What is Proper Tire Care?

Tire Service

When you get your engine running and you’re ready to head out on the highway, take the time to take your car in for professional tire services first. Not only do you need a tank full of gas, but make sure all the other fluids are checked and ready and the tires are aired up and ready to go. 

What is included with tire services? 

Because they don’t require daily attention, like the gas gauge, it is important to have professional tire services performed regularly, and before you head out on the highway. Yes, it is boring and time-consuming. But for the sake of the safety of your passengers and others around you, and the sake of your car’s well-being, they are essential. 

Tire services should be considered part of the basic maintenance of your car, like the oil change. Included by most garages that provide tire services include: 

  • Tire and Wheel Balancing

Tire and wheel balancing are important to ensure the car’s weight is evenly distributed. This should be done between every 3,000 and 6,000 miles for most cars. The balancing process is done by the tire services mechanic using counterweights. It is important to check the owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. If your car is misaligned, it could be due to the tires and wheels not being balanced. 

  • Wheel Alignment

As we mentioned above, if your car’s wheel alignment is out of line, this can be from the tires and wheels not being balanced. This can also cause the tires to wear unevenly and make your car difficult to steer and keep on the road as it vibrates. 

  • Tire Pressure 

Basic tire services include checking the air pressure, ensuring they are all the same, and meeting the tire manufacturer’s recommendation. Proper tire inflation will keep the tires healthy longer, make the ride better, help the fuel economy, and help with braking and traction. 

  • Tire Rotation

Last but not least, too many drivers don’t even consider tire rotation one of the important tire services their car needs. This is just as important as the other tire services we’ve listed. Like the alignment and balance, tire rotations will help the tires wear evenly and last longer. 

How long should tires last?

The average lifespan of tires is between 12,000 and 15,000 miles annually, which means you can expect to get between 3 years and 5 years for most.  This can depend on the quality of the tires and your driving habits. There isn’t a set schedule for replacing the tires on any car. 

What factors affect the lifespan of tire services? 

As we mentioned above, multiple factors have an impact on tire services’ lifespan. The main factors include: 

  • Aging vs. Wearing

The more you drive, the tires will wear, reducing their traction with less tread. This can be dangerous, especially on roads affected by adverse weather conditions.  When the tire tread is at 2/32” or less, it is time to schedule tire services for new tires. If the car isn’t driven much, this doesn’t spare the tires. They can rot with the car just sitting in place. 

  • Hazards: Curbs, Potholes, and More

If you hit curbs frequently, you’ll knock your car out of alignment, and damage the suspension, and all of that wears the tires faster. The same holds if the roadways you drive regularly are riveted with broken pavement, and potholes, and have poor grading at railroad tracks. With these driving conditions, you should have tire services performed every 3 to 4 months to make sure the alignment and tire tread are in good condition. 

  • The Weather

When you have to drive in the rain, on ice, or snow, it wears the tires down faster because they are using the tread to maintain traction. It is important to purchase tires for your car that can handle the common weather in the area and professional tire services can help you with that selection. 

  • Driving Habit

Your driving habits can have a big impact on the lifespan of your tires. Avoid quick accelerations, hard braking, and hard cornering. An aggressive driving style can wear the tread down quicker. 

  • Neglected Tire Services

If you neglect to get the recommended tire services performed, you’re driving at risk of the tires going flat. This includes balancing, alignments, rotations, and proper air inflation.

In Conclusion

When it comes to the maintenance and upkeep of your car’s tires, it is important to have those professional tire services performed as recommended (between 3,000 and 6,000 miles). Again, check the owner’s manual for the car and tire manufacturer’s recommendations, they may recommend having tire services performed more frequently. New tires are not cheap, so taking care of them with professional tire services will give you a longer lifespan from them, and keep you and your passengers safe.