If you’re like most people, the thought of opening your wallet to shell out money for tires isn’t at the top of your “things to get excited about” list. Unfortunately, this is a necessary part of owning a vehicle. How often you must replace your tires depends on your driving habits, how well you maintain your tires and the type of tires you purchase. Taking steps to maintain your tires will extend their life significantly, saving you time and money down the road!
One step to maintaining your tires is regular tire rotations. A tire rotation is the simple act of moving your tires from one position to another to ensure they wear evenly. You may be wondering how moving your tires around can increase your tire’s life. Well, it’s simple! The weight on the front and rear axles differs, which causes uneven tire wear if your tires never change positions. Typically, the front tires bear more weight and will wear faster than rear tires. Front tires also take on additional stress from braking and steering. By skipping tire rotations, you may find yourself replacing tires thousands of miles sooner than normal! How often you need to rotate your tires will depend on your driving habits. One easy method to make sure you don’t forget your rotations is to rotate your tires at every oil change. Talk to your tire technician to set you up on a routine tire rotation schedule perfectly tailored to your needs.
Keeping your wheels properly aligned is another step in maintaining your tires. Like with tire rotations, poor alignment can cause your tires to wear unevenly or quicker than normal. Wheel alignment, sometimes referred to as “tire alignment,” is the act of adjusting the angles of the wheels to the manufacturer’s specifications. This helps ensure your vehicle drives straight and true and does not “pull” to one side. Driving with poor alignment can cause uneven tire wear and with extended travel can make your tires completely unsafe to drive on. If you notice your vehicle is pulling to one side or if your steering wheel is vibrating, it may be time for an alignment. It’s wise to have an automotive technician routinely inspect your alignment for issues.
Lastly, tire balancing is an important step to extending the life of your tires. Balancing your tires is the process of equalizing the weight of the combined tire and wheel assembly so it spins smoothly at high speed, resulting in smoother driving and even tire wear. Over time, your tires can become unbalanced, and this can result in the vehicle shaking while you drive. Having tires out of balance will cause them to wear unevenly, meaning more tire replacements for you!
Part of being a vehicle owner is providing routine maintenance to give your vehicle and all its components the longest life possible. This not only results in replacing parts less often (meaning more money for you!), but also increased the performance and safety of your vehicle. If you’re not on a routine maintenance schedule already, visit a qualified automotive technician today to get started on the right track to maintaining your vehicle for the long haul!