Tire replacement is one of the most dreaded expenses in vehicle maintenance that every car-owner must face, until they make some invincible tire that lasts forever. But, although a painful expense for most, ignoring the health of your tires could be a huge safety concern for yourself, your passengers, and other drivers. So we’re here to give you some tips to keep your tires lasting longer, indicators of tire wear, and where to go when you need to replace them.
Low tire pressure can lead to tires overheating and possibly cause the tread to separate from the tire (like you sometimes see on the highway.) At the same time, over-inflated tires could be just as dangerous and cause your vehicle to lose traction on the road. Other common occurrences of under or over-inflated tires include reduced fuel economy, poor handling, and premature or irregular wear – which means you’ll have to dish out that money to replace them if you don’t pay attention.
Luckily, most newer vehicles have a Tire Pressure Monitoring System. What this system does is measures the pressure and temperature via a sensor within the tire. If the pressure is off, then a warning indication will signal (like the one to the right). Some of the much newer monitoring systems will actually give you an exact reading of the pressure in each tire so you don’t have to guess which one is tripping the sensor. Cool stuff!
Now for those who don’t have these fancy, modern systems, you’re going to have to do a tad bit more work to make sure your tires are in good shape, but it’s not that bad. It’s good practice to check your pressure about once every month. Your recommended tire pressures can be found in your owners manual. You’re going to get the best reading when your tires are “cool,” meaning that they should be sitting still for at least three hours before you test them.
We also want to mention that a lot of the TPMS systems are pretty sensitive. So, if you live somewhere like Wilmington, North Carolina like we do and the temperature can go from bikini weather to freezing rain within a few hours, don’t be alarmed if you get that warning light. In most cases it will go on and then turn itself back off within a few minutes.
Tire rotation is another way to extend the life of your tires, since your front and rear tires are performing different tasks which causes them to wear differently. Rotating them will allow your tires to wear more evenly and at a slower rate so you won’t have to replace them so soon. And, depending on your drivetrain (RWD/FWD/AWD), your tires will have a different rotation pattern which will also be noted in your owners manual. The technician at your shop should know this but in case you think that something went wrong during your service, you can use that as a reference. Tires have been designed to last a bit longer so luckily, and conveniently, a tire rotation is recommended every 3,000-5,000 miles (depending on how new your vehicle is) which is about how often you should be getting your oil changed. So you can just get both services done at the same time.
Luckily, alignment isn’t something that you’ll always have to worry about (it is a little bit more expensive than a regular tire rotation.) An alignment is usually performed with tire replacement, but there are a few indicators that clue you in that you may need one if you didn’t just get brand new rubber. If your car is pulling to the right or the left, or there is a crazy loud noise on the road when you hit a certain speed, there’s your sign.
Knowing When It’s Time
Tire wear depends on several factors, including your driving style and tire maintenance habits. The wrong size load and speed rating can void your warranty. But one sure way to know when to replace your tires is when tread wear indicators appear. A tire’s built-in tread wear indicators are wear bars that look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread and appear when it’s time to replace the tire.
You also need a new tire if:
- You can see three or more tread wear indicators around the tire
- Cord or fabric is showing through the rubber
- The tread or sidewall is cracked, cut, or snagged deep enough to show cord or fabric
- The tire has a bulge or split
- The tire has a puncture, cut, or other damage that can’t be repaired correctly
Well, you can’t think that we fed you all this information so you can go buy your tires somewhere other than Jeff Gordon Chevrolet in Wilmington, NC. Other than doing you that favor, Jeff Gordon Chevrolet also offers a 30-Day Price Match Guarantee on tires. So that means that instead of shopping around for the best deal while the tread on your tires are just withering away, you can just come to us, get a fantastic deal, and if you find one that’s better within 30 days of your service, we’ll refund you the difference!
The 30 Day Price Match is eligible on select major tire brands including: Bridgestone, Continental, Firestone, General, Hankook, Kelly, Michelin, Pirelli, and Uniroyal. You can also click here to for any additional offers and rebates.
Jeff Gordon Chevrolet offers the best quality auto service at our Wilmington dealership. Our technicians are trained to service every kind of Chevrolet vehicle. We are committed to provide the best service, and also offer great deals and discounts to our Wilmington drivers. But we don’t just service Chevrolet! Drivers of Nissan, Toyota, Buick, GMC, Honda, Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Acura, and even Ford vehicles can take advantage of these great offers.
Our service department is open: Monday – Friday 7AM-6PM and Saturday 8AM-5PM. We do have a late-night key drop so you can drop your car off after hours or before we open. We also provide a courtesy shuttle service that will take you to work, for a bite to eat, or to one of Wilmington’s shopping centers like Independence Mall or Mayfaire Town Center. You may either schedule your appointment online or call (910)350-1400.
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