You're only as good moving around in your car as your tires allow it to be. It might sound a little obvious, but you have to think of your car's tires as its shoes. You might prefer some shoes for walking around or some other shoes for going through rough terrain.
You might also prefer your shoes to be in good condition and try to take care of them to the best of your ability.
Why not do the same for your tires?
Take good care of your tires and get some good ones in the first place. Try for a set that is the best match your car, and it will make driving easier.
For a basic education on tires, what you should be looking out for in a tire purchase, and how to avoid riding on a ripped wheel, read below for a few pointers on the subject:
Cars ride on four wheels (in most cases), this is obvious enough. However, the same pressure is not always applied to them at the same time. Tires will always wear where there's more pressure on them, and this is always the side where the engine is located. If your car has negative or positive camber, the tires will wear out on the inside or outside of the tire, and they may need to be rotated or replaced depending on the make and model of the car you are driving.
Unevenly worn tires will break down quickly, needing replacement sooner than they should. This is why tire rotation should usually be done simultaneously with oil changes. This means basically exchanging the front tires with the ones in the back so that they wear out evenly and last much longer.
If you're not sure when you need to change your oil, remember that most cars should have their oil changed every 6 months or 7,500 miles, depending on how you drive the car and whether or not you are using conventional or synthetic oil. Remember to rotate your tires every time you go for an oil change and you should have them last as long as they possibly can.
Balancing and Aligning Tires
Every time you replace tires and get new ones, you should always look out for them to be balanced. Newly placed tires might not be perfectly balanced with your car's wheel mounts, and such an error will surely cause them to wear down unevenly. The threads of the tires themselves will wear fast and the car will vibrate, causing even further unbalancing. You will be able to feel the vibration in your steering wheel when your wheels are unbalanced.
The same is true for aligning wheels. Every time you hit something with your wheels, hit a pothole, or go over a speed bump, tires can get misaligned a tiny amount. After enough little hits, tires could be misaligned enough to cause trouble: wearing faster and impeding proper steering, thus not only becoming inefficient but unsafe. This is the main cause of a car that pulls to the right or the left.
Since you're driving in Florida, the long roads and hot weather might speed up the usual wear times of regular tires. There are many other factors that will influence how long your tires last. How long have you driven them? How well have you taken care of them? How are they designed? What kind of quality materials were used in your tires?
As a rule of thumb, tires should last from five to ten years, depending on these factors and the type of driving you've been doing in the interim. Drifting and hard braking may look cool, but it's a nightmare for a tire's lifespan.
To see how much they've been worn out, you can take a penny and put it upside down in the center of the thread with Lincoln's head facing you. If you see the top of Lincoln's head or what's above it, you must replace them, if you can only see part of it, you should buy one soon, if you can't see the hear on the top of his head and you've inserted the coin all the way, you don't need to replace them for a while.
Would you like to know more about tire repair? Check out Tire Maintenance, Part II>>
If you've got perfectly placed and cared tires, but need to register the car and drive it, be sure to contact Auto Tags of Florida at (954)848-4808, and we'll make sure you can get the most of those beautifully placed tires on your vehicle.