Tires are some of the most neglected and overlooked items on the car but are critical to your safety and that of your passengers. When the tires are worn, they decrease the car's ability to handle on the road and decrease road traction. How do you know if your tires need alignment, rotation, balancing, or pressure adjustment? Tires that are worn unevenly, such as inner or outer edges more than the rest of the tire, indicate the front end is out of alignment. If the car pulls to one side it also may indicate alignment is needed.
Have you ever felt the car vibrate or shimmy at certain speeds—typically at 40-45MPH or 60-65MPH? This usually indicates the tires are out of balance. Rotating and balancing the tires usually can correct this. The correct tire pressure for your vehicle can be found in the handbook of the car, and on many cars there is a sticker located on the doorjamb on either the front or rear driver's side door indicating proper tire pressures. When using the sticker, make sure that it is not indicating the maximum tire pressure (it will be stated as maximum and should not be used to set the tire pressures). If you're not sure and have no way of verifying the recommended tire pressure, the rule of thumb is 32 pounds of pressure per tire. You can check your tire pressures on a regular basis with an inexpensive tire pressure gauge kept in the car.