By Lori Straus
Where would we be without tires? We expect them to carry us from point A to point B, stop our vehicle on a dime when we slam on the brakes, and help us safely navigate the roads. In fact, we rely on them so much that we even change them to fit the season. But to help our tires meet our expectations, we need to take care of them. If you notice unusual wear on your tires—i.e., wear that is uneven—then you should head to your mechanic’s as soon as possible. Here’s why.
Improper Tire Inflation
Excessive wear on your tires’ shoulders (i.e., their edges) suggests your tires are underinflated. Excessive wear down the centre of your tires suggests overinflation. This form of wear is preventable by checking your tire pressure every month. An inexpensive tire gauge from a hardware store will help you diagnose this problem on your own.
Not Rotating Tires
Even if your vehicle is properly balanced and your wheels aligned, driving the same route every day can lead to uneven wear. Having your tires routinely rotated will increase their longevity because you’ll balance out the wear that driving repeated routes has on them.
Wheel Alignment Is Off
Correct wheel alignment not only provides proper handling of the vehicle, but it also prevents your tires from wearing unevenly. If your tires are wearing down on one edge or your tire tread appears slanted, then you may need to have your wheels aligned.
Replacing Only Worn Tires
It can be very tempting to only replace the one or two tires that are worn down. On the surface, this can give you the feeling of saving money. After all, why replace the other two tires if they still have some life left to them?
New tires will have overall better performance and grip, meaning that the way your car handles will feel balanced. If you’ve been appropriately rotating your tires, then your tires should all wear at roughly the same pace. But when it comes time to replace even one tire, it’s best to replace all of them at once.
Keep an Eye on Your Tires
Even choosing the best tires for your car won’t protect them from uneven wear. By keeping an eye on your tires and properly maintaining them, you’ll be able to keep them for a long time. But if you neglect them and allow them to wear unevenly, then you may find yourself paying for replacements sooner than you would like.