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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When Should I Get New Tires?


When Should I Get New Tires?

Not only can the tires on your vehicle affect your gas mileage, they have a direct impact on your safety, too.  One of the most important things you should know is when to change your tires.  Here’s a simple test that will help.

Go check the tires on your vehicle. How do they look? Worn? One quick method uses only a penny:

 

Insert a penny head-first between tread.  Can you still see the president’s head?  If it’s mostly hidden, your tread should be good.  But if you can see Lincoln’s whole cranium then it’s definitely time for new tires!

 

In most states tires are legally worn out when they have worn down to 2/23” of tread depth. Worn d ...[more]

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What’s the Proper Air Pressure For My Car


Experts and analysts seem to be in agreement on this: the days of cheap oil are finished. As countries compete with each other for oil on a global market, the price of refined fuel and gasoline in the United States may fluctuate somewhat, but it’s likely to stay above $3/gallon for the foreseeable future. That means that every driver needs to be aware of what they need to do to optimize their gas mileage…and that includes tires.

Proper Inflation

You probably already know that proper inflation is vital to fuel economy, and that underinflated tires will not only drop your gas mileage, but will negatively affect handling and drivability. Underinflated tires are also unsafe, building heat that can compromise a tire’s service life and possibly cause tire failur ...[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 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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Tire Pressure and Temperature


You’ll notice that the stamp on your tire’s sidewall specifies inflation for HOT tires. Why is that?

Pretty simple physics, really. Gases expand with heat, meaning both the temperature of a friction-heated tire and ambient temperature of outside air. A rule of thumb is that for about for about every ten degrees Fahrenheit change in air temperature, your tire’s inflation will fluctuate by about one PSI. In most parts of the United States, the difference between winter and summer temperatures can be as much as a 50-degree spread, meaning a potential fluctuation of five PSI. That’s not even thinking about the 20-degree spread between hot afternoon temperatures and cooler nighttime or early morning temperatures in summer.

Tires that are low by 5 psi will  hurt traction, steering re ...[more]

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Simple Tire Review: Goodyear Ultra Grip


The Ultra Grip is Goodyear’s winter/snow tire, studdable for extreme conditions and designed with a silica-enhanced tread compound for flexibility at freezing temperatures. The Goodyear Ultra Grip features a directional tread design and aggressive tread pattern, with bold shoulder blocks for stability in dry conditions and even treadwear. Wide grooves in the tread help move loose snow and slush away from the tire’s contact patch to resist hydroplaning. Along with sipes cut into the tread for extra biting edges in ice and snow, the shoulder and intermediate tread blocks can accept alternating rows of optional metal studs for hard-packed snow and icy roads (where legal). The Ultra Grip’s tread pattern is tuned and computer-optimized to help ...[more]

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Simple Tire Review: Nokian Hakkapeliitta


Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 

Designed for SUV’s, the Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 is a winter tire that provides excellent, stable handling and first-rate surface grip. Nokian’s ecologically-friendly winter tread compound incorporates rapeseed oil and low-aromatic formulations for grip, flexibility and low rolling resistance, with a double block tread compound for traction in deep snow. Polished main grooves help evacuate snow and slush from the tire’s contact patch; tread wear indicators alert the driver to minimum tread depth. Lastly, the Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 can be set up with studs for extreme condition, where legal.

The Nokian Hakkapelitta 5 is truly a winter tire, with an aggressive tread pattern and higher noise ...[more]

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Simple Tire Review: Hankook Winter iPike W409


Perfect for smaller sedans and crossovers, the Hankook Winter iPike W409 is an affordable winter tire that excels in snow and slush conditions. The Winter iPike W409 uses a winter tread formulation that’s compounded to stay flexible in subfreezing temperatures, for great traction. A wider footprint ensures a smoother ride and more stable handling and cornering on wet or dry pavement, with a dense pattern of sipes at the center tread for improved traction in nasty weather. A unique V-shaped tread pattern helps move water away from the contact patch to fight hydroplaning; the Winter iPike W409 can also be set up with six rows of studs for extreme conditions (where legal).

The Winter iPike W409 is a little noisier than many winter tires, ...[more]

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