Tire Care for Your Handicap Van - The Mobility Resource

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The tires on your handicap van must be properly cared for. The heavy load they bare affects their quality and performance over time. Well-maintained tires are important to optimal gas mileage, overall vehicle performance and van safety on the road. Here are a few tips for making sure your accessible vehicle’s tires are always in good shape.

Keep the Tires on Your Handicap Van Properly Inflated 

Refer to your owner’s manual to determine the PSI your tires should be inflated to. If you’re unable to check or fill your tires, ask a friend, family member or caregiver to do so for you periodically. Check tire pressure before driving, as the air expands as tires heat up. Visual inspections are usually adequate. Driving on low tires decreases your gas mileage and vehicle response. It also increases wear and tear on the tires. Driving on low or flat tires is dangerous and readily damages the tires and rims.

Balancing, Aligning and Rotating Tires on Your Handicap Van 

Unbalanced tires cause vibrations that contribute to driver fatigue, accelerate wear on the tires and damage the vehicle’s suspension unnecessarily. When tires are out of alignment, steering and vehicle responses are negatively affected. If your tires are never rotated, they become unevenly worn. This makes them unsafe sooner than properly rotated tires. Have your tires balanced, aligned and rotated annually. Also, have them serviced as soon as you notice any vibrations or shimmying while driving.

Replace the Tires on Your Handicap Van When the Tread is Too Worn

The tread on tires provides traction that is essential to controlling your handicap van. Without adequate tread, vehicles are prone to hydroplaning, diminished braking ability and other loss of control. Standard advice (and the legal mandate) calls for replacing a tire once its tread is worn to less than 1/16 of an inch. However, when wet roads are a concern, tread that’s at least 1/8 of an inch thick is recommended. Stopping and control capabilities quickly diminish once tread is worn lower than 1/8 of an inch. In snowy conditions, replacing tires with treat at less than 6/32 of an inch is the best. Check your tire tread periodically. Don’t put off replacing worn tires.

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