Do you usually budget for new tires? If the answer is no, you are not alone. If you are like many people, you may not even think about your tires until you have a tire failure or a repair technician points out a problem with one or all of them.
Replacement costs can add up quickly, especially if you find you need to replace more than just one tire. Mounting, balancing, and alignment are all costs that add up during the process of replacing your tires. Well-maintained tires are important to staying safe on the roads. Buying low-quality, budget-priced tires can be a risky proposition; going cheaper may not always be the way to go. When tire replacements are not within your budget, there are many places that now allow financing on tires, which makes it possible for customers to pay for large auto repair bills, and of course, new tires. Gambling on the road is never a smart decision to make, though it can be very tempting to choose the least expensive option when it comes to your tires. But your tires are one of, if not the most important component on your vehicle that ensures your safety, as well as everyone else on the road.
Things to avoid, in order to extend the life of tires
You may be asking yourself, “Is there anything I can do to extend the life of my tires?” There are several things you can do; here are just a few.
Have the wheel alignment checked. If the geometry of your vehicle’s suspension and steering are not within specifications, your tires will not be pointed in the correct direction. This can “scrub” tires or make them wear on only the inside or outside edge, sometimes so quickly that they will have to be replaced in only 10,000 miles, in severe cases.
Many shops, and usually where you buy your tires, can perform an alignment, and they will often check them for free, as the initial check is usually a quick setup for them. It’s a good idea to have your alignment at least checked when you buy a new set of tires, as the vehicle’s steering and suspension parts become worn or “tweaked” a bit during normal driving, especially if your streets are filled with potholes.
Avoid Potholes! While this may be easier said than done, avoiding potholes is very important in extending the life of your tires. Potholes can damage tires, as the potholes have sharp, unforgiving ridges. The greater the speed at which you hit the potholes, the higher the chance of causing damage to your tires. Striking a pothole can cause a bruised tire carcass, a cut sidewall, and even a bent rim.
Avoid poor diagonal and parallel parking; the sidewalls of your tires have little durability because they are not protected by tread blocks, so scraping the sides of your tires along a curb can quickly shorten the life of your tires. Bumping into curbs when parking diagonally can damage the shoulders and sidewalls very quickly, so try to drive in or back in as gently as possible.
“Peeling Out.” Although this is obvious, “jackrabbit starts” or “peeling out” wear your tread much more quickly than many miles of driving would. After all, it’s not also called “burning rubber” for nothing.
Insufficient Air Pressure. This is one of the more important things to watch to extend the life of your tires, and it’s the easiest to do. Low pressure can damage the shoulders and sidewalls of tires, even leading to a blowout, if the damage is severe enough. At the least, tires that are slightly underinflated will wear the outside tread at a higher rate. And your fuel mileage will suffer, too; a 5-PSI drop in all four tires can drop your fuel mileage 1 percent. That may not seem like much, but it adds up. Even a cheap pencil-type gauge at the auto parts store will be accurate enough to help you keep an eye on things. Although newer vehicles are equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS,) it’s a good idea to still monitor their accuracy.
Eventually, tires wear and need to be replaced, regardless of how well you maintain them and the road hazards you avoid to extend their life. But if you follow a few common steps, you will go a long way to increasing their life, and extending your budget!
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Mizzoni’s Auto Body strives to provide the best when it comes to auto body repair services. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff will be happy to assist you with any questions to alleviate your repair process concerns. We are proud to provide a clean, professional, safe and courteous environment for every customer and look forward to serving you.