Posts Tagged ‘how long do tires last’

How Can I Make My Tires Last As Long As Possible?

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It’s easy to forget about your tires. But treating them right not only improves your vehicle’s safety and performance, it also saves you money. Below are some things to keep in mind to ensure your tires last as long as possible.

tire close up

Don’t Let Your Tires Become Underinflated

When your tires are just a few pounds light, a flat spot develops where the rubber meets the road. This means a larger surface area of the tire is in contact, which rapidly accelerates tire wear. It affects your gas mileage as well by increasing the friction between the tire and the road.

Check your tire pressure once a month and add a little air as needed to match the tire’s specifications. Most tires lose a pound or two every month.

Check to See that Your Tires Sit Vertically (and Don’t Lean to the Right or Left)

Any good maintenance shop will have a number of hi-tech techniques for checking your tire alignment. But you can do a simple check yourself in your own driveway.

The first thing to look for is the tire’s camber (the degree to which the tire tilts toward or away from the car, i.e. is the tire vertical). If there is any amount of camber, the tread will wear unevenly and you’ll have to replace much sooner. You can tell if there’s a camber on your front tires by standing directly in front of the vehicle (or behind it for rear tires) and determining whether your tires tip in or out.

Make Sure Your Tires Aren’t “Pigeon-Toed”

You can also check what’s called the ‘toe’ of your tires. The front of your tires should be pointed straight ahead, if they are “pigeon-toed” (pointing inward) or splayed outward, your tread will not wear evenly. Pigeon-toed tires often bear a distinctive tread-wear called ‘feathering’ in the industry.

If either your camber or toe seems off, or you see uneven tread-wear, it’s time to get your tires aligned.

Get Your Tires Regurlarly Rotated

All four of your tires wear a little differently. In front-wheel drive cars, the front tires wear out much faster than the backs, and vice versa. Passenger side versus driver side can make a huge difference as well, due to differing frequencies in left and right turns. Most manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles to distribute wear evenly. To make remembering this easy, have your tires rotated at every other oil change.

Got more questions tire-related questions? Give Discount Tire Centers a call! We’re you’re number one choice for tires in West Los Angeles and the entire southern California region!

Photo courtesy of Steve Garner.

 

Do You Need New Tires? Here’s How to Tell

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tire wear

At the risk of stating the obvious, there’s only one part of your car that actually touches the road with any regularity: your tires. A good set of tires properly fitted to your vehicle can make a huge difference, and worn tires aren’t just bad for gas mileage and handling: they’re a safety hazard. Here are five ways to tell your tires are, well, tired:

Check the Tread Wear Bar

If your tires are newer, they may have a feature older tires don’t: a tread wear bar built into the tire. At first this bar won’t appear, but as the tires are worn it will show up. They’ll appear as flat bars perpendicular to the tire’s tread.

The Classic: Penny Test

A penny might be just about worthless at this point, but at least it’s useful for one thing. Tread on tires ought never to be less than 1/16th of an inch. How can you know? Take a typical penny, insert it in the grooves of the tire, and if you can see all of the 16th President’s noggin, it’s time to replace your wheels.

Check the Sidewall

Tire problems don’t necessarily begin on the tread; they can occur on the sidewall too. Fortunately checking this is simple: look to see if there’s any cracking or wear.

Blisters & Other Irregularities

Another visual sign there’s a problem with your tire, or you’re about to have one: blisters, bulges, and other irregularities mean it’s time to think about replacing your round rubber friends. Remember, it’s better to replace tires early and save yourself a couple hours stranded by the side of the highway.

Not So Good Vibrations

If you’re experiencing excessive vibration while driving, one of the first things you should check is the tires. There are good vibrations and not so good vibrations. Make sure your car’s giving you the former, with the help of new tires.

Think it’s time to replace your tired tires?  Visit discounttirecenters.com for great deals on tires in Los Angeles! And leave us a comment: do you have any handy car maintenance tricks you want the world to know? How do you keep track of the life of your tires?

Main photo by: (nz)dave