How to Get The Most Out Of Your Tires
November 4th, 2015
It’s pretty easy to lay down $600 or more for a decent set of tires for your car, truck, minivan or SUV. That kind of money is an investment…and you want to get the most out of that investment. Here are some pretty important things to remember as you start to rack up the miles on your tires:
- Inflation Levels: There’s hardly anything that’s more important to your tires than proper inflation. Underinflated tires will wear prematurely, drive and handle poorly and cost you more money in terms of fuel economy due to their increased rolling resistance. Worse, underinflated tires generate more heat, which breaks down the tire’s internal structure and raises the chances of tire failure. Check your recommended inflation levels, usually on the driver’s door jamb, and regularly check the tires with a good tire gauge (the dial type are more accurate than the pencil style).
- Wheel Alignment: A car that has a front suspension that’s out of its alignment specs relative to the frame will wear tires unevenly, usually at an inside or outside edge. Wear due to poor alignment will negate your tire treadwear warranty; it’s a good idea to have the alignment performed when you have the tires installed. Be sure to have it checked from time to time as well, especially if you start to notice a pull to one side or the other.
- Wheel Balancing: As tires wear, their weight distribution will naturally shift slightly. Even a gram or two of uneven weight distribution can be enough to set up an irritating vibration that will damage your tires and possibly even other components. Balancing should be a part of routine tire maintenance, preferably at the same time as tire rotations.
- Tire Rotations: No car has 50/50 weight distribution between the front and rear wheels. The engine, of course, weighs much more than the car’s rear end, and the front tires are subjected to different forces due to cornering and the weight transfer that occurs when you hit the brakes and inertia shifts weight forward. Switching the positions of the tires on the vehicle regularly is a great way to ensure even wear on all four tires and enhance drivability and handling.
- Inspections: From time to time, get a good look at your tires. Look for sidewall damage, cracks, debris, bulges, tread irregularities. Feel the tread surface for uneven wear or for a “sawtooth” profile that could suggest poor wheel alignment.
- Driving Habits: Chances are you’re a pretty sane driver already, but remember that things like wheel-spinning starts and hard cornering will wear your tires prematurely. Be careful to avoid scuffing the sidewalls while parking, and avoid hard hits on potholes and railroad tracks when possible.
Tags: tires, tire repair, buy tires online, tires dothan al, wheel alignment, inflation levels, tire rotation, tire inspection
Posted in: Tires 101