Tires. The Round, The Black and the Misunderstood

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Tires.  You might think you know all there is to know, or you might not know anything at all except that they are on your vehicle.  How do you know what tires to buy?  How do you know when to buy tires?  There are so many questions surrounding tires these days and I’ll try to clear up some of this confusion.

First of all, your tires are your vehicle’s link to the pavement, or the dirt, or mud or whatever it is that your vehicle is riding on.  Without them, you basically go nowhere, or at least not that far.  Your tires are tough, taking a literal beating with 1000s of pounds of weight on them every time you drive your car.  And honestly, they ask very little of you to do their job right.  Here is what you need to do to make sure your tires go the distance.

  1. Make sure the air pressure is set properly.  This is so easy to do.  A cheap tire pressure gauge can be purchased at just about any store these days.  Check the placard in the driver front door jamb for information on what the tire pressure should be.  Set the tire pressure to the recommended pressure and that’s it.  Of course if you don’t have an air compressor, it can take a long time using a bicycle pump so come see us at Auto Go Automotive and we will check and properly inflate all your tires to the correct pressure at NO CHARGE!  Please do not rely on on your tire pressure monitoring systems to set your tire pressures or depend on them to warn you when you need to add air.  These systems are great for warning you if a tire looses pressure quickly but you should still check your tire pressures at least once a week as only 3-5 psi difference can begin to affect tire wear and fuel mileage!
  2. Rotate and balance your tires every 5000-6000 miles.  Rotating helps your tires wear more evenly.  It is a fact of life that the front tires usually wear faster than the rear tires, as the front tires do all the steering, constantly changing direction and that increased friction with the road surface accelerates the wear on the front tires.  Rotating your tires will help to even out and distribute that wear among all 4 tires allowing you to greatly extend the time frame between which you have to purchase tires.  This also allows a trained technician to inspect the tires for any possible problems and check and adjust the air pressure.
  3. Have the alignment checked annually at minimum.  Misaligned tires will cause irregular and accelerated tire wear, such as when the outer or inner edge of the tread is all worn off and the center of the tread has good tread remaining.  Alignment problems can also cause the vehicle to pull or drift one way or the other and can cause the steering wheel to be off center when the vehicle is driving straight.  Regularly having the alignment checked and adjusted will ensure that your tires will have a long life and deliver a smooth comfortable ride.
  4. Check for and replace worn steering and suspension parts.  Worn steering and suspension parts will allow for these systems to move on their own too much changing critical alignment angles resulting in accelerated tire wear, reduced control of the vehicle, or in extreme cases loss of control of the vehicle should one of these components completely break.  It’s very important that every time the vehicle is in for service that a complete steering and suspension inspection be done.  More often than not a worn component can be identified and replaced well before it poses a safety or tire wear risk.

These are the most important things you can do to help your tires deliver many 10s of 1000s of miles of great and comfortable service.  As always, if you are in need of tires or need anything else we are standing by waiting to serve you.  You can reach us at 417-272-0091 or CLICK HERE!

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