How do I know if my tires need service?
Here are a few common issues we see with tires and how they affect your vehicle: Underinflation reduces fuel efficiency, causes tires to wear more on the outside edge, and makes them run hotter than they should. It also prevents your tire from absorbing bumps which can affect your car’s alignment or suspension. Overinflation can actually increase fuel efficiency, but it causes more wear in the center of the tire which can result is less traction and control. Never exceed the maximum pressure listed on the side of your tires. Misalignment causes uneven wear, loss of efficiency, decreased control, and – as a bonus – wears tires out faster so you get to buy them more often! Check your tire pressure regularly (once a month is good), and pay attention to how your car handles as you drive. If you notice it pulling to one side or the other, your alignment most likely needs adjusting. If you encounter any of the following issues, it is definitely time to bring your car in for tire service: Worn treads. All those miles add up, and they slowly grind away at your tire’s treads. If you stick a Lincoln penny into the tread (head down) and can no longer see all of Abe’s noggin, you no longer have enough tread to safely use those tires. On newer tires, you may even notice bands of rubber beginning to appear across the width of your tire as they wear down. This is a safety feature letting you know it’s time for a new set. Cracks in the sidewalls. If you notice your tire’s sidewalls being anything but smooth, you could have serious problems on your hands. Cracks there can indicate structural failure and can cause a blowout. The surfaces of your tires should be (generally) smooth. Bulges that look like blisters on the sidewalls are a sign of a weak spot in the tire probably caused by hitting one too many potholes or curbs. They can eventually cause a blowout. Excessive vibration. Unlike what the Beach Boys told you, there are no “Good Good Good Vibrations” when it comes to your tires. If there’s a whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on (ok, we’re done), it means that something is wrong either with your car’s alignment or the inside of the tire itself. Either way, it can lead to serious problems if left unchecked.