St. Lucie Battery & Tire | Tire Care Tips
Your tires are a big investment...but when everything's going along fine, it's easy to take your tires for granted and not give them much thought. However, when you don't properly care for your tires, their life span dramatically shortens. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your investment and make sure your tires are good for many miles and years of reliable service:
Tire Rotations: No vehicle has 50/50 weight distribution over the front and rear tires. The weight of the engine plus the forces of braking and cornering put a different set of stresses on front tires. To ensure even wear, it's important to switch the positions of front and rear tires at about a 5,000-mile interval. Some tires can be rotated front-to-rear, while others need to be rotated in a diagonal X pattern. Regular tire rotations will mean better drivability, even wear patterns and longer tire life.
Tire inflation: There's probably not one more important thing you can do for your tires than to make sure they're properly inflated. Low tire pressure means greater friction and rolling resistance, which can compromise your fuel economy -- even 2 psi's can make a difference of a fraction of an MPG. Worse, though, that added rolling resistance means tires that run hotter, and heat buildup is deadly to tires. Overheated tires start to wear at the edges and flex the steel belts more.
Take a paper clip and work it back and forth, back and forth until it breaks. You'll notice the paper clip heats up before it fails from metal fatigue, and that's exactly what kills the steel belts in tires as well.
Wheel alignment: When your vehicle leaves the factory, the front wheels are set at very specific angles for optimum handling, steering response and stability. Over time, those angles can drift due to wear and tear, causing alignment problems. Think of it this way -- if you ever knew anyone who walks with one foot skewed out to the side, that shoe is going to wear unevenly at the heel or along one side. When your front wheels are poorly aligned, the outside or inside edge of the tread is going to wear unevenly, drastically shortening tire life.
Tire inspections: Your tires should be inspected regularly for tread wear and overall tread condition, cracks or bulges in the sidewall, foreign objects or debris in the tread and any other defects. Many now agree that tires, regardless of the number of miles on them, only have a service life of about six years before the sun's UV rays start to degrade the rubber compound and shorten tire life.
It's also worth noting that tire wear due to poor alignment or underinflation are enough to negate a tire tread wear warranty. Got any questions about your tires? Come to us at St Lucie Battery & Tire - we've got an excellent service department and a great selection of premium brand tires at great prices.