Did you know that Americans spend about $20 billion on new tires every year?
Kitting out your light truck or auto with a new set of tires is an unwanted and often unavoidable expense. However, by working smarter, you can extend your tire lifespan and get the most out of your treads before you have to replace them.
If you want to save time, hassle, and expense this year, our tire care and lifespan guide will put you on the right track. These common-sense tricks are sure to keep you rolling further for longer, and prevent you from having to junk your car any time soon.
Here is our ultimate guide on extending the lifespan of your tires.
Perform Regular Inspections
New tires are an investment, so you want to make sure you’re looking after them to the best possible standard. The cornerstone of good tire care is regular inspections and point checks to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
Visually inspect each tire for cuts, buffs, gouges, and embedded debris. If you notice something that doesn’t look right, make sure to have it fixed before your next drive. Driving with compromised tires increases the risk of failure and can pose a danger to yourself and other road users.
You should also check that your tread depth is still within the manufacturer’s recommended parameters. This ensures adequate traction in all terrains and conditions.
Check and Maintain Tire Pressure
Checking and maintaining the PSI (pound per square inch) pressure of your tires is a straightforward yet essential process that can add significant longevity to your tires.
Depending on your vehicle, your tires are designed to function best at a certain pressure. Underinflating your tires can lead to increased wear and tear, unseating, and reduced response. Conversely, an overinflated tire is at risk of blowing out, punctures, and ruptures. This could cause an accident and lead to frame damage, or worse, a totaled car.
Find out the optimal pressure for your tires and keep a pressure gauge with you in your vehicle. That way you’ll be able to test your pressure regularly and confidently stay within the guidelines.
You can find your recommended tire pressure by looking at your owner’s manual. Many cars also feature a plaque on the driver’s door which displays the correct range.
Have you noticed that you’re holding your steering wheel at an angle to stay straight on the road? If so, your car likely has an alignment problem.
Poor wheel alignment can be dangerous and has a huge effect on the lifespan of your tires. Excessive differences in the direction that your two front wheels are pointing will speed up degradation and put undue stress on your tires.
Guarantee the longevity of your tires by taking your vehicle to a qualified mechanic for periodical wheel alignment. They will accurately measure the tow of your vehicle and adjust one or both wheels accordingly.
In addition to prolonging your tires’ lifespan, it will also improve the ride and response of your vehicle, improving your driving experience.
Rotate Your Tires
Depending on their location, each of your tires will undergo different significant stressors. For example, front tires wear quickly at the edges due to covering, while rear tires are subjected to acceleration and traction forces.
To make sure each of your wheels survives a similar amount of time, be sure to regularly rotate them. That way, they will all be put under similar stress throughout their lifespan. This will also reduce wear and tear on each tire.
Additionally, you should take your tires to a technician for balancing. By using lead weights, they can balance each tire and reduce vibration to give you the smoothest ride possible.
Dealing With Flats and Punctures
Punctures can often mean the end of a tire’s useful life, and a blowout or major flat will obviously have to be replaced. However, not every puncture is obvious, and how you proceed depends on the source of the problem.
If you suspect you have a puncture, use this simple method to locate the leak. Take a small bucket or cup and mix some ordinary dish soap with water. Using a brush, apply the solution to the tire in question. Be sure to coat the entire surface, then look for any soap bubbles to determine the location of punctures.
If you find a leak, mark it with duct tape so that your tire repair technician can locate it more easily. If the leak isn’t too severe, it might be worth repairing rather than replacing your tire.
However, you should be wary of driving with a puncture, even if it seems minor. Even a small bump from a curb or pothole could cause a blowout, so make sure you address suspected leaks promptly.
Adjust Your Driving Style
Mechanics aside, human error is often the culprit when it comes to tires wearing out prematurely. Your driving style has a huge impact on how long your tires last, and a few proactive steps will help maintain them for longer.
Try to moderate your driving. High-speed driving puts thermal stress on the tire, and harsh breaking causes wear through friction. Aggressive cornering is also detrimental because it puts increased force onto the tire.
If you want to look after your tires as you drive, break slowly and deliberately, drive at a moderate speed, and take care to avoid road debris where possible.
Driving Your Tire Lifespan Forward
Correct driving and maintenance habits are a simple yet often neglected way to save time, money, and effort in the future. A little work today can save you a headache tomorrow and give you a smooth, safe ride on your next journey.
Although your best option is to stay on top of tire lifespan, you can only replace your tires so many times before the inevitable day comes when you have to scrap your car and buy something new.
When that happens, we’ll be here to offer you the best price for your car today. Contact us now for a quote.