Your tires are the only thing between you and the road, and they’re a significant financial purchase. We know you want to do everything you can to safely extend the life of your tires to keep your car in commission and to keep you and your passengers safe.
Thankfully, you can implement a few maintenance and driving practices that preserve your tires for the long haul. In this article, we’ll walk you through five ways to help your tires last longer.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
Keeping your tires properly inflated is the easiest and most effective means to help them last. Driving on underinflated tires increases the chance for preventable damage and poses serious risk for flats or blowouts. Plus, tires with low pressure reduce your car’s fuel economy, costing you at the gas pump.
You should check your tire pressure every month. Even with the best tires, in the best driving conditions, and with the best drivers, tires lose about 1 PSI per month. Add in hazardous road conditions or a sudden impact, and your tires might lose air pressure more rapidly.
Using a tire gauge, check each tire’s PSI once a month. You can find your tire’s recommended PSI in your car’s owner’s manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door. If your tires are low, simply air them up, and you can be on your way.
Thankfully, checking your tire pressure is fast and easy. By keeping your tires at their proper PSI, you extend their life and can potentially prevent serious accidents caused by a worn tire.
Regularly Rotate Your Tires
The front wheels on your car must work harder and bear a greater burden than your back wheels. If left as is, your front wheels will wear down much more quickly than your back wheels. Thankfully, rotating your tires helps both sets of wheels last longer.
When you have your tires rotated, the front wheels are moved to the rear of the car, and the back wheels are brought forward. This evenly distributes the work between both sets of tires. When you give your front wheels a break, you’re helping your tires last longer, reducing the chance of premature tearing or damage.
Consumer Reports says you should rotate your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. To make remembering this maintenance task a little easier, you can schedule a tire rotation at every other oil change. Keeping a consistent schedule ensures your tires are wearing at an even rate and get a break from the hard work of being the front set.
Have Your Car Aligned
A car’s suspension needs care, and unfortunately, car alignment is an often-forgotten aspect of car maintenance. If your car is drifting to one side when you drive, or if you’ve noticed uneven wear on your tire tread, you need to bring the vehicle in for an alignment.
Accelerated wear and tear can send your tires to an early grave. When your car isn’t aligned, your tires aren’t able to spin and roll as they were designed to. As a result, they connect with other parts of your car when they’re not meant to, resulting in friction, heat, and premature damage.
Your car might need an alignment for several reasons. If you’ve recently hit something or have been on the receiving end of impact, drive on rough roads, or if it’s simply been a while since your last alignment, you should bring your car to the professionals. Every few years is frequent enough to keep your car driving straight and your tires in good condition.
Regardless of your alignment schedule, the important thing is you remember to have it done. Regular alignments keep your tires working as they should without extra friction or stress to the rubber.
Whether you have a long commute with a lot of highway miles, drive through construction zones every day, or enjoy a straight shot to the office just across town, how you drive matters. Careful driving habits can go a long way in keeping your tires in good shape even in the roughest road conditions.
Driving at top speed is usually not necessary, and it wreaks havoc on your tires. Every tire has a speed rating, and exceeding the recommended speed will shorten the life of your tires. Mindless driving over potholes, debris, and curbs doesn’t do your tires any favors, either. Even quick accelerations and sudden braking cause your tires to wear down quickly.
Your driving practices can significantly influence the lifespan of your tires. To help your tires last as long as possible, drive carefully, drive smart, and drive alert. In fact, drive like they taught you in driving school. Look out for road hazards, accelerate and decelerate at reasonable paces, and drive the speed limit. Your tires—and everyone else on the road—will thank you.
Be Aware of Road Conditions
You can be the most careful, alert, and sensible driver on the road, but if you run over a nail, your tire is toast. Being aware of road hazards—as well as the potential for hazards—will help you keep your tires rolling for a long time.
When picking your route, opt out of taking poorly maintained roads. Additionally, if you’re planning on passing through a construction zone, consider taking a more scenic route. Even driving behind a truck hauling construction debris can result in damage to your tires—or worse, cause an accident!
Being aware of your driving conditions and your surroundings is good practice for safe driving, and your tires will benefit too!
As we showed you above, you can take many steps to helping your tires last. All the tips we outlined are good habits for anyone behind the wheel. It just so happens that these practices maintain the health of your tires and help them last longer, too. We hope you implement these practices to get more life out of your tires. Happy driving!
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