If you think that only a technician can inspect the condition of your tires, you are sorely mistaken. You can do it yourself, just keeping in mind some basic recommendations. It is not necessary to run every week to a technical service center. You can do it only after you detect irregularities with your tires.
It is important to inspect the tires regularly. Some deviations can be "silent". That is, they can damage your tire without giving too much notice. Regular inspection, respectively, helps you prevent severe tire damage, as well as avoid potential punctures, or even worse, flat tires and blowouts in the middle of the road.
I have compiled here an easy and clear guide so that you know how to inspect your tires correctly, without leaving out even one aspect. So, check out how you can inspect them carefully to spot any potential irregularity.
#1# Quick but cautious look
First things first. There is no need to disassemble the entire construction of the car to estimate the condition of the tires. It is enough just to inspect it from all around, drawing attention to unusual swellings, sidewall and shoulder cracks, color spots, or tiny protruding objects.
#2# Inside perspectives
The first step wasn't difficult at all, was it? The next step is just as simple. It is about a view from an inside angle, that is, from under the car. Don't be lazy to sit on your knee and inspect the inside of the tires. Observe if there are no damaged or deformed areas. As a rule, irregularities in the interior of the car are immediately apparent. So if there is something you need to notice, you will surely notice it.
#3# Lift the car up
Whether we like it or not, the car needs to be lifted from time to time, even if this means that we have to contact a specialist. Once you lift the car, you have to pay attention to the interior details that are not visible to the naked eye. At this stage, it is good to inspect the tires as carefully as possible from all points of view: the links with the suspension system, the internal and external details, any alignment issues, and the contact between the tire and the rim. So, you need to check everything you can to make sure that the tires are in an acceptable condition.
#4#: Special attention to the tire tread, please!
Once you are in front of the tires of your car, you must also check the depth of the treads. Do not skip this step in the false hope that the depth is still acceptable. Take a penny, if you don't have other checking tools, and insert it with the upper part into the depth of the tread (Lincoln's head must enter the tread). If the upper part of the head does not go into the depth of the tire, for sure you need to get a set of new tires. If the tire covers only a small part of Lincoln's head, you can start preparing for a new set that you will need soon.
The idea is that you should not leave the tire depth unverified. The depth can be very deceiving and it may seem to you that you still have enough depth, when, in fact, the depth is much too shallow, which puts your safety on the road at risk.
#5#: Check each tire tread's depth
It is not enough to check the depth of only one tire, making assumptions for the other 3. Keep in mind that tires wear differently from each other. If you haven't rotated your tires on time, there is a high probability that your tires will have uneven wear. And this for sure means that at least 2 of your wheels are more worn than the others. You may not need to change all of them, but only 2 of them. Either way, it will be clearer to you only if you inspect the depth of all the tires.
#6# Shaking and pulling the tires
While your car is still lifted, you have to move the wheels from side to side, as well as up and down. So, you test their movement from all points of view to see how steady they are attached to the system and if their components are not too loose. If the movements around the wheel suggest looseness, the wheel bearings may be impacted leading to early tire wear. It is possible to detect other irregularities. For this reason, it is good to have a technician next to you who can tell you what solutions you have.
#7# Lower the vehicle back
That's about all you have to do while the car is lifted. These steps are fundamental for a quick and general inspection of the condition of your tires. Carefully and cautiously, take the vehicle off the jack stands and bring it back to the ground. It's not a bad idea to roll it a little forward and back to make sure that the steering gets back into alignment. This step is not mandatory, but if you decide to commit to the inspection process, take one more step to complete it.
#8# Finish the process with a pressure checkup
I congratulate you if you have not detected any major irregularities in your tires. This means that you are responsible and careful while driving. To finish the inspection process, all that's left is to adjust the pressure in each tire. Don't forget that temperature changes might affect your tires. Use the pressure pump on all the tires, check the existing level, and add pressure where necessary. Do not exaggerate the level of pressure neither too much nor too little. The vehicle manufacturers have indicated the optimal pressure on the door jamb and you must never go beyond these limits.
How often should you check your tires?
There is no golden rule for the frequency of tire inspections. You do it depending on how much you care about your tires and your car. Personally, I visually inspect the tires every morning. Of course, I don't lift it every time, but at least I look around to make sure that none of the tires are punctured. At the same time, I look under the car every morning to make sure there are no leaks under the car or objects that could impact the system once I start driving.
The optimal frequency for lifting the car is once every 2 months, or more often if the circumstances require it. Some car owners drive on such difficult roads that they need an inspection every week. So, take into account the conditions in which you usually drive. Experts say that checking the pressure is welcome once a month unless something suggests that there might be some pressure issues.
What about brand-new tires? Do these need frequent inspection?
I don't see how new tires are different from worn ones. Their condition is indeed better, and you probably won't need to inspect the depth of the tread so frequently. But their assembly or damage due to small objects takes place in the same way as with used tires. In the same context, keep in mind that technicians are not magicians. They might be experts, but they still can make mistakes inadvertently. So, yes, new tires need frequent inspection just like used ones do.
If I don't find any issue, does it mean that everything is fine?
Not quite, not exactly. Don't forget that you are an amateur and not a professional in the field. You might miss something. For this reason, be careful with the language of your car as well. If you notice vibrations or sounds while driving, something is certainly wrong even if you have not detected any issue. In such cases, do not rely on the fact that you did not detect anything in the visual inspection. Better take the vehicle to an expert.