Car Talk: Knowing When to Service Your Tires
Tires play a major role in your car’s operation because they affect the handling, ride quality, fuel mileage and breaking distance of your vehicle. In this #CarTalk video, our Director of Automotive Technology explains the importance of tire maintenance and how it contributes to the overall safety of your vehicle.
Tire Maintenance Video Transcript
“Welcome back. I'm Joe Hyde, Director of Automotive Technology for Christian Brothers Automotive. Let's talk cars.
Tires are the only thing that contact the ground surface. But they're also one of the things that are often overlooked on your automobile from a maintenance standpoint. The reason why tires are so important to your vehicle is they also affect the handling, the ride quality, the fuel mileage, and the breaking distance of your vehicle. It's important to always have your tires inspected. And when you have your tires inspected, you want to make sure you have a service professional or someone that's trained to know what to look for, so the small problems don't become big problems.”
What needs to be serviced and how often?
“I'm often asked, how often do my tires need to be serviced? And that's a great question!
Usually you want to check your air pressure once a month. And when it comes to balancing your tires, you want to have your tires balanced at least once per year. Now, if you're driving long distances or over rough roads, construction areas, potholes, debris, then you're going to want to increase that to maybe twice per month.
As far as the alignment goes on the vehicle, you at least want to have that checked at least every year.
Now that we've gone over air pressure, it's important to remember that your tires need to be rotated, and usually your tires rotated every five to 7,000 miles.”
What to look for when something is wrong:
“The next question I'm often asked when it comes to tires is, what do I need to look for? And that's a great question. And there's a lot of indicators that you can check yourself.
Does the vehicle pull or drift when you're driving it? That could mean that you need an alignment.
Do you feel a vibration in your seat, or in the steering wheel as you're driving? That can indicate that your tires are out of balance.
Another indication is the tread. The tread can tell you the story of the tire and what's going on with it. [Pointing to tire]: This tire has a nice even tread wear and it's in pretty good shape.”
The penny test:
“The other thing you need to know is how much tread do I actually have left or how much tire life is left in here? And a great little trick that I learned is called the quarter trick. If you take a quarter and you took it and you turn it upside down and you stick it in the middle of the tread. The top of Washington's head right here is about 4/32. So if I put that in the tread and I'm over Washington's head, I know I have more than 4/32. Now why is for 4/32 important 2/32 is known in the industry as discard or that the tire is no longer usable. If you do use the quarter trick, keep in mind, you'll want to take a measurement in three spots across the center of the tire so that you can make sure that you're checking the wear all the way across the tire surface and not in just one location.”
Tire wire indicator:
“Another indicator that you can use at home is the tire wear indicator. A lot of people don't realize that there is an indicator built into the tire that tells you when it's at discard. It's this bar that runs across the whole entire length of the tire, but you can really see it well right here. If your tire tread gets to that point, it means it's time to replace this tire and install new ones. But always consult your owner's manual for specific information in regards to the vehicle that you own.”
“The service professionals at Christian Brothers automotive are trained for all of your tire service needs. I'm Joe Hyde, and this has been another car talk moment.”