here is a quick overview of terms and information that you need to understand in order to take care of your tires properly. 

Tire Pressure

One of the terms you will run across a lot is tire pressure or psi. This is the measurement of how much air is inside of your tires. Each vehicle has a specific psi that the tires should be kept at. 

You can measure the psi of your vehicle with a psi gauge. You can pick one of these up at your local auto parts store. To use it you will take the cap off your tire, and press the gauge right up against the cap. Air will flow into the gauge and provide you with a measurement. 

If the number is below the recommended psi for your vehicle, you will need to add air to your tires. If the number is above the recommended psi, you will need to take air out of your tires. 

You can add and remove air to your tires at most gas stations that have air fill stations. Also, many oil change shops will check the pressure in your tires and adjust it for you even if you are not getting an oil change. 


The second thing you need to watch is the tread on your tires. The tread is the material on your tires that makes contact with the surface of the road. The tread on your tires needs to be thick enough to maintain tracking with the road. One of the easiest ways to see if the tread on your tires is too worn out is by performing the penny test.

How the tread on your tires wears can tell you a lot about the health of your tires. When your tires are filled with too much air, tires tend to wear too much in the middle. When your tires are under-filled, your tires will wear more on the outside edge. If your tires do not look like they are wearing correctly, the first thing you need to do is check your tire pressure. 

Tire Rotation

The third term you need to understand is tire rotation. Your vehicle puts different amounts of pressure on your rear and front tires, which over times can cause your front and back tires to wear at different rates, especially if you have a front or rear wheel drive car. 

If you want your tires to wear out at the same rate so that you are able to replace all four of them at the same time, you need to rotate your tires. When you rotate your tires, the tires from the back of your vehicle are put on the front and vice versa. Generally it is a good idea to rotate your tires after every other oil change. 

Understanding these three terms will help you take better care of your tires and will help keep you safer on the road. Talk to a local tire shop when it comes time to replace your wheels.