In a perfect world, you should take a look at your tires about once a month. If you live in an area with a lot of potholes or other debris in the road, in an area with a cold climate (hi, Minnesota!), or put an abnormally high number of miles on your vehicle, you should inspect your tires a bit more often.
Improper air pressure in your tires can cause premature wear and tear, as well as impairing performance. Cold weather can cause tire pressure to decrease by about 1 PSI for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit the temperature drops, so be sure to check your tires more often during the winter months! It’s also worth noting that the proper PSI for your vehicle is located on the tire information decal inside the driver’s door or your owner’s manual – not the tires themselves.
Rotating your tires regularly helps to prevent uneven wear on your tire tread. This is achieved by moving the wheels and tires from one position on the vehicle to another. The front tires will typically wear on the outside edges because of shifts in your vehicle’s weight when you turn, while the rear tires simply follow the fronts and wear more evenly. Regular rotations (every 6,000 to 8,000 miles) will add thousands of miles to the life of your tires, saving you time and money!
Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you are about taking care of your tires, they will wear out eventually. It’s recommended that you replace your tires every six years, regardless of tread wear. Of course, heavy use or inclement conditions can decrease tread depth long before the six-year mark, so keep a close eye on your tires and replace them when necessary – this is especially important in parts of the country that see heavy amounts of snow, ice, or rain during the winter months.