Change is inevitable. Traffic lights turn red, gas tanks go empty, and even the best tires eventually need replacing. While tire wear is perfectly natural, you can help extend the life of your tires with these four handy tips.
To help stop tire wear in its tracks:
1. Adjust your driving habits.
You can’t avoid all tire wear, but you can avoid driving behaviors that tend to trigger it. For instance, taking curves too fast can wear the edges of your front tires. Hitting a pothole can create tire leaks and wear, and even mess with your wheel alignment. Take care to avoid speeding over puddles that could be hiding deep potholes. If possible, avoid them altogether. Psst! Get started with these everyday tips for avoiding pothole damage.
2. Monitor and maintain proper tire pressure.
Check your tire pressure every other time you fill up with gas, or at a minimum, once a month. When properly inflated, your tires can evenly distribute force from your vehicle to the road. When either under- or overinflated though, your tires can’t make proper contact with the road. Check out the graphic below to see what we mean. When a tire is underinflated, more of its surface area comes in contact with the road. When overinflated, less of the tire’s surface area comes in contact with the road.
Both situations can cause premature, uneven tire wear and lead to reduced gas mileage and tire lifespan.
To avoid this problem, check and adjust your tire pressure. Use our handy online tire pressure tool to find the recommended pressure, or stop by your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care for a quick tire pressure check and air fill-up, if needed.
3. Rotate your tires regularly.
General wisdom says to rotate your tires each time you get an oil change. Both services keep your car running smoothly and help you avoid big trouble down the road—like a nasty flat on the highway or a sludgy engine!
A tire rotation is exactly what it sounds like: the tires are swapped positions to help them wear more evenly (and therefore more slowly). Your front tires experience more stress when driving, since they are the ones that are primarily responsible for steering and turning the car. A tire rotation makes sure each tire gets a chance to ride in the front. Guess your friends aren’t the only ones yelling, “Shotgun!”
4. Invest in routine wheel alignment.
Have your alignment checked at the same time you have your tires rotated. Proper wheel alignment ensures optimal drivability. It helps your tires last longer, your vehicle drive smoother, and ultimately keep your wheels pointed in the right direction. If you suspect your alignment might be off—or it’s just been a while since you had the alignment checked out (hey, we know life gets busy!)—have one of our experienced technicians take a look.
Give your tires the tools they need to live longer and keep you safe on the road by following these four great tips and visiting your local Firestone Complete Auto Care for regular checks and services. Find your nearest location and schedule your appointment online today!