Tires are more than just the rubber shoes of your vehicle — they’re the only things touching the ground you’re driving over inside over a ton of glass and steel. But while there’s no understating the importance of your vehicle’s tires, that’s not to say they don’t need regular maintenance. In order to keep you and your vehicle safe, it’s critical that you take a few simple steps to properly maintain the health of your tires. By following the steps of tire maintenance below, you can ensure that your tires will be healthy, efficient and successful, just like you and your vehicle will be by proximity.
In order to get the best value for the tires you decide to buy, it’s important that you invest in the right tires for your vehicle. For instance, do you drive mostly around town and on highways? Or do you like to go off-roading and need extra traction? If your car is mostly a road vehicle, you should stay away from aggressive tire treads/patterns because (although they look cool) they tend to wear faster. Conversely, if you’re getting tires for a primarily off-road vehicle, then you should purchase tires with a more aggressive tire pattern in order to have more control and better traction.
R&B: Rotation and Balance
It’s also important to make sure your tires are properly rotated and balanced. If they aren’t, your tires could experience cupping or uneven ware, which is bad for your tires and your car in general. Also, if your car is vibrating, that’s a sign that your car’s tires should be rotated and balanced as soon as possible. The longer you wait to get your tires rotated and balanced, more damage will be done to your vehicle and tire.
Air Pressure Maintenance
Measuring your air pressure can be a hassle — luckily, there are two easy ways to tell if your tires are underinflated or over inflated. If your tires are experiencing tread ware only on the middle of your tires, then your tires are probably over inflated. Likewise, if you are experiencing tread wear only on the outer edges of your tires, then your tires are underinflated.
Patching and Repairing
If your tire is ever punctured by something on the road, even if the tire is still inflated, you should get your tire repaired as soon as possible. In most cases, it’s true that patching can only be done if the damage is on the inside of the tire; if there is a puncture on the outside near where the tread curved downward, you may need to purchase new tires.
What’s more, you should always get an alignment after anything has punctured your tires. After that, it’s a good idea to get an alignment every two years after that, and make sure your tires are balanced. Your tires should be balanced when they’re new, and whenever you notice a shimmy in the steering wheel. Also, every 5,000 miles it’s important that you get your tires rotated.
Written by Marc Laferierre, owner of Dents Unlimited. Dents Unlimited is an auto repair shop in Columbia, MO where their expert staff can get your car back on the road in no time.