Ah, tires, a vital component to optimal functionality of a car. For what is a car without a good set of tires? If you own a car then you know they come at a hefty price. You also know that they do not last forever. The need to to replace the tires is simply inevitable. In order for you to make the most of your tires, you are going to need to put in some maintenance time to preserve them. On average, tires will last in the range of 60,000 to 80,000 miles before needing replacement.
So here are some tips needed to maximize the lifespan of your rubber children.
Routinely check your tire air pressure
This is a good habit you should start getting into. When waiting at the pump to fill up your tank of gas, check your tire pressure. You don’t have to get an exact reading every time you go to the pump, but it doesn’t hurt to take a quick look at your tires for any bulging sidewalls, signifying low tire pressure.
However, once a month you should get an exact reading with a tire pressure gauge. You know the tool — that pencil style slide gauge. Locate the tire’s valve stem and hold the gauge to the stem to get a reading. Compare the measured pressure to the normal air pressure that should fill your tires with the sticker located on the driver side door jam, or the tire pressure listed on the tire’s sidewall.
If you are really bent on getting the most accurate reading then it might be worth it for you to invest in a nice digital or pencil gauge (some tires might even have built in gauges!). Keeping your tires properly inflated not only maintains your tires’ health but also gives you better gas mileage!
Rotate your tires every 5,000 to 10,000 miles…
Or every other oil change for good measure. Take it to the dealership where you got your car and they should do this free of charge. A good rotational routine helps manage even tread wear which further extends tire life.
While you’re at it, it’s not a bad idea to ask your mechanic to check and make sure your tires have proper alignment. Having a balanced set of tires reduces vibration and generally makes for a smoother ride. If your car is pulling either to the left or right without your dictation, then it might be a good idea to see if your wheels need aligning.
Check your suspension components
An improperly torqued wheel bearing or degraded shock absorbers can be a nightmare for your tires. Both of these issues can create irregular wear and depression wear. The video above goes into detail about how to take a look at your suspension system yourself to see if there are any problems with it.
Drive as smooth as possible
I know this might be impossible in some conditions, but the principle can be applied anywhere. Potholes can be a treacherous obstacle, so if you see no way to avoid them, slowing down and rolling over them can cause significantly less damage than driving directly through them at full force. If you live in places where rain and snow are a regular occurrence, then the chance of running into potholes exponentially increases. Keep an eye out for them if you don’t like loud, sudden disturbances.
Tires are a surprisingly easy car component to keep in good condition, and by doing soon, you can can avoid taking a hit to your wallet. Your tires are responsible for a supporting a very heavy load, so do them a favor and take care of them as you would your own kin. Well, maybe not that much, but take care of your tires.