How to know it's time to change your tires


When Should I Replace My Tires?

This is a question that crosses many consumers’ minds when purchasing tires. Many factors play a part in when tires should be replaced.  The main aspects that should go into such a change are as follows:

DATE OF TIRES:  The average lifespan of a tire that would be still be deemed safe and road appropriate is 5 years from the date of installation. This means from the moment they are mounted and balanced, based on the tires mileage expectancy, you should look into replacing your tires within 5 years, as based on highway safety results and the average consistency of the daily driver.  This marks a point in time in which your tires will start to show signs of wear and tear and overall heavy usage that can start to result in a thinner, more wor ...[more]

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The Importance of Rotating Your Tires


Rotating tires is one of the most important (and easiest) things you can do to prolong their service life. But why? Why is it so important?

It’s simple. Front and rear tires wear differently. Parallel parking, cornering, acceleration, three-point turns all put different stresses on the front and rear tires. Not rotating them means that they are going to show different wear patterns, which will affect their tread life and your car’s ride and handling.

Regular rotations mean that your tires will wear more evenly, and will improve your car’s drivability. Chances are you’ll notice a difference in ride and handling with every rotation. So how often should you rotate?

Every other oil change seems like a pretty good rule of thumb (in other words, every 7-10,000 miles). Doing rotations yourself in your ...[more]

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What if I Have Mismatched Tires?


As a general rule, your tires should all have the same tread pattern, construction and size, meaning they should all be the same make, model and age. If they aren’t, you’ll compromise on your car’s control, traction, stability and ride. Mismatched tires could mean tires from different manufacturers, winter tires with all-season tires, run-flat tires with conventional tires or tires with different tread patterns.

Until you can invest in an entire set of tires of the same make and model, and if you’ve only got one mismatched tire in the set, you should put it on the rear. If the tire that had a problem was on the front, take one of your rears and put it on the front to replace it, then put the mismatch tire back on the rear axle. This will probably mean the least impact on handling ...[more]

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How to Choose the Right Tire


Before we start talking about which tires you need, you should determine whether it’s time to go ahead and get tires…

The minimum depth where tire tread is still effective is 2/32”. Anything lower than that and your tires will no longer resist hydroplaning in wet weather, dry traction is reduced and traction in snow is practically nonexistent. Tires now include “wear bars” at the base of the tread, running at a right angle to the tread; when the wear bars show through, the tires are at the end of their service life. The old-timer’s gauge is the “penny test,” where you put a penny, Lincoln’s head down, into the tread. If the top of the tread no longer touches Lincoln’s head, then it’s time (some now recommend the same test with a nickel or quarter).

Of course, when yo ...[more]

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Caring for New Tires


Tires are something that most people just do not give a lot of thought to until something goes wrong and it’s time to replace them. The good news is, they don’t really need a lot of maintenance (certainly not as much as your car’s mechanical systems do), and it’s pretty easy to take care of them and get a long service life from them. Ther e are a few things, though, that you do need to keep in mind with your new tires.

  • Watch your driving habits. Obviously, if you regularly mash the gas pedal hard enough to break traction and burn rubber, that will take a lot of life off your tires. Besides that, though, be careful about your braking and cornering habits, and go easy over potholes and railroad tracks; they will all take a toll on your tires.
  • Check your ...[more]

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How To Measure Tire Pressure


Rubber is a porous substance, and tires will inevitably lose some air over time due to seepage. Tire pressure is something that’s neglected by many drivers, as an “out of sight – out of mind” sort of condition. Low tire pressure, however, costs money in terms of increased rolling resistance and poorer gas mileage. Tires that are habitually run low on air also wear out prematurely, due to heat buildup and an uneven wear pattern.

The good news is that it’s an easy problem to fix.

For 100 years, tires have used the same valve design (known as a Schrade valve), identical to the valves on bicycle tires. They’re still the same design because the Schrade valve does its job well and there has never been a need to improve on it. 

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How to Prevent Hydroplaning


If you’ve ever felt your car “get away from you” on wet pavement, even for an instant, chances are you experienced hydroplaning. It’s scary at best, and can be downright lethal at worst.

Hydroplaning is what happens when your tires are overwhelmed by more water than they can scatter or channel away. The water pressure at the leading edge of the tire’s contact patch pushes water under the tire, and eventually enough water builds up that the tire loses contact with the road surface. The thin film of water between the rubber and road means a loss of braking, traction and steering control.

The first ten minutes of a light rain are actually the worst in terms of hydroplaning. In that ten minutes, the oil and rubber residue on the surface doesn’t have time to wash away, and inst ...[more]

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Essential Tire Tools to Keep in the Car


We all have a toolbox in the garage or inside the house, but what about in the trunk of the car? What if you're on the road and you get a flat tire? Do you have everything you need to take care of it from the road?

It's even more important to keep some tools in the car when you're traveling a long distance because you never know what could happen along the way. Check out our list of essential tire tools to have with you at all times and you'll have a little more piece of mind every time you travel. All of these tools can be stored in the trunk or spare tire area of your vehicle.

Pliers

If you need to remove nails and other foreign objects from a tire, pliers are your best friend. They also come in handy for grabbing small objects in a pinch. ...[more]

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How to Check Tread on Tires


Tread depth is crucial to your safety! Once the tires on your car get below a certain minimum tread depth, your steering, handling and traction are compromised seriously enough that your car is considered unsafe to drive. Most states cite 2/32” as a minimum tread depth, but the truth is that your traction in wet weather or snow can be treacherous long before the tread makes it to 2/32”.
Most tire brands have “wear bars” embedded in the tread grooves, at a right angle to the tread. Once the wear bars start to show through, it’s definitely time to replace the tires.

The oldest rule-of-thumb test is the “Lincoln head penny” test – insert a penny into the tread, with Lincoln’s head pointed down. If the tread doesn’t come to the top ...[more]

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What Kind of Tire Do I Need?


“What kind of tire do I need?” We hear this question pretty often, and there’s no pat, easy answer for it. We can help you go in the right direction, though.

Obviously, you want tires that are going to get the best traction in dry, wet or wintry conditions, for starters. Chances are you’ll also want good ride comfort, treadwear and noise control. Those factors will will drive some of your decision just by itself (and we will get into that in a minute). You may have a vehicle with lots of miles on it or a vehicle you may not want to hang onto for much longer, so you might decide for a less-expensive set of tires or ones with less of a treadwear warranty.

What kind of vehicle do you drive? Sedan, sports coupe, light truck, minivan, SUV?  What’s ...[more]

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