How to Properly Maintain Tires

maintaining-tires

Even cheap tires aren’t really cheap. As one of the most important components of your car, tires represent a significant investment. You need to properly maintain your tires to protect that investment and to keep your car safe on the road. Tires that are not properly maintained will lower your fuel economy, be at greater risk of blowout, and threaten the performance of your car, such as by hydroplaning or otherwise losing traction.

For quality cheap tires, Cincinnati residents trust the selection at McCluskey Chevrolet. Once you buy those tires, properly maintaining them is up to you. Here’s what you need to do:

Rotation

If you keep all your tires in the same position, they will begin to wear down unevenly. For example, your front right tire may hit a pothole every time you pull onto your neighborhood street, and over time, that tire will experience more damage and wear. By rotating your tires, you ensure that they all hit the pothole — or whatever other obstacles you face on your daily commute — and wear down evenly.

Tire rotation involves removing each tire and putting them back on the car in a different location. Experts recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

It is imperative that you check your vehicle’s manual and the recommendations from the tire manufacturer for guidelines about tire rotation. Some tires may need to be rotated more frequently, and others may have specific directions for placement. For example, the tires on some performance vehicles have to be rotated front to rear. Other vehicles may have different sized tires in different locations, which limits where they can be rotated.

Balancing

Small weights are added to tires to help limit vibrations as they turn. Over time, the tires may fall out of balance through regular wear and tear or as a result of damage, such as being punctured.

Ensuring that your tires are balanced will limit vibrations and reduce wear. Tires should always be balanced when they are replaced or repaired. However, you should also balance your tires if you notice any vibration while you are driving or if your tire tread shows signs of wear.

Alignment

Alignment ensures the suspension is balanced so that the tires grip the road evenly and wear evenly. Proper alignment also ensures safe handling of your vehicle. When your tires are out of alignment, your car may pull in one direction or another, or you may have trouble steering.

Your tires can fall out of alignment through everyday wear and tear and from hitting small obstacles such as potholes or railroad tracks.

You don’t have to get a new alignment on a certain schedule. You just need to get your car checked out if you notice handling problems, such as the car pulling to the side or vibrating. You should also get a new alignment when you buy new tires.

Air Pressure

Air pressure may seem like a small thing, but it can actually significantly influence everything from your fuel economy to the handling of your vehicle. It is important that you keep your tires properly inflated at all times to protect your safety and keep your tires healthy.

Check the air pressure on your tires at least once a month using a quality tire gauge. Make sure you check the air pressure before you start driving since the pressure can change once the tires heat up. Your car may have a tire-monitoring system, but you should not rely on it exclusively. The system won’t tell you what the pressure is in your tires exactly, and the system can fail.

Your owner’s manual will tell you the pressure that your tires need to have. Even small fluctuations can have a big influence on your car’s performance, so make sure you get it right.

Cleaning

Cleaning your tires can protect the rubber against degradation, reducing the risk of blowouts that can not only cost you money but also put you in danger of a collision. However, cleaning your tires is a lot more complicated than just getting a bucket of soap and water and wiping them down.

Brake dust accumulates on the rims and the tires, and it can be very difficult to remove. Yet if you don’t remove it, the tiny metal shards can corrode the tires, causing them to break down more quickly.

You must start cleaning your tires by applying a specialty cleanser to the rims and tires to remove the brake dust. Allow the cleanser to sit on the wheels for several minutes to break down the dust and then wipe it away with a soft cloth or soft brush. Use only a dedicated tire cloth or brush for this process since the tiny shards can get caught in the cloth and scratch the paint if you try to use it to wash the car later.

Clean each wheel individually, and dry each wheel by hand as you finish. Follow up by waxing the wheels with a quality wheel wax. Not only will the wax make your wheels look great, but it will protect the wheels against future accumulations of break dust and grime. Cleaning your wheels will be much easier the next time.

Finish cleaning your wheels by applying a quality dressing. A “dressing” is almost like a shoe polish for your tires. You apply the dressing only to the parts of the tire that don’t touch the road, and it puts a sheen on the tire and deepens the finish. Like the wheel wax, the dressing makes the tires look great and protect them against corrosion.

Use these tips to maintain your tires, and they will last for many more miles, helping you to save money. When you are ready to shop for quality cheap tires, Cincinnati dealer McCluskey Chevrolet offers some of the best deals in the area. We sell all types of tires from some of the top brand names, and we sell quality accessories and cleaning supplies. Visit us today to find a great new set of tires for your car.