5 WAYS TO HELP MAKE YOUR TIRES LAST LONGER
Let’s face it. Even though your car is probably the last thing you want to spend your hard-earned money on, it can be downright dangerous to avoid spending money on something like new tires. While the common recommendation is to replace your tires about every three to four years - if you drive 12,000 - 15,000 miles per year1- there are things you can do to help make sure your tires don’t wear out too soon.
Dont drive with a flat tire
Thanks to advanced tire technology, flat tires aren’t as common as they once were, but they do still happen. Driving on a flat tire can increase the damage which can cost you more money, and it case pose a safety risk to yourself and other vehicles on the road. When you drive on a flat tire, the wheel rim pinches the tire close to the road and shreds the inside lining of the tire. The result? Instead of repairing a tire, you now have to replace it, and possibly more than one which can cost as much as $720.2Brake lines, rotors, calipers, and suspension components could also be damaged beyond repair when you drive on a flat tire.3
Of course, you never want to sacrifice your safety for the sake of your tire, so if you have to drive on it to get out of harm’s way, go ahead and do it until you reach safety.
Fill your tires correctly
Do you know what the best tire pressure is for your car? While your owner’s manual will list the correct pressure, you can also find it on a sticker attached to the edge of the driver’s side door, glove box door, or fuel door. Monitoring your tires for the correct pressure will help prevent larger problems down the road, like excessive wearing from bowing. Many newer vehicles also have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) which alerts you when your tire pressure is too low. If the warning light pops up on your dashboard, your tires will need immediate attention to avoid further damage.4
Watch that alignment
If you experience your vehicle pulling or drifting to one side or notice severe wear on the inside or outside edge of your tire, it may be time to get your tires aligned.5For most vehicles, alignment means correcting the subtle tilts in your car’s camber, caster, and toe-in or toe-out. Specialized equipment is used by your mechanic to correct the alignment, often in fractions of an inch.
Balance your wheels
While alignment adjusts the angle of your wheels, balancing involves applying weights on the tire rim, inside and out.5If your car begins to vibrate around 60 or 70 miles per hour, it’s time to get your tires balanced. Over time, your tires begin to change shape as they wear down due to normal aging of the front-end car parts, potholes, and hard braking. Driving through material that can clump on your tires, like mud and snow, can also affect the balance. Cleaning your tires and a test drive can determine if you need to balance your tires and what type of weight application is most appropriate.
Avoid road hazards
Unfortunately, you can’t control the quality of the roads you drive on or how often they are repaired. You’ll inevitably face potentially damaging surfaces on the road like debris or potholes. All potholes can damage automobile tires, but potholes on asphalt are the most destructive because they often times have sharp, unforgiving edges. The edges of asphalt-road potholes force a tire to flex and stretch, which can cause abrasions, punctures, and tears. The faster a driver hits these types of potholes, the greater chance they have of damaging the tire or even blowing it out completely.
Eventually, buying new tires becomes unavoidable. You can lengthen the life of your tires with these tips, but don’t risk your safety by putting off buying new ones. When it’s time to replace your tires, find a shop near you that accepts the Synchrony Car CareTM credit card and take advantage of promotional financing on purchases of $199 or more*.
*Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. See merchant or mysynchrony.com/carcare for promotional financing details.
1. How Old - and Dangerous - Are Your Tires Edmunds
2. How much to pay for new tires? The Inquirer
3. Here’s Why You Really Shouldn’t Drive on a Flat Tire Auto Guide
4. What Happens If I UnderInflate My Tires? Your Mechanic
5. When Do You Need a Wheel Alignment? Cars.com
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