The Importance of Tire Maintenance and Service in North Carolina
Several years ago, the Pirelli tire company had a print advertisement showing Olympic Running Gold Medalist Carl Lewis, crouched at the starting block – wearing high heels. The implication was clear. No matter how well your car is designed to perform, it is all for naught without good tires. The reasoning is simple, your tires are your car’s only physical contact with the rest of the world. It is easy to take your tires for granted, and yet, when an emergency arises and you have to brake hard or quickly swerve out of the way, it all comes down to how the tires interact with the road surface, so you want them at their best.
Check your Tire pressure at Least Once a Month
The first stop of tire care is making sure they have the correct pressure. Most of our models now have a Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS). These are surely helpful, but it is good to manually check the tires as well to make sure the tire pressure readings are accurate. If your TPMS light comes on and stays on or lights intermittently, you should check your tires with a gauge you trust, or come by our store and we will check them for you. For the correct pressure, look at the pressure recommended for your model rather than what is printed on the tire. You will find this on a sticker on the driver’s door jamb.
Visually Inspect your Tires
You should visually inspect your tires every few weeks. Here are some other things you should look for:
- Uneven tread wear
- Dee abrasions on the side walls
- You can see three or more tread wear indicators around the tire
- The tire cord or fabric is showing through the rubber
- The tire tread or sidewall is cracked, cut, or snagged deep enough to show cord or fabric
- The tire has a bulge or split
- The tire has a puncture, cut, or other damage that can’t be repaired correctly
Check Your Spare
We get it. Out of sight, out of mind. But changing temperatures and simple time causes spare tires to lose pressure. This is even more true of space-saver spares that require much higher pressure. There is nothing more demoralizing than having a flat and pulling the spare to find that it is flat also. Thus, whenever you have your tires checked, be sure to include the spare.
Have Us Check Your Alignment One a Year
Just one pothole can damage your car’s alignment and create uneven wear on your tire. While a shaky steering wheel or having your car pull to the left or right is a sure sign of non-alignment, it could be non-aligned without you noticing. Sometimes we subtly correct for non-alignment while driving and don’t realize it. You can’t do this check at home, so have us inspect your wheel alignment about once a year.
Rotate your tires on a regular basis
Having your tires wear evenly makes them all last longer. Your front tires encounter different loads than the rear and even tires on each side can wear differently. Have us rotate your tires, about every 7,500 miles.
Know When to Replace Your Tires
All tires need to be replaced at some point. At a minimum, tires should be replaced when you have 2/32 of an inch or less of tread remaining. There are three ways to check when they have reached this stage:
- Tire wear indicators – These 2/32 high bands connect one row of tread with another. When you spot these and they appear close to or flush with the tread, the tire needs to be replaced.
- Tread Depth Gauge – This tool only costs a few dollars and is easy to use. Used properly, it will give your current tread depth. Check about 3 locations on each tire.
- The Lincoln Penny Test – This is a poor man’s tread gauge as it only involves 1 cent and you don’t have to spend it. Place the penny between the tread of a tire with Lincoln’s head going in first. If any part of his head is hidden, your tires are good to go for a bit longer, but if you see the top of his head, it’s likely time to replace this tire.
Ideally, it is best to replace all four tires at the same time so that all your tires will exhibit similar traction and handling traits. Next best is to replace the most worn tire and the one that will be on its opposite side when driving out.
When you are in need of tires, visit Dieffenbach GM Superstore. Our Certified Service experts will advise you on what tires are a good match for your Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC vehicles. The same applies if you need alignment as we will have exactly the right equipment and know what final setting your particular model should be at. Dieffenbach encourages you to ask our Certified Service Specialists any questions you may have regarding the best care for your vehicle.