TIRE CARE 101: HOW TO SAVE MONEY & EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR TIRES
Over the lifetime of your vehicle, numerous parts will need to be replaced, but few of them will need to be replaced as frequently as tires. Depending on your vehicle and preferences, tires can be expensive—so it makes sense to do everything you can to make your tires last as long as possible. Whether you’ve recently purchased a new set of tires or your current set still has some life left to them, here are some tips to help you get the most out of them.
Monitor Your Tire Pressure
Maintaining the proper tire is one of the easiest things you can do to make your tires last longer. On average, tires can lose around 1 pound per square inch (psi) of pressure per month; however, extreme temperatures in either direction can significantly affect psi due to the air condensing and expanding. Cold temperatures cause psi to drop faster, while hot weather cause psi to raise.
While neither over- nor underinflated tires are optimal, underinflated tires are a bigger concern. Tires are exposed to a lot of heat and friction as they roll across the road; beyond keeping your tires inflated, air pressure also keeps your tires cool. When the air pressure is too low, tires can become overheated and are more likely to fail prematurely. Underinflated tires also affect your handling and fuel consumption.
Make a habit to check your tire pressure once a month; an easy way to remember to do this is to check it every other time you fill up your gas tank (depending on how much you drive). You can find the recommended psi for your car in your owner’s manual or somewhere on or near the driver’s side door. Or, we’d be happy to look it up for you! If you notice uneven wear, bulges, or other signs of damage on your tires while checking the air pressure, schedule an inspection with us to make sure they’re still safe to drive on.
Tires tend to wear unevenly as you drive. The front tires usually wear faster than the rear tires because they’re the ones that are leading the vehicle and navigating it around turns. However, in rear-wheel drive vehicles, the rear tires often wear out faster.
Regardless of the drivetrain, your tires will wear down much quicker and you’ll need to replace them thousands of miles sooner if you don’t get them rotated. Manufacturers’ recommendations and new tire guidelines vary, but tires should generally be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.
Tire rotation is an excellent time to get your tires balanced, too. Even when wheels and tires are brand new, they can have small weight differences that cause vibrations and uneven wear. These weight differences can become more noticeable over time as the tires wear down. Tire balancing, which uses a specialized machine and small weights, is a fast and easy process that costs significantly less than a new tire.
Your wheels can easily be knocked out of alignment by driving over potholes or hitting a curb too hard. This can cause a number of handling and safety issues, as well as premature tire wear and poor fuel economy. It’s generally recommended to have an alignment performed twice a year or whenever you notice signs of an alignment problem, such as your vehicle pulling or drifting to one side while driving or vibrations in the steering wheel.
Beyond tire maintenance, your driving habits also play a role in how fast your tires wear. If you regularly accelerate quickly or slam on the brakes, you’ll experience quicker tire wear than if you did either gradually. Slowly accelerate to get up to speed and let up off the gas in anticipation of coming to a stop before hitting the brakes. Not only will this prevent excessive wear on your tires, but it will also help extend the life of your brakes and increase fuel efficiency.
For Expert Tire Services, Visit Accurate Automotive Attention
It probably goes without saying, but tires play an important role in your safety. Although we all want to get the most life from our tires, don’t forgo tire replacements! Bald or damaged tires can significantly reduce your traction on the road and are more susceptible to blowouts. Whether you need tire maintenance or a new set of tires, the experts at Accurate Automotive Attention are here to help. We offer tire inspections, rotations, and alignments, as well as brake inspection services. Contact us today in Central Yuma or The Foothills or request an appointment online!
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