Checking your tires regularly is an essential step in protecting your safety and your automotive investment.
If you want to extend your tires’ lives, improve your car’s ride, and have a safer drive, follow these six tips to maximize the life of your tires.
1. Check Tire Pressure
Tire pressure affects gas mileage, ride quality, tread life, and more for your vehicle. Your tires need proper air pressure to work effectively. All you need is a tire pressure gauge and some air.
Tires that are overinflated or underinflated can wear faster, negatively affect your car’s handling, and decrease your fuel economy.
Properly inflated tires are also better at dealing with inclement weather.
Use a tire gauge to be sure tires are correctly inflated. Remember to check tire pressure when the tires are cold – when your car hasn’t been driven for three hours or less than a mile at moderate speed.
Not sure what your tire pressure should be? Your vehicle’s information is often on a sticker located on the driver’s side front or back door. The sticker lists the proper pressure for both your front and rear tires. If you’re unable to find it, refer to your owner’s manual.
2. Maintain Proper Wheel Alignment
Your wheels should be aligned, making them square with the road and parallel with each other. Improper alignment can lead to premature or uneven tread wear.
If your car’s wheels are not aligned, your tires will wear unevenly, which may force you to replace them earlier. Also, your tires being out of alignment could signal other mechanical problems that may affect your tire performance.
Your car’s wheels have different forces put on them depending on their position. In most cars, only two of the four wheels truly “drive” the vehicle. For example, on front-wheel drive vehicles, front tires wear faster. On rear-wheel-drive cars, it’s the back tires. Even all-wheel-drive vehicles can see uneven wear, as most shift the drive from one wheel to another.
Rotating your tires regularly promotes even tread wear and helps the tire perform as designed. Get your tires rotated as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, or every 5,000 miles.
4. Check Your Balance
Have you ever felt your car vibrate or shake while driving high speeds? Then there is a good chance that your wheels are off-balance.
Your car’s wheels are lined with weights that are evenly distributed around the wheel. Over time and with consistent use, these weights will start to shift and may make your wheels off-balance.
Tires and wheels that are out of balance don’t just cause annoying vibration. Unbalanced wheels can lead to a rougher ride and more wear for your tire tread.
5. Tread Carefully
Tire tread provides the gripping action and traction that prevents your vehicle from slipping and sliding, so it is essential to check tire tread each month.
Tires are not safe when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch and should be replaced. But, Consumer Reports recommends replacing your tire when the tread depth is 4/32 of an inch.
To check the depth of your tread, find the built-in treadwear indicators on the tire. When the tread is worn down, and it’s level with the indicators, it’s time to replace your tires.
6. Make Changes Seasonally
Remove your winter tires when the cold, wet weather is over and switch to summer tires. And switch back to winter tires as the temperature drops. A good rule of thumb is to change to winter tires once temperatures consistently drop below 45°F.
The pliable rubber that makes winter tires great at handling ice and snow also makes them wear down more quickly on cleared roads. So using the appropriate tires during each season will make sure your tires last longer and keep you safe on your drive.
By following these easy, inexpensive tire maintenance tips, and you can increase tire life. You’ll also improve gas mileage, extend your car’s life, and make your drive a safer one. If it’s time to replace your tires, Murray’s Tires offers an extensive selection of tires to find the best fit for you.
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