One of the most essential maintenance checks on your car is your tire quality. Buying tires, and knowing when to buy, is important for your safety and to prevent unnecessary wear and damage to your car.
Most tires need to be changed between 25 and 50k miles. Not all drivers wear their tires the same. Sometimes it depends on how frequently the driver uses the vehicle. Sometimes it’s the type of terrain you drive on or even the type of car you drive. The type of tires, themselves, have different lifespans. Regardless, buying new tires is important when you have significant wear.
When do I know it’s time to get new tires?
This will depend on the kind of tires you have. There are a few signs to look for to determine if you need new tires.
- Tread – You should be able to stick a penny in your tread, the top of Abe’s head downward, and not be able to see the top of his head. If you can, it’s time for new tires.
- Age – Your tires have an expiration date on them. While this may not be the most reliable way of telling if your tires need replacing, if you drive a lot, and it’s past your expiration, it’s probably time. Also, tires should not be used after 10 years, at which point they start breaking down.
- Uneven wear – If your tires show more wear on the edges, or on one side more than the other, you need to get them replaced. Uneven wear can be caused by a number of factors, including under-inflation or needing an alignment.
- Sidewall damage – Some damage in the tread (like a nail, for example) can be repaired, but damage to the sidewall affects the integrity of the entire tire. If you see signs of sidewall damage, get new tires ASAP.
It’s important to properly maintain your tires to get the most mileage out of them and to stay safe on the road.
There are quite a few options when it comes to buying tires. A good tire shop will help walk you through your options and the benefits of certain tires. Here are a few things you’ll want to look at before you go to buy.
What size tires do I need?
Look at your car specs. Your owner’s manual should list the minimum specifications for buying tires. This is what the manufacturer recommends for safety and optimum car performance. You can also find this on the inside of your driver’s door. When buying tires, be sure to get an appropriate size.
What type do I need?
There are three main types of tires you can buy: Summer, All-Season, and Winter. Each has pros and cons. In warmer weather (like Central Texas) you’ll likely want summer or all-season tires. Summer tires often have better grip, handling, heat resistance, and less chance of hydroplaning. All-season offers a bit stiffer handling, but also can better handle snow (should you run into it) and last longer.
Here’s a breakdown:
Best for: Sports cars, beginning drivers, summer temps, rainy weather
Drawbacks: Don’t last as long, not meant for cold temps, can’t drive well on heavy snow and ice.
Best for: A variety of weather, drivers with trucks and SUVs, commuters, rolling resistance
Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, stiffer handling, and slightly less effective traction in rainy weather
Best for: Regular snow driving, ice traction, road grip, SUVs and pickups
Drawbacks: Not as good for gas mileage, more expensive, need to be switched out in the summer
For more informational tips and maintenance information, follow Fogle Collision Center on Facebook.
Car owners are responsible for maintaining their vehicles’ tire quality. Insufficient tread or air pressure leads to more than just a flat tire. In 2017, tire-related crashes resulted in 738 fatalities nationwide. While the number of tire-related crashes has dropped in the past decade, they can still happen and cause serious damage.
Every car owner should take a few routine steps to check and maintain the quality of the tires on a vehicle.
Maintain proper air pressure
Experts recommend checking your air pressure once a month, and every time before you take a road trip. Most vehicles have a tire pressure sensor, but it is best to manually check.
You can find your recommended air pressure on the tire, the inside of the door frame, or in your owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires can lead to tire damage, and over-inflated tires can lead to a blowout.
Good tire tread is necessary for traction and to maintain the durability of a tire. When tires look smooth, they need to be replaced.
A simple way to measure the tread is to insert a quarter with George Washington’s head facing down into the tire. If the top of his head shows, the tire is worn and should be replaced.
Having tires rotated regularly helps them wear more evenly and not as quickly.
Good alignment and balance
Maintaining proper alignment and balance on a vehicle can prevent a tire from wearing excessively. If your car doesn’t track in a straight line when your hands are off the wheel, you might need an alignment. Signs you may need your tires balanced include steering wheel or floorboard vibrations.
At Fogle Collision Center, we recommend everyone to maintain their tire quality to prevent a blowout. If you do get in a collision, contact our expert team to vehicle repaired and get you back on the road.
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When you’re out in the heat, you (hopefully) take extra precautions to protect your body. You might drink extra water and put on sunscreen. But do you take precautions when it comes to your car being exposed to sizzling temperatures? Like your body, your car takes some damage in the heat. Here are our top tips to keep your car running well and looking good in the summer sun.
Check your battery
Hot temperatures have the potential to damage your car battery. Take a look and make sure it is clean of dirt and corrosion, both of which can affect the charge flow. Excessive heat can cause fluid within the battery to evaporate, shortening the battery’s life. If you have the type of battery that needs fluid refills, check the levels often.
If your interior lights or headlights are looking dim, this could be a sign that the battery isn’t functioning well. Test your battery if this happens, and replace it if needed.
Keep it clean
Keeping your vehicle clean protects your car’s exterior from the scorching sun. Dirt and debris can scratch your car’s surface so regular cleaning and a topcoat will keep the paint in good condition. A coat of wax also keeps your paint job protected from the sun and weather.
Catch some shade
Keeping your car shaded will not only help protect the vehicle from sun damage, but it will also make getting into the vehicle a lot more comfortable on a hot day. A sunshade is a good alternative when a shady parking spot isn’t available. Either way, the shade will help prevent strong rays from beating down on the vehicle, potentially fading, cracking and drying out interior components like seats and the dashboard.
Keep an eye on fluids and tires
Fluids are crucial to making sure your car is running efficiently in the heat, and they could be more prone to evaporation during the hot summer months. Make sure your car has the proper level of fluids like oil, coolant, and windshield fluid. Tires are vulnerable in the heat, thanks to the hot, expanding air within them. Like fluids, keep an eye on your tires, regularly checking the pressure.
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