630-444-1414 | 1820 Production Drive, Unit B, St. Charles, IL 60174

Ever since the production of vehicles started, tire technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. Despite the innovations being made in the world of tire manufacturing, the basics of understanding tires and their maintenance remain the same. Superior tire maintenance requires proper alignment, balancing, rotation, and inflation in addition to proper product selection when replacing them.

Wheel (or Tire) Alignment

An alignment is the process of adjusting the steering and suspension components of your vehicle, so the wheels and tires are at manufacturers’ specified angles to make optimal contact with the surface of the road.  The wheels and tires themselves are not adjusted during this process. 

How to know if the vehicle needs a wheel (or tire) alignment?

  • Upon installing new tires
  • Replacement of suspension components
  • Vibration, pulsing or shaking in the steering wheel
  • Vibration, pulsing or shaking in the seat or floorboards
  • Steering wheel is off center or crooked when driving straight
  • Vehicle pulls to the left or right
  • Uneven tire tread wear

Tire Balancing

Tire Balancing is the process of adding weights to the wheel to counterbalance the imperfection of the tires mass distribution.

Even though brand new tires and wheels look perfectly round and symmetrical, they have minor imperfections to them when they are manufactured.  They will be ever so slightly heavier in some spots.  To correct the imbalance, weights are added to the tire and wheel assembly.

How to know if tires need to be balanced?

  • Upon getting new tires installed
  • Vibration, pulsing or shaking in the steering wheel
  • Vibration, pulsing or shaking in the seat or floorboards
  • After a flat tire
  • A weight falls off the wheel
  • Uneven Tire Tread Wear

Proper Tire Inflation

Did you know that proper tire inflation is a major contributor for better vehicle handling, longer tire life and maximized fuel economy?  The vehicle manufacturer recommended tire pressures are typically located in the door jamb or vehicle maintenance guide.  Typically, all four tires are at the same pressures, but not always.  Also, if you have a different size tire for the spare tire, a different pressure will be specified.

Tire Pressure Check

Tire pressures should be check when they are cold or barely driven on in a three-hour time span.  The tire pressure specifications are for tires with cold air in them.  Therefore, as tires roll along the road, friction heats up the tires and increases the air pressure.

How to know if tire pressures need to be checked?

  • Decreasing fuel mileage
  • Steering seems a bit sluggish
  • The bulge on the bottom is larger than normal

Tire Rotation

The tire rotation is changing the position the tires are located on your vehicle.  Tire rotations are important for tire upkeep and tire manufacturer warranty.  The tire rotation provides a great opportunity to visually inspect the tire all around for damage, irregular wear, or missing wheel weights.

The vehicle’s weight and the drivetrain forces are contributing factors to uneven tire wear.  The vehicle’s weight is not evenly distributed throughout.  For instance, the engine often makes the front of the vehicle heavier.  Of course, that is if the engine is in the front of the vehicle.  Hauling loads (materials, equipment, etc.) may alter the distribution of weight differently.  Also, the drivetrain will apply forces to the tires differently depending on the configuration.    l Therefore, tires will wear at different rates for each mile driven and the rotation will help even the wear over all the tires.

Autopractor – Your local tire shop

Your car is only as safe and efficient on the road as its tires will allow it to be.  If they are misaligned, poorly inflated, or if the tread is wearing thin, then your automobile can become unsafe, difficult to operate, and experience reduced fuel efficiency.  At Autopractor, we’ll take a look at your tires every time we see your vehicle.  And when appropriate, we will recommend tire and wheel services that include:

  • tire inspection
  • tire rotation
  • tire balancing
  • flat-tire repair or replacement
  • wheel alignment
  • tire replacement

We always strive to educate you on the options available to you when considering tire or wheel service or replacement, but will ensure that our recommendations to you focus on your safety, first.

Trust Autopractor for all your vehicle’s tire and wheel needs!

We Service Most Makes and Models

Below are many of the manufacturers we service:

  • Acura
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Buick
  • Cadillac
  • Chevrolet
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Ford
  • GMC
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Infiniti
  • Isuzu
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep
  • Kia
  • Land Rover
  • Lexus
  • Lincoln
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mini
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Oldsmobile
  • Pontiac
  • Ram
  • Saab
  • Saturn
  • Subaru
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen
  • Volvo