The best way to ensure that you get the most out of your tires is through proper care and maintenance. Just a few simple steps can increase the life of your tires and improve the performance of your vehicle.
Making sure your tires are properly inflated at all times is one of the most important things you can do. Tires with the right amount of pressure not only perform better, but are also less susceptible to tire failure. Did you know that under-inflated tires actually force your engine to work harder and decrease the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle? They are also subject to accelerated tread wear that can shorten the life of your tire.
Check your tire pressure at least once a month to ensure that your vehicle is always operating at optimal levels.
Air pressure should be monitored once a month, or more frequently if you’re driving long distances or through bad weather.
Tires should be checked when they are cold, preferably first thing in the morning or after they have sat for at least three hours.
Both manual and digital pressure gauges are available to help you determine if your tires need more air.
Check you door placard or owner’s manual to find your tires’ recommended pressure levels.
Uneven tread wear can shorten the life of your tires by causing areas of a tire to wear down prematurely and need replacement sooner. You can avoid this by regularly rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Although you should always refer to your vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines before rotating your tires, tire rotation pattern generally depends on your vehicle’s type of drive system:
Rear wheel drive: The front tires should be rotated from the front to the back in a crossover pattern while the rear wheels will simply move to the wheel position directly in front of them.
Front wheel drive: These vehicles are exactly the opposite with the back tires moving to the front in a crossover pattern and the front wheels moving to the rear without changing sides.
Unidirectional tires: You shouldn’t cross them and simply swap from front to back staying on the exact same side of the car.
Four wheel drive: For these systems, you should cross the tires on both the front and the back.
Perfectly balanced wheels are the key to a smooth, vibration-free driving experience. With regular balancing, your tires will also wear more uniformly and last longer. So visit your local Sears Auto Center for wheel balancing services which will give you a smoother, long-lasting ride from your tires.
Pay attention to the following:
Experiencing vibration in your vehicle or steering column when approaching speeds over 50 mph can indicate indicates a tire balancing problem
Vehicles that are out of balance may experience uneven tread wear that can shorten the life of the tire.
Wheels should be balanced every time you rotate or replace your tires or if you notice speed-related vibration.
Alignment is all about how your tires meet the pavement. When properly aligned, your tires will be perpendicular to the road, giving you improved steering, optimal fuel efficiency and even tire wear.
Pay attention to the following:
Cars that are out of alignment tend to pull in one direction and can affect overall steering, responsiveness, handling, and more.
Improperly aligned wheels can increase the car’s rolling resistance, which decreases fuel efficiency.
Vehicles that are out of alignment may experience uneven tread wear that can shorten the life of the tire.
Have the alignment of your vehicle checked every six months or if you detect a problem.