Getting the Most Out Of Your Tire Dollar
Even if you opt for a set of budget tires on your vehicle, they still add up to one of the more significant investments you’ll make for your car. Considering how much you’ve got tied up in them, doesn’t it make sense to try to make them go as far as you can? Here are some tips for getting the most miles out of any set of tires:
Check inflation regularly: Rubber is a porous material, and even a fairly new set of tires will lose air pressure through the stems and sidewalls. An underinflated tire means premature tire wear, poor handling and braking and heightened rolling resistance, which translates as overheating and losses in fuel economy. Be sure to check your tire inflation monthly, using a quality tire gauge. Remember to check tire pressure when the tires are cold, as air expands when hot and hot tires will show a higher pressure reading.
Watch wheel balance: Tires can go out of balance as they wear, as the change in rubber mass will alter the tire’s weight distribution. A wheel balance problem can show up as a slight vibration at certain speeds, a thumping noise or a teeth-rattling vibration at all speed ranges. An out-of-balance tire will wear unevenly, with a “cupped” wear pattern.
Wheel alignments: A pull to one side while driving on straight pavement is more than annoyance for the driver…it’s also causing premature tire wear. As one tire is skewed inward or outward, it tries to steer the vehicle in another direction and will be dragged along by the other tires, scrubbing its tread off along the inner or outer edge of the tread face. It’s worth pointing out that wear due to alignment problems is not covered on a tire treadwear warranty!
Tire rotations: The physics of braking and cornering put different stresses on front tires, which is why tire rotations are so important for proper tire wear. Tires should be rotated at a 5,000-mile interval for proper wear and driveability/ride quality.
With the right driving habits and the right care, your tires should easily last through their warranty period and beyond. Need a wheel balance or alignment? Maybe a tire rotation? Make an appointment with us at St Lucie Battery & Tire Complete Car Care Centers!