Tires are expensive and anything that can be done to extend their life will save you money. Maintaining your tires also improves vehicle safety. Driving with worn ones is dangerous, especially in bad weather.
In addition, worn tires are more likely to leak, which lowers air pressure. This reduces fuel efficiency, which forces you to spend more on gas. It’s also damaging to the environment.
Here are some simple and easy things you can do to make your tires last longer:
Inert your tires
The most important thing you can do to extend the life of your tires is to ensure that they’re filled at the optimal level recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
Inerting your tires is the best way to do that.
A tire that’s inerted uses an inert gas, usually nitrogen, to fill it instead of unstable and dirty compressed air. Air is comprised of 78 percent nitrogen. The rest is made of approximately 21 percent oxygen, water vapor, carbon dioxide, and smaller amounts of gases and pollutants, including neon and argon.
The combination of these gasses impacts how the pressure of your tire changes at different temperatures. Air expands at warmer temperatures and contracts in colder environments. Tire pressure increases or decreases accordingly. When it comes to tire pressure, nitrogen has the edge over air, because it’s less susceptible to fluctuations in temperature.
In addition to this, tires have microscopic holes that let small amounts of gas to leak out. Over time, this causes tires to deflate. Nitrogen molecules are larger than those of air, which makes them less likely to leak out of tires, helping prevent deflation.
Other things you can do to extend tire life
Rotate your tires every 5,000 miles
For most vehicles, only one or two wheels do the actual work of driving at any give time. That leads to uneven tire wear.
- On front-wheel drive vehicles, front tires wear faster
- On rear-wheel drive vehicles, the back ones wear out more quickly
- For all-wheel drive vehicles the wear pattern is uneven because most shift the drive from one wheel to another.
Rotating your tires moves them to different positions on the vehicle. That gives tires on active drive wheels a break, helping them last longer.
Have wheels balanced
When you get your tires rotated, get your wheels balanced at the same time.
Every tire and wheel has a heavy spot in it, even when vehicles are brand new. The difference is minute, usually less than an ounce. However that tiny difference can cause vibration and uneven tire wear.
Your mechanic can balance each wheel to eliminate these tiny differences. As your tires wear, your mechanic will need to rebalance them. It’s a fast, easy process that over time costs less than new tires.
Check alignment twice a year
Misalignment happens when your tires tilt inward or outward. It can cause your vehicle to pull or drift left or right or make the steering wheel vibrate or shake. Even a minor misalignment will increase tread wear and reduce fuel efficiency.
Tires become misaligned when you do common things like hit a curb or drive over a pothole. Your mechanic can adjust your vehicle’s alignment. Take it in for a check every six months or when you think you may is have an issue.