Trying to hold off on buying your next set of tires? These simple tricks can lengthen the life of your tires so you don’t have to spend money until you’re ready (and a new tire special comes up that you can take advantage of!).
Have your tires balanced after mounting.
The effort to extend the life of your tires starts from the moment you buy your set of tires. After you purchase a new set, always have the tires mounted and balanced. Balancing gives you a quieter ride, less shake, and prevents uneven wear on the tire.
Check you tire pressure regularly.
A tire running with incorrect pressure can cause uneven wear, sending you to the tire shop earlier. Find out what the correct tire pressure is for your car in the manual or on a decal in the frame on the driver’s side door. Regularly check the tire pressure (use this step by step guide) or ask the mechanic to check the air at your next oil change, and add air as needed (especially during cold months or when the temperature changes suddenly). Don’t wait until the Tire Pressure Monitoring System warning light comes on; many TPMS warning lights don’t come on until the tire is 20% under the recommended tire pressure. Because more of the tire is in contact with the road when the tire pressure is low, the tires wear down faster.
Get a regular tire rotation.
Tires wear differently depending on where the tire is positioned. This is especially true for front wheel drive vehicles which use the front tires primarily for traction. To get an even wear on all the tires, schedule a tire rotation every 5-8,000 miles or with every second oil change (if scheduled every 3,000 miles).
Make sure your car is aligned.
A car alignment ensures that your car is balanced and that the tires are wearing properly. Watch for signs that your car is not aligned, which can wear down the tire tread and suspension parts faster than normal. Look for a vibration or shake that gets worse as the car goes faster, loud tire noise, or shaking. When you notice signs that the car alignment is incorrect, schedule an alignment (typically every 6,000 miles).
Get suspension issues fixed right away.
The suspension parts of your car play a part in the ride and wear of the tires. If you notice any signs that the suspension parts are worn and need replacement, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Signs of worn suspension parts include a car that leans abruptly forward when you brake, oil on your shock, sudden pulling to the right or left, or a lot of bouncing when driving. Prompt repair and tire maintenance can get you a few extra miles before you need to order your next set of tires.