How to Care for your Tires
On average, tires lose around one pound per square inch (psi) of pressure a month, and lose an additional 1 psi for every 10-degree drop in outside temperature.
Check your tires’ condition and pressure at least once a month for longer and better performance.
- Read the safety and roadside emergency information in your owner’s manual.
- Learn the maximum inflation pressure of each tire. This number is molded into the tire sidewall as required by the government.
- Learn the operating vehicle tire inflation pressure, which is normally lower than the maximum inflation pressure. It is found on a Certification Decal or Tire Decal, and is usually located on the driver’s door, door pillar, or in the glove box. It may also be found in the Navigation System under Vehicle Basics.
- To get an accurate pressure reading, your tires need to be read “cold,” meaning the vehicle has been parked for at least one hour in the shade. Checking in the early morning—when the ambient temperature is lowest—is optimal.
If you must check tire pressure when the tires are warm, remember that the pressures will read 4-6 psi higher than they would if checked cold.
- Remove the tire valve cap, and place the tire pressure gauge on it firmly. Make sure you don’t hear any air leaking. A digital or dial gauge should give you a reading on the screen or dial; stick-type gauges have a stick that pops out the bottom—the highest pressure shown is your current tire pressure.
- Remove the tire gauge, then remeasure twice more for accuracy.
- If the pressure is low, add air by placing the end of an air pump hose over the tire valve.
If you’re using a high-pressure air hose at a station, only fill the tire for five seconds, then stop. Lower-pressure personal air pumps can stay on for longer, especially if the tire is very low. Never leave the pump alone as it could overinflate the tire and damage it.
- Recheck the pressure. If the tire is overinflated, you can release air by pressing the valve inside the tire valve stem.
- Once you have confirmed your tire is inflated to the proper level, replace the valve cap.
- Repeat steps two through six for each of your remaining tires, including the spare.
It may be time for new tires if they are more than six years old, or if you notice any of the following signs:
- The tread has worn down to less than 3/32"
- Bulges, blisters, or bubbles
- Cracking in the tread grooves
- Punctures, cuts, snags, or separation in tire tread, shoulder, or sidewall
- Sudden loss of tire pressure
- Poor handling or traction on slippery surfaces
- Pulling to one side while driving
- Sudden vibration while driving
- Tires that have been driven while flat
Tires degrade over time depending on many factors such as weather, storage conditions, and conditions of use (load, speed, inflation pressure, etc.) the tires experience throughout their lives. In general, Ford Motor Company recommends tires should be replaced after six years regardless of tread wear. You should replace your spare tire when you replace the road tires or after six years due to aging even if it has not been used. Your local Ford Dealership has the right tires for your vehicle and is the best place for any other service your vehicle needs, including tire rotation, wheel alignment, and more. Check out today’s prices and coupons or schedule an appointment