Every time I park in a public place I always pay special attention to the tires of the cars around my space. It's a weird habit that I have had a hard time kicking. This happens particularly in the warmer months when tires aren't coated in snow, ice and mud. It is common to see low tread and bald patches with occasional, disquieting growths of metal cord sprouting from the edges of the tires that can be seen without even having to duck your head into the wheel well. My thoughts are always the same, that person is going to be the one rushing into the tire shop at the first snow and waiting for hours to get their car safe.
I get it. Tires are expensive and they wear out pretty quickly. But there are a few tips and tricks that will keep you away from the masses at the tire shop and, more importantly, won't leave you stranded on the side of the road. Firstly, all tires are made with "wear bars". This are lines of rubber that run perpendicular to the tread and are an easy way to determine if you need tires. If the tread is at the same level as the wear bar on any portion of the tire, it is time to replace them. Don't know what a wear bar looks like? Just Google a picture after reading this article and hundreds of pictures will pop up for you. Secondly, you need to rotate, rotate, rotate. This not only allows a shop to put regular eyes on your tires, but doing this every 6,000 miles assures the most even wear. Not to mention, when you bought the tires you always received a tire warranty for XXX miles. But guess what? If you didn't take proper care of your tires, then the warranty is void. Another stipulation of this warranty is regular alignment. Especially in a state that swings rapidly from hot weather to cold weather, and where plowing 6-7 months of every year equals pothole central, the chances of your car being out of alignment is high. It isn't a bad idea to have your alignment checked twice a year. Most shops, ours included, can do an alignment check for a small amount of money. The alignment itself isn't really too expensive either ($90). If your tires cost you $700 and you at least align your car once a year AND you get money back on your tires because you've maintained them, you're a winner.
But, it is also important to regularly adjust the air pressure of your tires. While alignment can cause major edgewear on tires, so can under or over inflation. That pesky tire light on your dash is there for a reason. So many people ignore that light, but it is critical for knowing when your tires have fallen below their specified inflation and saving you some money. Yes, I know it's annoying when the batteries go out on the sensors, so combine the repair with tire replacement and save yourself a few dollars. There is no easier time to get access to those things and frankly, spending $400 every 5-6 years for sensors isn't really a huge expense when you consider picking up a nail between Denver and Las Vegas and getting a tow somewhere is going to potentially cost you $300-$400 when you discover your spare tire is missing or flat. Just like insurance, it sucks to pay the premium, but it makes the most sense when it saves you from disaster.
Need your tires checked? We'll do it for you at no cost. Just give us a call and set up an appointment.