Tires

How much air should I put in my tires?

Proper inflation is the single most important part of tire care. Check or adjust inflation every few months and always use the inflation recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Checking air pressure should be standard procedure on any routine visit to your vehicle service center for oil services, tire rotations, or general maintenance and repair. For do-it-yourselfers you can find this information in your owner’s manual, posted on the edge of the driver’s door, on a door post, in the center console, or on the inside of the glovebox door. Be sure to check inflation when tires are COLD: when the vehicle has been driven less than a mile or one hour or more after driving. Use a good quality tire gauge. And don’t forget to check the spare!

 

Is it safe to repair a flat tire?

If a tire loses all or most of its air pressure, it must be removed from the wheel for a complete internal inspection to be sure it’s not damaged. Tires that are run even short distances while flat are often damaged beyond repair. Most punctures nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 inch which are confined to the tread may be satisfactorily repaired by trained personnel using industry-approved methods. Don’t repair tires with tread punctures larger than 1/4 inch, or with any sidewall puncture. Also, never repair tires that are worn below 1/16 inch tread depth. Your Advisor and tire technician can advise you.

 

What is Road Hazard Protection?

Think of Road Hazard Protection as a replacement insurance policy on any un-repairable damage to your tire (excludes collision and deliberate destruction). Typical costs are minimal and offered only at the point of sale.

 

Do I have to replace my present tires with the same size tires?

Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation or approved options. Never choose a smaller size than those that came with the car. It is recommended that all tires be the same size, construction (radial, non-radial) and speed rating. If tires of different speed ratings are mounted on the vehicle, it is important to place the same size, type and speed ratings on the same axle.Tires of different size designations, constructions, and stages of wear can affect the vehicles handling and stability.

 

Should I rotate my tires?

The main purpose of regularly rotating tires is to achieve more uniform wear for all tires on the vehicle. It is recommended that you rotate your tires at least every 6,000 to 8,000 miles or uneven wear may develop. At strongly tire-oriented facilities this is a service typically done at no additional cost; along with free flat repairs, Nitrogen inflation, and an undercar inspection.

 

How important is wheel alignment?

It is very important! Having your wheels aligned helps in prolonging the life of your tires. Research indicates that the average car is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with toe alignment just 0.34 degrees (Just 0.17 inches) out of specification has dragged its tires sideways.

 

How often should I have my car aligned?

Vehicle manufacturers as a general rule recommend an annual alignment check. Unless there are obvious handling or wear problems this may not be necessary. As a general rule, have your vehicle aligned with every set of new tires, any suspension or steering part replacements, and at least every two years.

 

What should I do if I notice a vibration?

Vibration is an indication that your car has a problem. You should have your tires, steering system and suspension system checked to help determine the cause and correction of the vibration. If the problem is not corrected, the vibration could cause excessive tire and suspension wear.

 

Can I drive normally on my spare tire?

Many newer vehicles come equipped with a temporary spare. These tires are usually much smaller than the other tires on your car. It is important to realize that these spares have far more limitations than a typical tire, including speed and recommended driving distance. No more than 50mph and no longer than 50 miles per trip.

 

What are the benefits to Nitrogen filled tires?

The single biggest reason for tire failure is lack of maintenance of tire pressure. In fact, 54 percent of all vehicles on the road have low tire pressure. Oxygen in compressed air can permeate the tire wall reducing tire pressure. With nitrogen, diffusion is 30 to 40 percent slower than oxygen. As a result, nitrogen maintains tire pressure longer than ambient air. Maintaining tire pressure can boost fuel economy by as much as 6 percent. Nitrogen disperses heat more quickly than ambient air. By restraining the heat in the tire and reducing rolling resistance, you get better fuel economy. Longer tread life. With quicker heat dispersion, you get a cooler running tire which helps extend tread life and reduce tire failure. Nitrogen also prevents oxidation which can not only lead to tread separation and belt failure but, when combined with moisture, corrode rims. In fact, moisture can result in rust flakes that can fall into the valve stem, block the valve and cause under-pressurization. It can even cause the valve stem itself to rust. Slow chemical aging. Filling a tire with nitrogen also significantly slows the chemical aging process of the tire’s rubber components. This leads to fewer catastrophic failures like blowouts. Slower aging lengthens tire core life, which yields extra retreads and lower fleet costs.

 

An illuminated light on my dash shows that I have a low tire. Can I just put air in it?

In many cases correcting the air pressure in your tires will extinguish the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning light. Often seasonal temperature drops will lower tire air pressure a few pounds (a good case for Nitrogen – see 11 above) and trigger the TPMS warning light. In all cases where one or two particular tires are significantly lower than the others, or lower than the factory recommended pressure, a trained tire technician should examine the tire to determine the cause and examine the casing for signs of over stress. Some TPMS systems require special tools to access the vehicle computer. Advanced level tire technicians are trained and equipped for this technology.

 

With so many brand options and price differences why not just pick the cheapest tire. Is there really a difference?

The old adage: you get what you pay for is true in tire purchasing – somewhat! Since the introduction of the “radial tire” the assumption is that no significant changes have occurred in the world of tire building. The facts are that major tire builders are spending tens of millions of dollars annually in research to improve their products and the reliability and performance of tires have taken a quantum leap forward. Research in the area of tread compounding polymers, rubber mixing methods, tread design, casing design and materials, build processes, and other research has resulted in a product that is far advanced from the tires we were driving on a decade ago. The discovery of Silica’s use in tread rubber compound alone has greatly influenced wear and adhesion characteristics of tires. Some of today’s tires can stop a car on a wet highway in distances unfathomable a decade ago. Tire builders strive to produce a product that balances production costs against safety, noise, ride quality, wear, handling, rolling resistance, and other attributes. Their cheapest products will not much focus on safety and other technologies that better tires have to offer. Conversely the higher priced lines often fall short of the best features. Knowledgeable Tire Sales Advisors can discuss test data and sort through the claims that manufacturers make regarding their products and help you make this important decision.

How often should I rotate my tires?
Your tires should be rotated every other oil change, or every 6000 miles. Neglecting to rotate tires is a major cause of premature tire wear.