6 Easy Tips to Make Your Car's Tires Last Longer

By: Kris LeSueur   |   03 Jun 2024
Image from: AutoFun

Your tires are the only things keeping your car connected to the road, so it’s crucial to keep them in good shape. Well-maintained tires mean a safer ride, better fuel efficiency, and a longer tire lifespan. Here are six simple tips to help you keep your tires in top-notch condition.

1. Give Your Tires a Regular Check-Up

Think of it as a quick health check for your tires. Look for any cuts, punctures, or stuff stuck in the tread. Dirt is no big deal, but deep scratches or cracks in the sidewalls could be trouble. Use a penny to check tread depth—if you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires. Some tires have wear bars; if the tread is level with these bars, it’s time for a replacement.

2. Keep the Pressure Just Right

Tire pressure is super important for your safety and saving on fuel. Grab a reliable pressure gauge and check your tires once a month and before long trips. You can find the recommended pressure on a sticker inside the driver’s door or in the manual. Inflate your tires to this level, not the max pressure on the tire itself. And don’t forget the spare!

3. Clean and Protect Your Tires

Cleaning your tires is easy and keeps them looking good while preventing wear. Use mild soap and water to wash off dirt and brake dust. For a homemade cleaner, mix lemon juice and water with a bit of baking soda. After they’re clean, apply a tire protectant to guard against UV damage and cracking.

4. Rotate Them Regularly

Rotating your tires every 5,000 miles helps them wear evenly and last longer. If your tires are staggered, meaning different sizes front and back, swap left and right sides on the same axle. For directional tires, swap front to back on the same side. Non-directional tires have a bit more flexibility: for front-wheel drive (FWD), move the front tires to the back straight, and the rear to the front diagonally. For rear-wheel drive (RWD), move the rear tires to the front straight, and the front to the back diagonally. For all-wheel drive (AWD), move all tires diagonally.

5. Align and Balance Your Wheels

Getting your wheels aligned and balanced keeps your car handling smoothly and saves gas. If your car starts pulling to one side or the steering wheel vibrates, it’s time for a check. Leave this to the pros to make sure it’s done right.

6. Adjust for the Seasons

Switching your tires with the seasons keeps them performing their best. Winter tires are great for snow and ice. Store off-season tires in a cool, dry spot away from sunlight to prevent damage. Always check them for wear before putting them back on.

By following these easy tips, you can make your tires last longer, keep your car running smoothly, and save money in the long run. Happy driving!

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