There is no definite answer to the age-old mystery of how long should your tires last.
It depends on a number of factors, some of which are completely out of your control (such as weather conditions). They can wear out after a couple of years or after 20-30 thousand kilometers, but they can also live and function properly for many years, or even a whole decade. Driving speeds up their aging process, but passivity does the same.
They are hardly a cheap investment, but when their last breathing moment comes, there’s no alternative but to replace them. Good tires are essential for your car’s proper functioning and your own safety on the road.
However, there are things you can do to postpone tire replacement as much as possible. Today we give you 5 tips to prolong the lifespan of your pet’s rubber legs.
1) Pressure needs to be checked regularly
This is a must-do activity at least once a month. Regardless of the schedule, you should also check tire pressure each time you plan to undertake a longer trip. A lot of people don’t do this because they rely on their TPMS dashboard light, which will warn them only if the pressure is under 75% – which is way too low.
But even a brand new tire will deflate a little every month. If you don’t react, it will make your car difficult to control, affect your fuel economy and make every ride a dangerous adventure. Whether they are flat or overinflated, the risk is there and you need to address it.
Most tires require a pressure of 60 PSI, but this is not a universal measure. To make sure which pressure is recommended for your tires, check your car’s owner pocketbook.
While hanging around the tires, take a few minutes to inspect them. Unfortunately, roads are frequently inhabited by jackstones, little rocks or nails, and some of them can end up in your tires, causing punctures. You can repair some of the punctures yourself, but it’s always best to visit a trained technician.
2) Tires need rotating
Cars can be front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive vehicles. The type of the car you choose to buy will determine the traction, handling, behavior in different weather conditions, and many other things.
But guess who suffers most because of the downsides of all three respectively? The tires, of course. They have to bear all the pressure.
This pressure is uneven. In front-wheel-drive cars, front tires are going to wear faster than rear tires. Conversely, rear tires are the ones that will make a greater effort if you own a rear-wheel drive car. Even in an all-wheel-drive vehicle, the tires won’t suffer exactly the same amount of stress in touch with the ground.
That’s why it’s best to have them rotated every 8.000 kilometers.
3) Wheels need alignment
If you feel vibration or trembling when steering, or the car drifts to one side, it’s time to get your wheels aligned. Thanks to many encounters with potholes and curbs, they can get displaced out of their normal, parallel position. If your steering wheel isn’t centered, this is yet another sign your wheels are in urgent need of proper alignment.
But you shouldn’t wait until it starts to show. Smaller misalignments can often pass unnoticed, and it’s your tires that will eventually pay the price.
So, this is just another part of regular car maintenance that should be done twice a year. It doesn’t cost much and it saves you money in the long run.
4) Adjust your driving style
Fast driving may be fun, but it doesn’t go hand in hand with your tires’ health and good shape. Fast steering, hard braking, aggressive acceleration or hitting curbs are not a good muscle exercise for the tires. These practices force them to undergo even more stress than usual and deteriorate at a faster pace.
It’s great if you have a powerful sports car that simply calls for flooring the gas pedal, but try not to do it often. Tires like to be treated as gently as possible. Having to face the ground and fight bumps and potholes is trouble enough for them. You don’t have to add to that trouble. At least if you want them to last.
5) Rubber hates sun
Bald tires can make for a lousy driving experience, but there’s something equally bad: cracks scattered on the sidewalls like wrinkles on a very old person’s face.
This condition is usually associated with natural decay because of aging. But years of experience are not the only reason for this. It can also happen because of frequent exposure to heat and sun, whose UV rays aren’t vicious for humans only.
Store your car in a garage. If you don’t have one, grow a habit of parking it in shady places and you’ll do your tires (and your wallet) a service.
If you need help with your tires, we can get you set up and ready to go! Come to our repair shops in Hamilton and Stoney Creek today!