How to Make Your Tires Last Longer

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Tires are crucial and often come with a hefty price tag. Even though it’s usually suggested to change your tires every three to four years, especially if you clock in 12,000 to 15,000 miles annually, there are steps you can take to prevent them from wearing out prematurely. Doing so can save you money over time.

Avoid Driving with a Flat Tire

Thanks to improvements in tire technology, flat tires are less frequent than before. Yet, they still occur. Driving on a flat tire can not only cause more damage to the tire and wheels, costing you extra, but it also poses a risk to your safety and that of others on the road. A flat tire makes it tough to steer straight. Driving on it can cause the wheel rim to press against the tire, tearing the inside lining. Continuing to drive on a flat can severely damage or bend the rims, leading to costly replacements. In some cases, you might end up spending up to $720. Moreover, brake lines, rotors, calipers, and suspension parts may suffer irreparable damage.

However, your safety is paramount. If driving on a flat is necessary to avoid danger, do so at reduced speeds with your hazard lights on until you’re safe.

Do you know what the best tire pressure is for your car? While your owner’s manual will list the correct pressure, you can also find it on a sticker attached to the edge of the driver’s side door, glove box door, or fuel door.

Fill Your Tires Correctly

Keeping an eye on your tire pressure is key to avoiding bigger issues later, like uneven wear. Many new cars come with a system that tells you when tire pressure is too low. If you see a warning light on your dashboard, it means your tires might need quick action to prevent damage. Remember, cold weather can lower tire pressure. So, when it gets really cold, check your tires more often. It’s wise to fill your tires at least once every winter.

The Penny Test

Wondering when to get new tires? If you don’t have a tool to measure tire tread, use a penny. Put it in the tread with Lincoln’s head down. If you can see the top of his head, it might be time for new tires at a local shop.

Tip: Keep up with it. Look for signs of tread wear every couple of months, especially if you drive a lot or go on long trips.

Watch That Alignment

Does your car pull to one side? Or do you see a lot of wear on one edge of your tires? It might be time for an alignment. For most cars, alignment adjusts the angles of your wheels. This precise job is done with special tools at a tire shop or by a mechanic, often adjusting by tiny amounts.

Balance Your Wheels & Rotate Your Tires

When you drive and your car starts shaking around 60 or 70 mph, it’s time for a tire check. Balancing means putting weights on your tire rims, both inside and out. This fixes the shake. Tires change shape over time from driving, hitting potholes, and quick stops. Even mud and snow stuck on tires can throw off the balance. A clean-up and a test drive will show if it’s balancing time and what weights you’ll need. Also, don’t forget to rotate your tires. Doing this every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, or during oil changes, spreads out the wear and makes your tires last longer.

Be Careful Parking

The edges of your tires aren’t as tough as the middle part that touches the road. Rubbing them against curbs while parking, especially during parallel or diagonal parking, can wear them out fast.

Avoid Potholes

Potholes are tire enemies, especially on asphalt roads. They have sharp edges that make tires stretch and bend. This can lead to cuts, holes, and even tire failure. The faster you hit them, the worse the damage. So, watch out for potholes to save yourself a trip to the tire store.

Don’t Skid or Peel Out

Speeding up or stopping super fast is really hard on your tires. It causes a lot of friction, which wears down the tread. Keeping a safe distance from the car in front by following the three-second rule helps avoid sudden stops. Gentle starts and stops help your tires last longer..9

Stay Away from Gravel Roads

Gravel roads are covered with three-quarter-inch rock, which comes from crushed quarry rock. This type of rock is sharp and jagged, causing more harm to highway tires than almost any other road surface. If your vehicle has off-road tires, you won’t have much to worry about on these roads. However, tires made for the highway often struggle on gravel. If you find yourself needing to drive on gravel, remember to go slow. It’s best to stick to the road’s center if you can, follow the tire tracks already there, keep a good distance from the car in front, and be extra careful when overtaking a slower vehicle.

Conclusion

To extend the lifespan of your tires and save money, it’s essential to adopt proper tire maintenance and driving habits. Avoid driving on a flat tire, as it can lead to significant damage and safety risks. Always ensure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure, a detail found in your vehicle’s manual or on a sticker inside the car. Regular checks during cold weather are advisable due to pressure drops. Utilize the penny test to gauge tread wear and replace tires when necessary.

Ensuring proper alignment prevents uneven wear, while balancing and rotating tires at recommended intervals distributes wear evenly, prolonging tire life. Avoid hard starts and stops, as well as driving on rough surfaces like gravel or through potholes, to prevent unnecessary stress on your tires. Additionally, careful parking to avoid curb damage and adhering to a cautious driving style can significantly enhance tire durability.

By following these guidelines, you can not only ensure your safety and that of others on the road but also achieve considerable cost savings over time by maximizing your tires’ lifespan.

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Lucas Liam

Hi, I'm Liam, the enthusiast behind Off Road Genius. With more than 10 years of conquering diverse terrains, my experience with Jeeps extends beyond the ordinary. I've mastered the intricate details of these off-road champions, pushing their capabilities to the limit. Through this platform, I share my profound knowledge and lessons learned from countless miles on the trail. I'm here to inspire, educate, and guide you through the thrilling world of Jeeps. So, buckle up for this adventure-filled ride!

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