Getting The Most Out Of Your Tires
Your safety depends on your tires. Think about that for a second. Your car’s riding on four patches of rubber, each no bigger than a man’s hand, and that rubber is key to braking, steering, and cornering…and your safety. Do you know how to get the most out of those tires?
Tire inflation: Even new tires can lose a pound of air pressure per month, and tires that are underinflated are a real problem. Low tire pressure means more friction and rolling resistance, which means more energy is expended getting your car down the road (hence, poor fuel economy). More friction means more heat buildup as well, and more stress on your tires’ internal structure. Take a paper clip and flex it back and forth until it breaks from metal fatigue. Feel how hot it gets before it fails? That’s what happens to the steel belts in your tires as well, as they flex more than designed due to low pressure. Remember to check your tire pressure once a month, and check it while the tires are still cold.
Tire rotation: Any set of tires should be rotated every 5,000-8,000 miles for even wear. Due to the weight of the engine and the forces of cornering and braking, front tires will wear differently from rear tires. You’ll notice an immediate change in your car’s handling and drivability as soon as you rotate them – and remember that failing to rotate tires will void a tire warranty.
Wheel alignment: Have you noticed a persistent pull to one side while driving on straight pavement? Do you have to hold the wheel off-center to stay in a straight line? Does the steering wheel not center itself readily after rounding a corner? You may be in need of wheel alignment, and poor alignment will definitely scrub the tread off of front tires unevenly as the skewed-out tire is dragged along by the other tires.
In addition, make sure you inspect your tires regularly for debris or damage and don’t wait until your tires are worn to the point where the steel belts are showing through when you replace them! With the right care, your tires can last through their treadwear warranty period and maybe beyond. Got any questions? Make an appointment with us at Pueblo Tire!