Most people neglect their tires. That’s too bad because with a little love and attention, you can assure your tires are safe to drive on and you can save a lot of money. With that mission in mind, here are some “hacks” that you can use to save your hard earned money and reduce your risk of problems.
Buy them at the right time – Did you know that if you buy your tires off-season that you can save money? That’s right, buy your winter tires in the summer and summer tires in the winter. It’s a simple thing and very few people do it! Just think about it, retailers need sales year round and guess what they incentivize when products sell slowly, off-season goods.
Shop around – So when was the last time you compared prices and deals from multiple vendors in hopes of getting the best deal? Most people don’t. They just go for whatever the local tire store recommends. Keep in mind, that there are always great deals somewhere when you are shopping for tires. Definitely look into the discount retailers as they frequently will have the best prices. Keep your eyes peeled for rebates also. much like cell phones and computers, there are always new models coming out, so the retailers need to blow out the old stock.
Keep them inflated – We hope you know that underinflated tires cost you big money. First, underinflated tires don’t roll as easily and this drops your cars gas mileage. According to McLoughlin Chevrolet in Milwaukie, OR, if your tires are 10 lbs underinflated (which is common), your gas mileage will be 5% less than usual. By the way, important point: the correct pressure to inflate your tires is NOT what the pressure stated on the actual tire. What you see on the actual tire is the maximum pressure. To find out what the pressure that you should inflate your tires to is, look in your owner’s manual or on the sticker in your door jambs.
Not all tires are created equal – In areas that see a winter weather, buy a second set of winter tires. This will help guarantee sure-footing regardless of what Mother Nature has in store. What most people do is get a second set of rims and they keep their winter tires and summer tires separate. While a second set of rims can be expensive, you will save money when you have your garage swap them over. (And you can really save money if you swap them, themselves.)
Don’t trash punctured tires – There is absolutely nothing wrong with patching a tire that has a hole in it. If you find a nail in the center of your tread that is leaking air, bring it to your local dealer or repair facility and have them patch it. Typically this will cost $25 or so and should last the life of the tire.
Don’t forget alignments – This final tip is more common sense than anything else. If your tires show odd wear patterns (worn more on one edge than the other), get your vehicle’s alignment checked out. This is especially true if you get new tires, get an alignment too and protect that investment!