The tires on your car do a lot of work. As the one component of the car that actually touches the road, they’re dealing with the full weight of your car along with immense levels of friction, heat, and the occasional debris and obstacles. If your last set of tires wore out too soon, you don’t have to make the same mistake again. These tips can help your tires last longer.
One of the quickest ways to run out the life of your tires is to drive on them when they aren’t properly inflated. Deflated tires can affect both your handling and stopping distance, but it also creates an uneven distribution of weight that can wear down the surface of the rubber. Invest in a handheld pressure gauge and make a habit of checking your pressure once a month. The recommended PSI varies by a tire, but you can find the right number for yours printed on the tire’s sidewall.
Not all tires are created equally, and getting a tire from a fly-by-night manufacturer can increase your risk of a blowout. Spending a little more on a recommended name like Goodyear, Michelin, or Toyo Tires can pay off in the long run. Buying new rather than used is also a wise investment if you plan on driving your vehicle with any regularity. Your tire retailer can help you find a set of tires suited to your vehicle.
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The demands of the road mean that all the tires on your car don’t wear down at the same rate. Typically, one or two tires do most of the heavy lifting, and they tend to deteriorate far more quickly than the rest. Ideally, you want to make sure that all of your tires retain roughly the same amount of tread so you can keep consistent friction and trade them all out at once. It’s recommended that you bring your tires in for rotation once every 5,000 miles.
Another cause of uneven tread is a misalignment. If your car’s alignment is bent out of shape, it creates an uneven distribution of your tires when they touch the road. That means the interior or exterior ends of the tire are taking a disproportionate amount of the weight, and the tread isn’t touching the ground evenly. Bringing your car in for an alignment check twice a year can prevent this from becoming a serious problem.
If you follow these techniques, you’ll typically be able to get three to four years of life out of your tires. Well maintained tires can save you money, but they can also make your driving experience safer.