Tires play an important part in keeping your car safely on the road. They are the ONLY contact with the road that your car or truck should have. The quality of your tires will directly affect the fuel economy, handling, traction in wet or sandy conditions, and your ability to stop and go when you intend to.

Rotating your tires regularly will help with even tire wear and handling. According to all the major tire manufacturers this should be done every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Elite Auto Repair will rotate your tires for free when you come in for an Oil Change if you want.

It is important that you check your tires once a month to make sure the air pressure is correct, the tread wear is good, and there are no abnormalities. This only takes a couple minutes a month but will save you plenty of heartache down the road.

Tire Pressure
Tire pressure can affect your gas mileage, traction, and wear of your tire. You can find your vehicles suggested tire pressure on the doorjamb of the driver’s door or in your owner’s manual. Be careful when looking at the side of the tire to determine the pressure. There are a couple numbers there and one is the maximum tire pressure, which should not be used.

Tread Wear
Your tires should have more than 2/32 inch of tread. This can be checked by using a tire tread measuring tool picked up at any auto parts store or simply using a penny. When using a penny, you need to insert Abraham Lincoln’s head upside down. If you can see the top of his hair, you should have your tires replaced ASAP. If you plan on driving in snow or sand, you should have double that. To see if you have enough for that you just need to flip the penny over and insert the Lincoln Memorial upside down. If the roof is in the tire tread then you should be ok.

Abnormal Wear
Tires should wear evenly as long as they are properly inflated and rotated regularly. If there are any unusual wear patterns you should have a professional take a look. This could be a sign of an improperly operating part of your suspension system or engine. If you notice bumps, cracks or flat spots it could also be signs of a defective tire and sometimes is covered under the manufactures warranty, if these things happen during normal wear and tear; but not when stored for long times or driven while flat or over or under inflated.

Some common problems are

Outside edges of the tire being worn more the center of the tire
This is caused by the tire being over inflated. Check the tire pressure and adjust it as needed. If the tire pressure is good, then bring in your vehicle and we’ll take a look to see what the problem is.

Center of the tire being worn more than the edges
This is caused by the tire being under inflated. Check the tire pressure and adjust as needed. If the tire pressure is good, then bring in your vehicle and we’ll take a look to see what the problem is.

Patchy wear marks throughout the tire
This is usually the symptom of a suspension problem. Bring your vehicle in and we’ll take a look to see what a problem is.

Only one edge of the tire being worn
This is usually the symptom of a suspension problem. Bring your vehicle in and we’ll take a look to see what a problem is.

Bumps, Bulges or Flat Spots
This can be the sign of a defect in the tires construction or continued under and over inflation. Bring your vehicle in and we’ll take a look and make sure they are safe to continue driving on.

Cracking of the surface of the tire
Surface cracks can develop over time under normal conditions. If the cracks are look deep enough to fit a fingernail into, than it is time to get a professional involved to assess the safety of the tire. If the tire is under 4 years old and has been properly maintained, cracked tires are usually covered under the manufactures warranty.

Never gamble on your passengers lives with your tires. If you have any concerns about your tires it is often better to have a professional look at it than risk it blowing out or spending money on new tires when they are not needed.