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Keep Rolling - Tips for Tire Maintenance and Longevity

Airing up a tire for proper maintenance

As a responsible vehicle owner, ensuring the health and longevity of your tires is paramount. Proper tire maintenance not only keeps you and your passengers safe, but also saves you money in the long run. So how can you keep your tires in great shape? Here are a few great tips to follow in your vehicle's maintenance routine:

  1. Regularly Check Your Tires: Before hitting the road, it's crucial to inspect your tires regularly. Look out for signs of wear and tear, dry rotting (where the rubber is starting to crumble and/or separate), embedded objects, and irregularities in tire tread depth. Additionally, make sure you're keeping an eye on your tread depth. You can purchase tread depth gauges from your local auto parts stores to accurately measure your tread - we usually recommend tire replacement when your tread reaches 4/32" or below. You can also use the penny hack - placing a penny upside down in the tread to see if you can see Abe's head. If Abe's head is fully visible, it's time for new tires.

  2. Proper Air Pressure: Maintaining the correct tire pressure is fundamental for optimal performance, safety, and fuel efficiency. Underinflated tires lead to increased rolling resistance, resulting in decreased fuel efficiency and uneven tread wear. On the flip side, overinflated tires can lead to reduced traction (meaning higher risk of events like hydroplaning) and a harsher ride. Changes in temperature, small leaks, and excessive driving can all change the tire pressure of your vehicle. Refer to your vehicle's manual or the placard on the driver's side door jamb for the recommended tire pressure, and check it at least once a month.

  3. Regular Tire Rotations: Tire rotation is essential for promoting even tire wear and extending tire life. As a general rule of thumb, aim to rotate your tires every 6,000 miles (or every oil change for synthetic oil or every other oil change for synthetic blend oil) or as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. This practice ensures that each tire wears down evenly, maximizing their lifespan and performance.

  4. Worn Suspension & Steering Components: Neglected suspension and steering components can wreak havoc on your tires. Worn-out shocks, struts, or springs can cause excessive bouncing, leading to uneven tire wear and reduced traction, while issues like bad tie rod ends can cause tires to run improperly and wear out tread excessively on one side. Regular inspections by a qualified mechanic can help detect and address suspension and steering issues before they escalate and affect tire health.

  5. Wheel Alignment: Proper wheel alignment is crucial for maintaining even tire wear and optimal vehicle handling. Misaligned wheels can cause tires to wear unevenly and prematurely, leading to reduced tire lifespan and compromised safety. Aligning your vehicle whenever you install new tires or notice signs of uneven wear ensures that your tires maintain proper contact with the road surface.

  6. Additional Tire Maintenance Tips:

  • Avoid overloading your vehicle, as excessive weight can strain tires and lead to premature wear.

  • Inspect tires for cracks, bulges, or any other abnormalities that may indicate internal damage.

  • Be mindful of your driving habits, as aggressive driving can accelerate tire wear.

  • Consider investing in high-quality tires that are appropriate for your driving conditions and vehicle type.

  • During colder months, check tire pressure more frequently, as temperature fluctuations can affect tire pressure.

In the end, proactive tire maintenance is key to ensuring safety, performance, and longevity on the road. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can maximize the lifespan of your tires, improve fuel efficiency, and enjoy a smoother, safer driving experience. Remember, regular inspections, proper air pressure, tire rotations, suspension maintenance, and wheel alignments are the pillars of effective tire care. At PMR Automotive, we're committed to helping you keep your vehicle in top condition, so don't hesitate to schedule a tire maintenance or replacement service with us today!

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