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The Top 10 Ways to Maximize Tire Life

Tires are expensive. Like most things in life, we want them to have long and healthy lives. Follow the tips below and the lifespan of your tires will be maximized!

1. Proper Tire Size

The manufacturer installed tire size will be stated on a placard on the driver side door frame. Also, look at the existing tire sidewall on the car. (This assumes all subsequent installed tires followed the original installed tires.) An example of a tire size looks like 225/65R17.

2. Proper Tire Type

The driving conditions you encounter dictate the type of tires that are most suitable. Performance tires, summer tires, winter tires, and all-season tires are examples of tire types to choose from.

It is most important to drive on tires that are most appropriate for the environment.  For instance, remove the winter tires as soon as the wintry weather is over. The soft rubber compound is not meant for warmer weather.

3. Appropriate Load Capacity or Range

This is the load carrying capacity of a tire. In other words, this is the maximum amount of weight the tires can safely support. The load capacity of the tire is listed after the size on the sidewall.

Overloading your tires will significantly shorten their lifespan. Delivery van and work truck owners should take notice of the load capacity of the tires.  The installed tires are not alway adequate.

4. Correct Inflation Pressure

Proper tire inflation pressure is important for maximizing the lifespan. The vehicle manufacturer specifies the ideal pressure in the car manual. Likewise, it can be found on the placard on the driver side door frame.

The tire manufacturer will post a tire pressure on the sidewall of the tire. The pressure on the tire is the maximum pressure and almost always differs from the car maker’s recommendation.

Tire pressures should be checked at least once a month. Additionally, the tire pressure should be checked when there are major temperature swings. Tires can lose pressure when running over potholes, striking objects, or striking the curb too hard when parking. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, proper tire inflation can save you up to 11 cents per gallon fuel.

Looking for more gas saving tips? Check out these proven tips.

5. Proper Vehicle Loading

It is best to place loads over the axle or towards the front of the car. Also, center the weight or balancing multiple loads side to side shall be considered.

6. Regular Tire Rotations

The tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles to maintain equalized treadwear. This equates to every or every other oil change depending on the frequency.

The vehicle’s own weight distribution and drivetrain will cause uneven tire wear. Heavier “corners” of the car will wear the tire more quickly.  Oftentimes, the front tires will wear more rapidly because of the engine weight.  In addition, the drivetrain axle will wear the tires with the transfer of the engine power to the tires.

Above all, tire manufacturers require adequate tire rotations for warranty claims.

7. Frequent Tire Inspections

A visual tire inspection can detect problems before they become serious. An inspection can reveal the following:

  • Tire Balding or Low Treads
  • Feathering or Cupping Wear
  • Foreign Object Punctures
  • Improper Tire Inflation
  • Sidewall Damage
  • Any Other Safety Concerns

8. Proper Tire Repair

A flat tire does not automatically result in needing a new tire. The location and size of the damage will determine if the tire can be repaired. Tire repair guidelines are set by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and Tire Industry Association (TIA). A properly repaired flat tire can allow the tire to last its original lifespan.

9. Alignment

The process of adjusting the vehicle suspension to angle the tires so they make proper contact with the road. Misaligned vehicles will cause uneven or rapid tread wear.

Sometimes unaligned wheels are obvious.  For instance, the vehicle will pull to one side while driving straight.  Another indicator is a vibration in the steering wheel will be present.

10. Good Driving Habits

Squealing the tires and taking hard turns leaves an unnecessary amount of rubber on the road. Aggressive driving along with hard starts and stops will prematurely wear out the tire. Easy driving on smoother roads without potholes and significant cracks will prolong the life of your tires.

How Long Are Tires Supposed to Last?

The short answer: It Depends. Every tire manufacturer has a warranty period that it places on the tires. Most tires range from 50,000 to 80,000 miles or approximately four to five years.

Moreover, the brand of tire makes a difference. Premium brands tend to be truer to the advertised warranty mileage.

Need new tires? Need a tire repair?

Autopractor, your local tire shop, will keep you rolling by fixing flat tires or installing new. We have great deals on a variety of tire brands. Firestone, Good Year, Mastercraft, and Yokohama to name a few. Call Autopractor today at 630-444-1414.

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