Your tires are a big investment, and while it’s easy to just take them for granted, you want them to last through their entire warranty phase (at least). Here are some tips on how to get the most life out of a set of tires:
Tire rotations: No vehicle has 50/50 weight distribution from front to rear, and front tires see a different set of stresses from braking and cornering. Rotating your tires at a 5,000-mile interval ensures even wear and good drivability and handling.
Proper inflation: Underinflated tires are bad news! They’ll wear unevenly due to their altered footprint, they’ll cost you money in terms of higher rolling resistance and poor fuel economy, and the stress from overheating can lead to premature tire failure. Check your inflation levels at least once a month, using a good quality tire gauge.
Wheel alignment: Think about someone who walks with one foot skewed out to the side. That shoe will wear unevenly, usually at the heel, and that’s not unlike what happens with poor wheel alignment. One tire is trying to steer the vehicle in another direction and is dragged down the road by the other three tires. Before long, the tread of that tire is going to be scrubbed off along the inside or outside edge. If you notice signs like a persistent pull to one side or the need to hold the wheel off-center while driving in a straight line, chances are you’re in need of a wheel alignment. Don’t put off this important automotive maintenance detail!
Like we mentioned, it’s too easy to take your tires for granted…right up to the point where there’s a problem and you find yourself stuck by the side of the road or in a parking lot with a flat. It’s not hard to get the most out of your set of tires, though. Just follow the tips we mentioned, keep an eye on your treads and sidewalls and inspect them from time to time, and your tires should be good for many years of good, reliable service!