In order to have the smoothest, most comfortable ride and long lasting tire performance, your tires and vehicle need to be maintained. Find out how to ensure your safety on the road by inspecting, caring for, and maintaining your tire inflation pressure, alignment, tire tread, and tire rotation.
Why are these important?
1. Tire inflation pressure. Improper tire inflation can lead to uneven tire wear. Over inflation can cause the center of your tire to wear. Under inflation can cause the edges of your tire ro wear. Your owner's manual or door jamb for your vehicle will show the correct tire pressure. Check your tire pressure using a tire gauge every month.
2. Alignment. Improper alignment can also lead to uneven tire wear. Unusual wear patterns include heel/toe wear, feather edge wear, or one-sided shoulder wear. A professional can check your alignment.
3. Tire Tread. Well-worn or bald tires can cause hydroplaning, loss of traction and increased likelihood of damage by road hazards. Check your tread depth with a penny or tread depth gauge. Visually check your tire tread and sidewalls for spot wear, bulges, cuts or cracks.
4. Rotation. Switching the position of your tires on your vehicle can help tires wear evenly. Tires may need to be replace prematurely If they aren't rotated regularly.
Why should I rotate my tires?
Rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles can slow down potential uneven tread wear. The various positions on the vehicle each cause tire wear to occur in a different area of the tire. For example, on front wheel drive vehicles the front tires tend to wear faster due to the added pressure and the resistance from steering. The tire will wear more evenly when rotated, which provides a quieter ride and longer performance.
What type of wear may be caused by lack of rotation?
Lack of rotation can cause one side of the tread blocks to wear down more quickly than the other. When viewed from the side, it will look and feel like saw teeth. This is called heel/toe wear. It can also be caused by under inflation or an out-of spec alignment.
Does it matter which way the tires are rotated?
Your vehicle's owner's manual may show the rotational pattern or process that should be followed. There are various patterns for rotating tires. The tire's tread pattern can also dictate the way tires are rotated. Some tires can only be rotated from from front to back while others can be rotated to all four corners of the vehicle.
Does the rotational pattern affect longevity?
Tires that can be rotated to all four corners are cross-rotational compatible. This type of tire can aid in the ability of the tire to wear evenly when rotated frequently, which can lead to a longer lasting tire. Tires that can only be rotated in one direction may not last as long as cross-rotational tires.
Looking to get the best performance out of your tires and a safe ride? Call us with your tire maintenance questions or schedule an appointment online today!