Car Care Tips

Tips to keep your car on the road.

Maintenance May 28, 2015

5 Easy Ways to Maximize Tire Life

Highway traffic

There are many recommendations available to maximize the life of tires, and most of them are not difficult to accomplish. Routine vehicle maintenance will prevent the vast majority of tire wear issues, and proactive inspection will take care of the rest. Here are five proven and effective ways to extend the life of tires:

1. Maintain proper tire inflation pressure: Tires that are underinflated by 20% will reduce tire life by as much as 16%. Since tires are porous, they constantly lose air pressure, which must be replenished regularly. Temperature changes also have an effect. To learn more about proper tire inflation, click HERE.

2. Rotate your tires regularly: Tires wear differently depending on their position on the vehicle. To keep all tires wearing evenly and to maximize tread life, they must be rotated at regular intervals. The industry recommendation is to rotate your tires every second oil change (about 6,000 miles). You should refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations specific to your vehicle. There are many benefits of properly rotating your tires, you can learn more by clicking HERE.

3. Check alignment regularly: Alignment of the steering tires affects tire life, as does total body alignment (front to rear). The life of your tires can be positively impacted (as much as 30%) by ensuring that your wheels are properly aligned. Road hazards can knock a vehicle out of alignment quickly and unknowingly, and therefore total body alignment should be checked on a regular basis.

4. Replace worn components immediately: Almost every part of a vehicle exhibits some level of wear over time, and much of that wear can affect tire life. Shock absorbers, wheel bearings, tie rod ends, springs, and ball joints are a few common wear items influencing alignment and tire life. The result of some types of wear is misalignment, while other types of wear can cause vibration, imbalance, and inconsistent contact between the road and the tire.

5. Reduce top speeds when driving: The faster a tire goes, the more heat it retains and the faster it wears. A 20-mph increase in average speed, from 55 mph to 75 mph, can decrease tread life by up to 30%. This change in speed will require a 60,000-mile tire to be replaced after only 42,000 miles. Learning to read and understand tire wear can allow early detection and correction.

Inspect the tire surface regularly for cupping, feathering, and distortion; know how to correct it to add mileage back to a tire headed for premature replacement. It is also important to understand the effects of improper maintenance are cumulative; running tires that are both misaligned and under-inflated can reduce maximum tire life by as much as 30% to 40%.

If you have any questions about extending the life of your vehicle’s tires, you can email, call or visit any of our 17 convenient locations in Virginia.

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