Tire Maintenance & Safety: Know Your Tires
The condition of your tires is critical to your safety on the road. Worn tires can lead to dangerous blowouts at highway speeds, cause you to lose traction in severe weather conditions, and be more prone to damage from debris, all of which could leave you stranded.
You can keep your tires safe with a few simple maintenance steps, and save yourself from having to pay for expensive repairs or replacement later. Here's information on how to care for your tires, why certain maintenance tasks are important to the life and safety of your tires, and what to look for if you suspect they need replacing.
How to Make Your Tires Last Longer
One of the easiest and most important things you can do to get the most life from your tires is to ensure they are properly inflated to the correct tire pressure. Tires that are over-inflated or under-inflated have a tendency to wear faster and unevenly, resulting in needing new tires sooner than you may expect. The recommended tire pressure is between 32 and 35 PSI, but you can check the sticker on the driver's side door for the recommended pressure for your particular model or check your owner's manual. Check your tire pressure regularly and before you head out on a long trip. It's best to check your tire pressure when your tires are cold, and be sure to use a high-quality tire pressure gauge to get an accurate reading.
Making sure your wheels are kept in alignment and your tires are balanced also make a difference in tire life, since both can lead to excessive wear. We recommend having your tires balanced and rotated and your wheels aligned at regular intervals.
If you can, park your car in a garage or out of direct sun. Our hot Tucson summers can make tires degrade more quickly.
Why Tires Need to be Regularly Rotated
What is tire rotation and why does it need to be done on a regular basis? Tire rotation is simply moving the tires from their current positions to new ones. Generally, tires on the front and back are swapped. If your car has a full-sized spare, such as a Jeep, the rotation will include the spare.
Tires are rotated to prevent uneven wear. This is so that the tires all wear evenly. It is a good idea to have your tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or whenever you come in for an oil and filter change. Book an appointment with the tire experts at your nearest BRAKEmax location. We can inspect your tires and recommend any other tire services you may need.
The Benefits of Tire Balancing
Normal tread wear caused by daily driving can change how weight is distributed around the wheel and tire assembly. You may notice your steering wheel or floorboard vibrates or feel vibrations in the driver's seat when your tires are out of balance.
Keeping your tires balanced provides a number of advantages, including:
- Making your ride more comfortable
- Reducing uneven tread wear
- Increasing your tires' durability and safety
- Improving your fuel consumption
Our mechanics can quickly rotate your tires, which involves removing the wheels and tires, and putting the wheels on specialized equipment. We'll correct any imbalances, then remount the tires and wheels.
The Importance of Tire Alignment
Properly aligned tires are less susceptible to the excessive wear that can lead to compromised safety on the road. Some of the signs that it's time to have your tires aligned include:
- Your steering wheel doesn't easily return to its normal position after you've turned
- Your steering wheel remains at an angle when you're driving on a straight road
- The car pulls to one side on a straight road
- Your handling or steering feels different than it normally does
You may notice one or more of these signs after you've suddenly hit a curb or pothole, driven too quickly over a high speed bump, or after you've been in an accident.
All vehicles should drive in a smooth, straight line. If yours doesn't, it may be time to schedule a tire alignment.
What to Know About Wheel Alignment
Feeling your vehicle pull to one side or the other is not the only sign that you may need a wheel alignment. In fact, you may not experience that pulling at all and still need wheel alignment service. Other signs of misalignment include:
- Excessive tire wear
- A steering wheel that's crooked
- Poor handling when you corner or brake
When you bring your vehicle to BRAKEmax, our mechanics check three main angles of your wheels:
- Camber—The inward or outward angle of the tire when it's viewed from the front. When this angle exceeds the manufacturer's specifications, one edge of the tire may wear more quickly and the car may sometimes pull to one side.
- Caster—This is the angle toward the rear or front when viewed from the side. Tire wear isn't usually the result, but a pull to one side is a definite sign.
- Toe—This is the inward or outward direction of the tires when viewed from above. Hitting a curb or pothole will often cause this angle to exceed specifications.
Without proper alignment, you may prematurely wear out your tires or have one tire wear at a faster rate than others. Excessive tread wear can compromise your safety by reducing your tires' ability to grip the road. If you've noticed any of the signs listed above, make an appointment today at BRAKEmax for a complete tire and wheel inspection.
Inspect Your Tires Regularly
One of the simplest and most important things you can do to keep your tires in good condition is to inspect them at regular intervals. Checking your tires can help prevent small issues from becoming expensive or dangerous problems. To increase the life of your tires and get better performance, look for:
- Signs of damage: Look closely for cracks, splits, small punctures, or bulges. Pay particular attention to the sidewalls.
- Objects in your tread: It's normal for tread to pick up debris from the road, but some debris, such as pieces of metal or glass, can cause a puncture. Remove anything that's caught in the tread.
- Tread wear: Look for exposed steel if you have radial tires, and check for wear (on all types of tires) that appears to be worse on one edge, which indicates uneven wear. It's easy to check the depth of your tread yourself: Simply take a penny and insert it into the read with Lincoln's head going in first. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, it means that your tread has become too shallow and the tire should be replaced.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
The experts at BRAKEmax Tire & Service Centers have everything you need to keep your tires safe and in top condition. Our complete tire services include tire rotation, tire repair, wheel balance, and more. We'll thoroughly inspect your tires and provide a free, no-obligation quote for our services. Make sure to check our coupons page for special savings on our services and on brand-new tires for your car or truck.
Contact us online to schedule your tire service appointment.