|· How often should I rotate my tires?|
Every 5,000 to 10,000 miles is the general recommendation for tire rotation. Consistent tire rotation is an important maintenance step that will significantly prolong the life of your tires. Along with rotation, it is necessary to first see that the tires are properly inflated. A tread inspection will help determine the best tire positioning to promote even wear. Tire rotation pattern is also partly determined by the type of vehicle, such as a front wheel drive or a 4-wheel drive. Different manufacturers have specific recommendations for a particular vehicle or tire, so it is advisable to refer to your owner's manual tire rotation guidelines to ensure proper tread wear.[ Back to Top ]
|· When should I do have other services performed on my car or light truck?|
The maintenance section of your vehicle owner's manual is always your best resource in determining what regular services you require and when you should have them done. Routine maintenance usually includes an oil change every 3,000 miles, at which time other checks can be made including radiator, transmission, brakes, battery and air conditioning system.
[ Back to Top ]
|· When do I need to have my wheel alignment checked?|
In addition to the regular maintenance, as recommended by your manufacturer, you may need to have wheel alignment inspected if you notice your vehicle pulling to one side. If you see rapid tread wear on a specific area of your tires, this may also indicate a wheel alignment problem. It is also a good idea to have the wheel alignment checked if you have had an accident or hit something.[ Back to Top ]
|· Is time between service appointments as important as mileage when it comes to oil changes?|
As with most services, your vehicle manufacturer manual should be your ultimate authority. A number of factors can impact your need for oil changes including engine type, oil used, vehicle age, and the type of driving you do. Regardless of the number of miles on your vehicle, it is important to not go too long between oil changes, as oil does degrade over time. The general rule of thumb is every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
[ Back to Top ]
|· What is the difference between wheel balancing and wheel alignment? |
Wheel balancing and wheel alignment are often confused, but the two are different and necessary procedures. Both are usually inspected when the vehicle begins to exhibit symptoms of trouble. Heavy vibration usually signals a wheel balance issue. Problems with wheel alignment are usually indicated by rapid or uneven tread wear, or by the vehicle pulling to one side of the road. If your vehicle is showing any of these signs, wheel alignment or wheel balance could be the problem. You should have an inspection as soon as possible to prevent further tire damage.
[ Back to Top ]
|· What is the difference between winter tires and all season tires?|
Winter tires are designed to stay soft and pliable at low temperatures, so they will conform to icy road surfaces, and provide good grip. All-season tires are developed to provide traction in wet and snowy conditions. Reinforced sidewalls keep tire shoulders on the road, while the tread pattern provides better grip when turning on wet roads.
[ Back to Top ]
|· How do under inflated tires affect gas mileage?|
Tires that are not properly inflated are subject to increased rolling resistance. This causes the engine to work harder, and subsequently use more fuel. According to fueleconomy.gov, properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent.
[ Back to Top ]
|· Is it safe to repair a tire or should it be replaced?|
Depending on the nature of the damage and the age of your tires, repair can be a perfectly safe alternative to expensive tire replacement. The angle and location of the puncture will determine if a repair will be sufficient to restore the tire. Punctures that occur between the treads and at straighter angles are typically the easiest to plug.[ Back to Top ]
|· How much air should I put in my tires? |
Proper inflation is the single most important part of tire care. Check or adjust inflation every few months and always use the inflation recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Checking air pressure should be standard procedure on any routine visit to your vehicle service center for oil services, tire rotations, or general maintenance and repair. For do-it-yourselfers you can find this information in your owner's manual, posted on the edge of the driver's door, on a door post, in the center console, or on the inside of the glovebox door. Be sure to check inflation when tires are COLD: when the vehicle has been driven less than a mile or one hour or more after driving. Use a good quality tire gauge. And don't forget to check the spare! [ Back to Top ]
|· Is it safe to repair a flat tire? |
If a tire loses all or most of its air pressure, it must be removed from the wheel for a complete internal inspection to be sure it's not damaged. Tires that are run even short distances while flat are often damaged beyond repair. Most punctures nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 inch which are confined to the tread may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel using industry-approved methods. Don't repair tires with tread punctures larger than 1/4 inch, or with any sidewall puncture. Also, never repair tires that are worn below 1/16 inch tread depth. Your Advisor and tire technician can advise you. [ Back to Top ]
|· Do I have to replace my present tires with the same size tires? |
Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation or approved options. Never choose a smaller size than those that came with the car. It is recommended that all tires be the same size, construction (radial, non-radial) and speed rating. If tires of different speed ratings are mounted on the vehicle, it is important to place the same size, type and speed ratings on the same axle.Tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear can affect the vehicles handling and stability. [ Back to Top ]
|· An illuminated light on my dash shows that I have a low tire. Can I just put air in it? |
In many cases correcting the air pressure in your tires will extinguish the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning light. Often seasonal temperature drops will lower tire air pressure a few pounds (a good case for Nitrogen – see 11 above) and trigger the TPMS warning light. In all cases where one or two particular tires are significantly lower than the others, or lower than the factory recommended pressure, a trained tire technician should examine the tire to determine the cause and examine the casing for signs of over stress. Some TPMS systems require special tools to access the vehicle computer. Advanced level tire technicians are trained and equipped for this technology. [ Back to Top ]
|· With so many brand options and price differences why not just pick the cheapest tire. Is there really a difference? |
The old adage: you get what you pay for is true in tire purchasing – somewhat! Since the introduction of the “radial tire” the assumption is that no significant changes have occurred in the world of tire building. The facts are that major tire builders are spending tens of millions of dollars annually in research to improve their products and the reliability and performance of tires have taken a quantum leap forward. Research in the area of tread compounding polymers, rubber mixing methods, tread design, casing design and materials, build processes, and other research has resulted in a product that is far advanced from the tires we were driving on a decade ago. The discovery of Silica’s use in tread rubber compound alone has greatly influenced wear and adhesion characteristics of tires. Some of today’s tires can stop a car on a wet highway in distances unfathomable a decade ago. Tire builders strive to produce a product that balances production costs against safety, noise, ride quality, wear, handling, rolling resistance, and other attributes. Their cheapest products will not much focus on safety and other technologies that better tires have to offer. Conversely the higher priced lines often fall short of the best features. Knowledgeable Tire Sales Advisors can discuss test data and sort through the claims that manufacturers make regarding their products and help you make this important decision. [ Back to Top ]