4 Helpful Tips for Maintaining Your Tires


With its unpredictable weather patterns and higher chance of rain and snow, winter is an ideal time to inspect the tires on your vehicle and brush up on proper maintenance technique.

Because tires are the only part of your vehicle that touch the road, they are uniquely positioned to affect the overall performance of your car, from the ride to handling and braking, and, most importantly, the safety of you and other vehicle occupants.

Here are four tips you as a car owner can follow to keep your tires in tip-top shape. Also be sure to have them periodically inspected by an automotive repair professional through a provider of car maintenance service in Guttenberg or the surrounding area.

1. Maintain Proper Inflation

Check your tire pressure regularly and keep it at the recommended level for your vehicle. Ideally, you should check the pressure once per month or before you plan to take a long road trip. According to a post on HowStuffWorks.com, if your ride is especially bumpy, the tires may be overinflated. On the other hand, if your car's handling starts seeming unresponsive, your tires could be underinflated. Low tire pressure can negatively affect your tires' grip on wet, slick surfaces. You can find the proper air pressure for your car in your owner's manual.

2. Balance Your Tires

Another tip, from AAA Exchange, is to keep your tires properly balanced, which helps extend their life and minimizes uneven wear. The tire balancing process involves attaching small weights to the wheels to "limit vibration of the tire and wheels as they turn," according to the article. You should have newly installed tires balanced, and then again whenever you notice excessive vibration. Balancing also is recommended if you have a tire removed from the wheel, such as for a repair, according to AAA Exchange.

3. Rotate Tires Regularly

Because the tires at the rear and those at the front of your vehicle operate at different loads, causing unequal wear patterns, industry professionals recommend you get your tires rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. Doing so will help the tires wear evenly so you maximize their lifespan and performance before having to get them replaced. Be aware the tires on performance cares are designed to rotate in a specific direction. According to AAA Exchange, you can only rotate those tires front-to-rear, and if the sizes are different for the front and rear axles, then rotation isn't possible. Another tip, from an article by TODAY, is to always put new tires on the rear axle, because if you initially lose traction in the back, your car will most likely spin or swerve.  

4. Adjust the Wheel Alignment

Each vehicle has specific settings for wheel alignment, or the angle and position of the wheels recommended by the car manufacturer. When you have new tires installed, have the car technicians inspect the wheel alignment. It also is a standard part of regular automobile maintenance. Any time you observe uneven tire wear, you should have the alignment checked. Other signs you might need an alignment, according to another HowStuffWorks.com post, include: your car is drifting to one side, even when you're steering wheel is centered; your car is moving straight forward, even when your steering wheel isn't centered; or your steering wheel vibrates. However, drift and pull are sometimes due to other issues, so have your vehicle inspected before an alignment is performed, AAA Exchange advises.

When it comes to tire maintenance, you want to rely on a provider you know you can trust. If you're looking for car maintenance service in Guttenberg or the surrounding Northeast Iowa area, contact Brown's Guttenberg to schedule an appointment. Brown's is happy to serve all of Northeast Iowa, as well as nearby cities, including Dubuque; the Quad Cities; Cedar Rapids; Manchester; Waterloo/Cedar Falls; and Prairie Du Chien, Wis.