How do I know if I need tires?
Improve your vehicle’s handling, increase tire life and drive with safety by checking your tires to make sure they have the right amount of air pressure. We offer a wide range of tires for your vehicle. Let our professionals help you find, balance and mount the right tires for your car.
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.
Contact us as soon as possible if you encounter any of these issues.
Why should I have my tires checked?
A lot is riding on your tires. In fact, everything is.
They are the one part of your car that everything else is literally resting on. They really deserve the most ongoing attention. When they aren’t properly maintained, they will affect the safety, efficiency, and performance of your entire car.
Failing to maintain your tires can result in:
- A blowout which causes you to lose control and have a (possibly fatal) wreck
- A flat which leaves you inconvenienced at the least, or stranded at worst
- A trip to the tire store to buy another set way too soon
How do tires work?
While tires look like one solid piece of rubber, they are actually made up of several different parts:
- A bead made up of a steel cable holding the tire tight to the rim of your car
- An inner liner which holds in the air
- Several layers of plies (as in 2-ply toilet paper…only much stronger) which help trap air as well as provide strength and puncture resistance
- Coated belts made of steel, rayon, or fiberglass which keep the tire surface flat and hold the plies in place
- Sidewalls which give the tire height and side-to-side stability
- Grooves that channel water away from the tire and improve traction in bad weather
- And treads that are…well…where the rubber meets the road
Vehicles come in many different sizes, carry a wide range of loads, and are built to perform all kinds of tasks in all kinds of conditions.For every vehicle, there is a tire designed to be a perfect match. The result is a massive variety of tire sizes. You can learn a lot about your tire just by looking at what is molded into the sidewall. (Lean in close and we’ll let you in on the secret tire code!)
Most passenger cars will have a string of letters and numbers that look something like: P2225/70R15.
- P – designates a tire as being for a a “passenger” vehicle. Other first letters might be LT for “light truck” or T for “temporary”.
- 225 – indicates the width of the tire in millimeters.
- 70 – refers to the ratio between the tires height and its width. In this example, the tire’s height is 70% of its width. The bigger this number is, the taller the tire will be.
- R – is for “radial.” This just describes the direction in which all of the bands inside the tire are running. Radial is pretty much the standard for tires you find on the road today.
- 15 – tells you what size rim (in inches) the tire is made to fit.
Tires include warranties that tell you how long they are expected to last. They can range anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 miles with the average tire lasting 40,000-60,000 miles if maintained correctly, operated under normal conditions, and rotated regularly.
What do we do in a typical tire service?
Tire service generally falls into one of 3 categories:
- Rotation – moving tires to different positions to ensure even wear
- Alignment – straightening wheels so they are parallel to each other and standing up straight on the road
- Replacement – installing new tires when the old ones are no longer safe to operate.
When you come in to [atc] for tire service, we will:
- Inspect each tire for signs of damage and patterns of uneven wear
- Advise you on the best course of action based on what we find
- Rotate, Align, or Repair your existing tires to extend their usefulness
- Replace (if necessary) worn out tires with proper new ones. We offer all major brands and can gladly help you find the best tire for your needs and budget. And we include proper mounting and balancing with every tire we install to ensure a smooth ride.
So, to keep the wheels on your bus going round and round all through the town…
Click here to set up an appointment. Or call one of our locations today:
atc Auto Center, Augusta
atc Auto Center, Grovetown
- Keep up the pressure. Properly inflated tires simply perform better and last longer. Check it at least once a month.
- Rotate, rotate, rotate. The single best thing you can do to extend the life of your tires is to rotate them regularly – typically every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. Make it a part of every (or every other) oil change to make it easy to remember.
- Watch your speed. Faster speeds mean hotter tires coming in contact with the road more often. Which means tires wearing down faster. By taking it a little easier there, Earnhardt, you’ll get a lot more miles out of your tires.
- Tokyo Drift was a movie. It was (sort of) cool in 2006, but do not attempt. Tires are made to roll, not slide. So go a little slower on the corners.
[atc] Auto Center exceeded expectations in regards to customer service, professionalism, and quality of work.
Beau Sasser | Augusta, GA
First time customer–I went to the new facility in Grovetown and had a wonderful experience. Customer service is top notch.
Jeannette Peterson | Grovetown, GA
The people at the Grovetown location are fantastic! I have never been to a shop that has more friendly and honest people. They are extremely easy to work with.