Dodge D400: Tire Check
Not too many car owners pay much-needed attention to their tires. They would only bother to check when going on a long drive or after a long trip. The tires should be inspected for wear at least every month. With regular tire inspection, you could easily tell if the vehicle needs to be aligned, the tires/wheels have to be balanced, or it's time to buy new tires for your Dodge D400. To help you with the tire check, here are some tips:
Tread wear patterns can leave behind a lot of clues. For instance, your tires are under-inflated if you spot wear on both edges. If wear is concentrated on the center treads, then the tires are over-inflated. One-sided wear, on the other hand, indicates misalignment. When you take a look at the treads closely and find out that there's uneven wear or bald spots, scallops, or cups, your vehicle most likely needs wheel balancing and alignment. The vehicle should be scheduled for alignment if you find a saw-toothed wear pattern on tires. In case of unevenly spaced bald spots, consider replacing the shocks and checking the wheel balancing. If you hear whining or thumping, you may have to replace the tires, get new shocks, or have wheel alignment. Squealing on curves, meanwhile, could mean that the tires are underinflated or alignment is due.
- Look around the sidewalls.
Aside from the treads, you should also learn how to check the sidewalls and know what to look for. As you inspect the sidewalls, look for bulges, bubbles, holes, and slits. Also search for scuffs and other damaged areas. Consider tire repair or replacement depending on the severity of the damage or wear. See if the tires fit well or if they're flush with the wheel rims. If not, then you need to make certain adjustments.
- Check the tread wear indicator.
Some tires would have what they call the tread wear indicator. These bars would become visible across the treads if the treads are already worn down to 1/16 inch. In case you can't spot these indicators on your tires, what you can do is insert a penny into the groove. If you can see the head fully, then your tires would need to be replaced. Another thing you can do is to use a ruler to measure the tread wear, from the base to the surface. Depth should be beyond 1/16 inch. If not, then you have to get new tires.
- Determine if there's any leak.
If the tires lose air pressure easily, they should be checked for leaks. See if the rims fit well. If they're ill-fitting, this may result in a leak. A service station or center can fix this using a machine. Another thing to look into is the tire valve. A broken tire valve allows air to escape. If this is the cause of air loss, then have this replaced. Look for a compatible or matching replacement. Use the numbers found on the base of the valve as reference.