5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Tires Last Longer

tire on roadDriving on tires that are in good condition is critical to your safety and that of your passengers. If that was not reason enough to take good care of your tires, consider how much you spent on them. Wouldn’t you like to have them last as long as possible?

Like any other essential component of your vehicle, tires require proper care and maintenance to keep them performing safely, and to assure they provide optimal driving performance.

Did you know there are five easy things you can do to make sure your tires last as long as possible? Check out this list of simple ways to get the most out of your tire investment.

  1. Check tire inflation 

As underinflated tires meet the road, an additional load is placed on the shoulder of the tire, causing that area to wear prematurely. Underinflated tires also build up internal heat, which increases rolling resistance and in turn reduces fuel  economy. Tire air pressure should be checked monthly and it is best to consistently use the same tire gauge. Remember to check pressure when the car has been parked for at least a few hours so the tires are cool. Keep them inflated to the level recommended in your owner’s manual.

  1. Keep an eye on your tread wear

Most drivers don’t think to check tread wear unless they have driven through unavoidable debris. It is important, however, to inspect your tire tread regularly in order to catch wear trends before they cause major wear issues. Problems can be spotted by visual inspection or by running your hand over the tread and feeling it. Distortion in the tread, feathering, or cupping are all abnormalities you should watch for. If caught early, bad wear patterns can often be countered to extend the tire service life.

  1. Keep up on vehicle alignment service.

When unusual tread wear is spotted, poor vehicle alignment is often the culprit. Accelerated tread wear occurs on certain areas of the tire when they are unable to move in straight ahead position. Regular alignment keeps the vehicle from experiencing a variety of problems, including uneven and premature tread wear.

  1. Keep up on tire rotation service

Like alignment service, tire rotation should be performed on a consistent basis. Keeping up with scheduled tire rotation will promote even tread wear and extend tire service life.

  1. Inspect and replace wheel and suspension components  as necessary

While not something you may consider when you think of tires, wheel and suspension components can have a considerable impact on tire service life. An improperly torqued wheel bearing can cause improper tire wear, and worn shock absorbers can create depression wear on treads. Don’t wait until problems occur – replace shock absorbers and other suspension components on a regular schedule.

 

Three Signs of Wheel Alignment Issues

Wheel alignment issues occur as a result of suspension and steering systems not operating at the correct angles. Misalignment is often caused by a collision or an impact, but also can be the result of suspension component wear, especially on older vehicles.

Three signs of wheel alignment issues include:

1. Uneven Tread Wear – When a vehicle is out of alignment, the tire tread will show obvious wear on one side rather than wear on both sides or in the middle.

2. Pulling to One Side – If a vehicle pulls or veers to the right or left, it is often due to misalignment. The pull does not happen when braking and tends to be consistent at certain vehicle speeds.

3. Steering Problems – When driving straight ahead, the steering wheel should be level or straight.  A change in the steering wheel position often means misalignment.

Wheel alignment issues can decrease the life of your tires by causing rapid and uneven tread wear. Properly aligned wheels optimize driving control and safety, while enhancing fuel efficiency and extending the life of your tires.

When you bring in your vehicle for wheel alignment services, your auto technician will adjust the angle of the wheels to be in accordance with the recommendations of the vehicle manufacturer. Precision equipment is used to set the proper alignment, and your technician will make sure that all the necessary adjustments are made.

If you notice any of the signs of poor wheel alignment, or you have recently had a collision or significant impact of some kind, be sure to have an alignment check as soon as possible. Not only will you be safer on the road, but your tires will thank you!