SpringSuspensionTires

With the changing of the seasons from Winter to Spring, it is a perfect opportunity to take a look at your tires.  It is time to really think about switching over from your Winter Tires now that temperatures are staying above the 7 degrees but here are a few Tire Tips to make sure you are getting the most out of that rubber that hits the road:

Air Pressure

Proper tire inflation is one of the most important factors in tire care.  The inflation pressure imprinted on the sidewall of your tire is the maximum operating pressure determined by the tire manufacturer.  It is not necessarily the correct inflation for your vehicle’s tires.  You should always use the recommended inflation recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.  This information is commonly found in the owner’s manual and often on a label located on the vehicle’s door jamb, inside the fuel hatch or on the glove compartment door.

Tips

  • Check the air pressure once per month or before a long trip.
  • Always check the pressure when the tires are “cold” – this means at least 3 hours after the vehicle has stopped and before it has been driven 1.5 kilometers.  It is best to inflate your tires in the morning.
  • Don’t forget to check your spare tire.  Getting a flat and then not having a reliable spare can really ruin that spring road trip!!!
  • Purchase a good quality pressure gauge.  The public gauges at your local gas station are unreliable at best.

Rotation

If you change out your tires for the winter, this will be done for you, but if you use All Season Tires year round, regular tire rotation will extend the life of your tires saving you time and money in the long run.  Each tire is removed from your vehicle and moved to a different position.  This ensures even tire wear and will extend the life of all your tires.  If no period is specified in your owner’s manual then your tires should be rotated every 6-12,000 km (or twice per year).

Alignment

The alignment generally refers to the adjustment of your car’s front and rear suspension parts.  Having proper alignment is key to correct handling and will increase the life and performance of your tires.  The alignment can be knocked out of adjustment from the daily impacts of potholes, railway crossings or by more severe accidents.  You should have the alignment checked if:

  • You know you hit something (curb, deep pothole etc.)
  • You see a wear pattern developing on the shoulders of your tires.

Balancing

A tire balance means compensating for the weight of the tires and wheel after it is mounted.  A wheel that is out of balance has one area that is heavier or lighter than the rest.  This can cause irregular tire wear and vibration which increases the stress on front-end parts like steering and suspension and will cause them to wear out prematurely.

You should have your wheels balanced whenever a tire is replaced but at the first sign of vibration or irregular treadwear, your car should be checked for both wheel balance and alignment and for worn or broken mechanical parts.

Vibration

A vibration when driving is a sign that there is a problem that needs immediate attention.  The tires, steering system and suspension all work in harmony to give you a smooth ride.  Having these components checked will determine the probable cause of the vibration.  If the vibration is not corrected, it will cause excessive tire wear, suspension break down and could also be dangerous.

Driving Habits

Consider this a “New Season Resolution” to help save you money in the long run.  Look at your driving habits and keep your money in your wallet!

  • Don’t speed!  As you drive faster, this causes excessive heat and as that heat increases so does the rate of tire wear and reduces the overall durability of your tires.
  • Avoid fast turns!  Unless you are a NASCAR driver, taking corners at high rates of speed is not good for your tires.  Also avoid fast starts from stop signs and lights as well as panic stops at the last minute (this will help extend the life of your brakes too).
  • Don’t ride on the Edge!  Rubbing up on the edge of pavement or driving over curbs can dramatically increase your tire wear.

If you are not sure about your tires and would like a no obligation opinion about your Summer Tires.  Stop in at any of our 4 London locations!

Cheers,

Otto