Basic maintenance for your car: Tires, wheels and brakes (Pt. 1)

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1991 Cadillac Fleetwood d'Elegance, "gold-edition" in triple-black.

Making hubcaps, wheels and tires shine should be part of your car's basic maintenance. (Photo Credit: Public Domain/CZmarlin/Wikipedia)

Ready for more basic maintenance tips that’s make your car care routine a breeze? Here are some detailing- and maintenance-related tips for dealing with tires, wheels and brakes. If you take care of these systems, you and your car won’t be on the road to nowhere.

Tires, wheels and brakes basic maintenance tip No. 1: Screw the caps

Think the valve caps on your tires are there just for decoration? Think again. Not only do valve caps keep out the dirt and moisture that can cause leaks to occur, but leaving them off can even lead to tire deflation. Keep those valve caps on, and when you get new tires, make sure those tires have new valves and caps.

Tires, wheels and brakes basic maintenance tip No. 2: Keep tires inflated

Look at the writing on the sidewall of your car’s tires, or check the owner’s manual. You’ll discover the proper level of air pressure that should be maintained in your vehicle’s tires. If you continue to drive on under-inflated tires or over-inflated tires, not only will you not be enjoying optimal traction on the road, but you’re going to destroy your high-tech rubber investment in no time flat (pun intended).

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Tires, wheels and brakes basic maintenance tip No. 3: Wither the wet thumb

Here’s a tire test you can do when you stop to top off the air. Take your thumbnail and press down on the pin inside the valve stem. If your thumb gets wet, there’s moisture either in the service station’s air tank, or already in your tire. Moister can lead to variations in air pressure and even rusted rims over time.

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Tires, wheels and brakes basic maintenance tip No. 4: Check tire wear

Your tire tread won’t remain crisp forever, but it should meet basic standards for safety. If tread wear appears uneven, it may be indicative of other work that needs doing, like wheel realignment, defective brakes or shocks, a bent wheel, internal tire damage or even worn bushings.

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Cleaning your wheels and tires



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