The four biggest don'ts when it comes to tires are easy to remember once you know how to treat tires well--by rotating them regularly and checking inflation to extend their life.
The things you do out of ignorance or procrastination that will do harm to them? These are the worst offenders:Don’t drive on a severely under-inflated or flat tire. When you drive on a low tire it rides on the sidewall. If you hesitate inflating a tire, it won’t be long before there will be a visible scuff mark on the sidewall of the tire. If you see that mark on the circumference of the sidewall, you may have damaged the inner liner of the tire. You should have it dismounted from the wheel and checked. Sometimes you have to drive on a flat tire because of where it has failed. People are always amazed by how quickly this destroys a tire – literally, it can happen in a matter of feet.
Don’t have a tire repaired with an exterior plug. A proper tire repair should include removing the tire from the wheel. This method allows the technician the opportunity to inspect the inside of the tire for damage possibly occurring in situations described above. Also there is no way to tell if the object causing the puncture has also contacted the inside of the tire and caused damage that isn’t visible from the outside. This happens when something like a long nail enters the tire on the shoulder of the tread and rubs the sidewall on the inside.
Don’t continually add air to a tire. There is a reason your TPMS light is coming on and that is because your tire has lost air. You should only tolerate this one time on the slim chance that the tire is responding to changing temperatures. After that you have to get it repaired, otherwise you will get caught by bad weather or some other excuse not to fill your tire and most likely it will go flat. If your car does not have a low tire light, don’t tolerate any loss of air of 20 percent of its proper inflation without getting the tire serviced. For most vehicles that is about an eight-pound loss.
Don’t drive on a compromised tire. This would include any tire that has cord showing, displays any bulges or gouges or has an injury in the sidewall. There are a number of other conditions in which a tire should be taken out of service and the cause of the tire wear investigated. These would include uneven wear, scalloping and tires that create excessive road noise which may indicate an underlying problem with the steering or suspension.