How to Make Your Tires Last
Finding out the tires that you thought should last you another 20,000 miles are worn out can really hurt your budget. New tires are a significant investment, but if you know how to take care of them and what to watch out for, they should also last a while. What can you do to make them last longer? A lot.
1. Check Your Tire Pressures Either pickup a good tire pressure gauge (remember, you get what you pay for) or stop in to have one of our techs check your tire pressures roughly every time you get gas. This is probably the number one thing you can do to insure long life. A tire will lose about 1psi a month under normal operating conditions, so that can add up and lead to new tires if you aren’t careful. Many new cars come with a tire pressure monitoring system, but don’t rely on that to keep you informed, sensors can fail. It’s best to be sure and check the pressures manually at least once a month.
2. Wheel Alignment One good pothole can throw your alignment off and cause your tires to completely wear out within 1000 miles. We recommend having the alignment checked whenever you get new tires and then twice a year.
3. Tire Rotation If you buy your tires from us we will rotate them for you for free as often as you like, we suggest either every oil change or every other oil change at the least. This can help you get even tire wear and longer tire life. Unevenly worn tires can cause poor handling and decreased fuel mileage. Tires wear unevenly because the front tires tend to wear out faster and on the outside edges. By rotating them you make sure that all the tires are getting the same amount of wear. When we rotate your tires we will also check and adjust your tire pressures and check your brakes.
4. Check Tire Depth You may have noticed on your receipt when you get your vehicle inspected that we list different measurements. Tire depth is one of those measurements. Worn out tires can lead to an accident or a blowout, neither of which you want. PA safety inspection code requires that tires be replaced when they reach a measurement of 2/32. For optimal performance in the rain or cold, we recommend replacement at 4/32.
5. Vehicle Maintenance In order to keep your tires from being chewed off it’s important to take care of any suspension or steering problems that pop us ASAP. Ball joints, tie rod ends and wheel bearings can cause tires to wear poorly and lead to premature replacement.
6. All Wheel Drive Vehicles We all like our AWD and 4WD vehicles when we are driving on snowy roads or slippery surfaces, they go like they do because the vehicle is able to divide the horsepower generated by the engine between all four tires. In order to transfer that horsepower, the driveline mechanically connects all of the tires so that the work in unison. Vehicles are designed to allow for momentary differences in speeds when a vehicle turns a corner, but they are not designed to run all the time with tires that have different circumferences or diameters. Replacing only 2 tires at a time or running different tires can lead to excessive heat and failure in the rear differential or transfer case. Tire rotations is especially important for AWD or 4WD vehicles because you want to keep the tire wear as even as possible.
7. Avoid Road Hazards This might sound obvious, but potholes are curbs contribute daily to blown out tires. If you have a leaking tire get it repaired ASAP. We are able to plug or patch tires as long as the problem isn’t in the sidewall of the tire. If your vehicle is equipped with tire pressure lights you have something else to worry about. Tire pressure monitors are made out of aluminum and fit into the valve stem area on the rim. Corrosion can lead to fairly frequent monitor failure and they can be fairly expensive to replace? Just the part can run $40-$100. They are a part of your vehicle’s safety program, though, and it’s important to keep them in good working order.