The most expensive wear items on your vehicle are your tires. Tires are expensive and are only getting more so as lower they become lower profile and as larger wheels come in fashion. The replacement cost of your tires will depend on their size, the aspect ration and the vehicle that they are going on. Different vehicles have different tire specs. If you are lucky, you can get a set for around 400 dollars and if you are not, it could cost you over 1000 dollars to re-shoe your vehicle.
Because of the high cost of tires, you want to get as much mileage out of them as possible. A tire might be rated at 40,000 or 50,000 miles but you are only going to get that range if you take some precautions. Here is what you need to do to get every mile possible out of those oh so expensive new tires.
1. Keep Them Aired Up
You probably know that you are supposed to keep your tires properly aired up but you might not realize just how important this is. Proper inflation keeps your tires flat on the ground. When the pressure is wrong, it is like walking on your toes. Too much pressure and they will form a crown and the center of the tire will wear faster. Too little inflation and the outer edges will wear faster and the tire will run hotter.
By keeping the tires inflated properly, they will wear evenly and they will run cooler which will make them last longer, much longer.
2. Keep Them Balanced
A balanced tire will wear correctly and will make your vehicle ride smoother. As an extra benefit, without all the extra vibration, several other components will last longer. Vibration can contribute to wear on bearings, shocks, struts, etc.
Paying for a balance every time that you need one can add up so the best thing to do is to pay for a lifetime balance when you buy your tires. This will allow you to balance them for free whenever you want. Get it and take advantage of your free balance at least twice a year. Just because a tire still has its original balance weights does not mean that it is in balance. As they wear normally, it will change and need to be adjusted.
3. Get Your Alignment Checked
You want those front wheels pointed correctly. If they are not, your tire will wear unevenly. Depending on which way they are pointed, it could cause either the inner or outer edge to wear quicker. In addition, the extra friction will cause heat build up which will lead to overall increased wear.
Like balancing, the cost can add up quick, so get an alignment contract. They are usually available for a year and will allow for unlimited alignments. Take advantage of a check at least every three months. Every bump in the road has a potential to alter your alignment so it can change quickly.
4. Take Care Of Your Suspension
If you have an older vehicle, you need to pay some attention to your suspension parts. If your car is bouncing more than usual, it is a big problem. Worn shocks and struts not only make your car more unstable, they also cause odd wear to your tires.
When a shock or strut is out, there is nothing there to dampen the up and down movement of your wheel. This results in the wheel and tire bouncing up and down. That movement results in worn patches on the tire called cupping. A $50 strut can wreck a tire that costs 250 bucks in a hurry, so check your shocks and struts for wear or leaking oil.
5. Rotate Often
Every corner of your vehicle is going to wear your tire differently. Front tires generally have a little toe in for better handling and this makes one edge wear a bit faster. Likewise, the rear tires may wear differently because they have more or less weight on them than the front tires. You need to rotate your tires at least every 6 months or 6000 miles to spread the wear out equally. If you do not, you might find that the front tires wear out before the rear tires or vice versa.
A good time to do this is when you have the tires balanced. If you bought the lifetime balance, it will come with lifetime free rotations as well so it will not cost you any more.
6. Select Quality Tires
Cheap tires are made of cheap materials and are not backed by the research that better, major brand tires benefit from. This means that they will wear out faster, no matter what the wear warranty says. They count on most people voiding their warranty and, in general, most people oblige them.
Spend the extra $20 to $30 a tire and get some good ones. They will last longer, handle better and run quieter.
7. Get The Road Hazard
A road hazard warranty can be worth its weight in gold. Nail and screw punctures are fairly common and if they go through the sidewall instead of the tread, you are out a tire.
Besides. most road hazard warranties usually come with free flat tire replacement. That makes it completely worthwhile.
Tina’s Last Word
If you want to stick to a budget and save money, you need to make the things that you do buy last. Tires are a significant expense and doing the little things above will drastically improve their life. In addition, these precautions will keep your tire warranty intact, save you money on fuel and make your vehicle safer.