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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What is a Tire Service Description?


What does a tire’s service description mean?

A tire’s service description describes a tire’s load range and speed index- and it’s right there on your tire!  The first step is knowing where to look, and the second, what to look for on your tire. On the sidewall of most tires, you will be able to find your tire’s size, indicated by a set of three numbers (ex. 225/50-R16).

Typically, the service description is printed right after the tire size, and can be recognized by a number followed by a letter (ex. 92 V). In this example, the 92 will represent the load index of the tire, in other words the amount of weight each tire can support. The higher the number is in the service description, the more weight the tire can support. The load range on most passenger vehicles and light trucks ranges fro ...[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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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 Tires Can Vastly Improve Your Fuel Economy


When you think of enhanced fuel economy, you probably think of the usual things…aerodynamics, engine size, rear end gear ratio, vehicle weight, driving style and speed, and your engine’s state of tune (clean air filter, good spark plugs, etc). Did you know, though, that your tires can have a huge bearing on gas mileage as well? 

  • Tire Size – The bigger, wider and heavier a tire is, the more rolling resistance it presents. Don’t believe me? Go for a ride on a skinny-tire racing bike, then go for a ride on a fat balloon-tire beach cruiser and see the difference. You shouldn’t go for a narrower tire than original equipment, as engineers tune suspensions and steering for a given tire size, but also remember that wider tires can cut into your fuel economy (even if th ...[more]

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How Does Your Driving Style Affect Tires?


Does your driving style affect how your tires wear and hold up? You better believe it does.

If you put a lot of interstate miles on your car, that’s about the easiest thing you can do for the tires and your car’s drivetrain both. Tires and engines both love maintaining steady speeds for hours on end (provided the tires are at the correct inflation).

Here are some things that are likely to compromise your tires’ life, though: 

  • Frequently hauling heavy loads (especially for pickup truck tires)
  • Frequently pulling a trailer
  • Hard cornering
  • Hard acceleration
  • Taking potholes, railroad tracks and bumps at high speeds

It’s not surprising that heavy loads or trailer use would wear out tires prema ...[more]

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OE Tires vs. Replacement Tires


Soooo…it’s time to replace the tires on your late-model car. Maybe you weren’t that crazy about the original equipment (OE) tires, or you just want to try something different. Well, here are some things to consider.

The engineers and design teams that worked on your make and model of car selected a specific brand and model of tire for it. All of their formulations for ride comfort, handling, steering response, traction, noise and vibration isolation, roughness and  overall performance used that specific tire as a benchmark (of course, the bid process for tires entered into it as well). A luxury car might have been designed around a grand touring tire with a quiet ride, an eco-friendly hybrid might use a low-rolling-resistance tire, ...[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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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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