Tires are a vital part of your vehicle, as they are the only thing between you and the road. Proper tire maintenance can help you get the most out of your tires, ensuring they last longer, increase your fuel efficiency, improve your vehicle’s driving performance, and most importantly, contribute to your overall road safety. Here are some tips to help you maximize the lifespan and performance of your tires:
Maintaining the correct tire pressure is crucial for maximizing tire life and keeping you safe. Under or over-inflated tires can affect your vehicle’s handling, fuel consumption, and tread wear. Check your tire pressure at least once a month when the tires are cold and before long trips or when carrying more load than usual. The vehicle manufacturer will always have recommendations for tire pressure. The recommended tire pressure can usually be found on a label in the car, usually on the driver’s door jamb, or in the owner’s manual. Do not use the “max. pressure” found on the tire itself.
The wheels on your car are subjected to different forces depending on their position on the vehicle, which can cause uneven tread wear. Regularly rotating your tires can help equalize tread wear and extend their life. It’s a good idea to rotate your tires as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, or every 5,000 to 7,000 miles or 8,000 to 11,000 kilometers.
If your car’s wheels are out of alignment, your tires will wear unevenly, which can lead to premature replacement. Additionally, a car that is out of alignment could indicate other mechanical issues that could impair tire performance. Be sure to choose a tire shop that uses state-of-the-art computer-assisted machines and always request a printout of the alignment angles to keep for your records. Wheel alignments should be done on an as-needed basis, however it’s best practice to get your wheels and tires aligned at least once a year, or every 10,000 miles.
Unbalanced tires and wheels can cause more than just annoying vibrations. They can also lead to uneven tread wear, which can further reduce your ride comfort and cause your tires to need to be replaced sooner. An electronic spin balancer can help to smooth things out by balancing your tires and wheels. Similarly to alignments, find a trusted tire shop that uses the latest technology to ensure a proper tire balance.
Regularly inspect your tire’s tread depth to ensure they are not worn beyond the recommended limit. You can use the penny test, quarter test, or use a tool to check for the presence of tread wear indicators. Learn more about how to measure tread depth.
Aggressive driving habits such as hard braking, aggressive starting, and cornering can cause excessive tire wear. Avoid riding the brake and swerving back and forth, as these actions can expedite wear and potentially lead to tire failure. By driving in a safe and cautious manner, you can extend the life of your tires.