Seeking to establish an ongoing relationship with your tires? These are the must-have tire tools & gadgets to monitor and control your tire situation.
Whereas the mounting and balancing of tires marks the end of tire interactivity for some, it’s just the beginning for others…
If you’re an aspiring bona fide tire nerd, then you have to have the right tools & gadgets to monitor and control your tire situation.
Some of these recommended gadgets fall into different brackets on the tire nerd scale (patent pending). For example, an accurate tire pressure gauge should be standard equipment in any vehicle glovebox. A tire pyrometer? Hmmm, perhaps not for everyone.
So without further ado, here’s our list of suggested tire tools & gadgets. Select according to where you fall on the tire nerd scale –
Tire Pressure Gauge
An accurate tire pressure gauge is a true must-have for any driver.
So much is dependent upon correct tire pressure – proper tire wear, vehicle handling & performance, overall traction in variable road conditions.
For more on checking tire pressures and other basic tire safety measures, see: How (and why) to do a quick tire safety check
Tire Tread Depth Tool
Wear bars are a useful reference point for minimum tread, but they do not allow for accurate tread measurement, or the tracking/predicting of tire wear.
To keep abreast of your tire life, ensure that even wear is being achieved, and verify that you have adequate tire tread depth for the road conditions (e.g. more depth is required for snowy roads), a tire tread depth tool is necessary. It’s an inexpensive tool that can tell you a lot about your tire status, and by showing uneven wear, save you hundreds in the long-term.
For an even cheaper alternative: How to measure tread depth (penny test)
Had concerns, maybe even lost sleep over a stationary vehicle and potential tire flat spots? Yeah… been there.
These tire supports, aka cradles, could help to guard against tire flat spots and potential permanent tire damage due to long-term storage.
Many tire nerds have more than one set of tires. These seasonal tire totes are gold for tire storage and moving around the garage or basement. The totes fully wrap/enclose most tires, and the handle makes for far more convenient & clean transport. Perfect for those who rotate Winter Tires and All Season Tires, or transport Motorsport Tires to and from the race track.
Portable Air Compressor
Your local fuel station or tire shop might have a free air pump, but nothing beats the convenience of managing tire pressures in your own garage, or on the go as required.
For most vehicles, an auxiliary powered compressor will do the trick. Working with larger All-Terrain or Mud-Terrain truck tires? Something a bit more heavy duty that hooks up to your battery terminals will be a better choice.
Right, so probably not something that you’ll see being used in the local gas station, but a tire pyrometer is a massively informative tool to have for performance driving and track days.
Tire pressure monitoring and adjustment is crucial during performance driving events. By measuring the “hot” tire temperatures across the width of the tire, a tire pyrometer can help to verify correct pressures, as well as provide a variety of other clues as to vehicle setup and driver optimization – toe, camber, too much oversteer, understeer, etc. If you’re – eh – into such things…
Crickets? Okay then, we’ve probably reached the conclusion of our list.
Keep the right tire tools & gadgets on hand to get the most performance and life from your tires!