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Tire Services: When And Why Your Car Needs Them

Tires are one of the most critical components of your car. Besides providing grip, they help you steer while keeping your car firmly on the road. However, with time, tires wear out. They suffer from tears, punctures, and cracks. Eventually, they become unsafe to use, putting your life at risk while driving. Therefore, tire services are essential in maintaining your vehicle’s health. We will discuss the types of tire services, why your car needs them, and when to schedule them.

Tire Rotation

One of the most common tire services is rotation. Due to different driving conditions and uneven weight distribution, tires can wear out unevenly. Tire rotation involves changing the position of your car’s tires to ensure even wear and improve performance. You should get your tires rotated every six months or after running for 5,000 miles, whichever comes first. You should also get your wheels balanced during the same service to ensure that they spin evenly.

Tire Balancing

This service corrects the imbalances caused by bent wheels or uneven tire wear. When your wheels are out of balance, they produce vibrations. These vibrations can affect the vehicle’s overall performance, including the steering, brakes, and driving experience. You can tell when your wheels are unbalanced if you experience excessive vibration or hear strange humming sounds while driving. You should also schedule tire balancing if you replace or repair a tire since the new tire may not have the same balance and weight as the old one.

Tire Alignment

This service involves setting the wheels’ angles to make sure they roll straight and parallel to each other. Proper alignment assures even tire wear and helps improve fuel economy, handling, and tire safety. You should schedule tire alignment if you notice your vehicle drifting to one side while driving on a straight road, the steering wheel vibrates, or the tires wear out unevenly. In addition, you should also get your alignment checked if you replace your steering or suspension parts, have been involved in an accident, or hit a curb or pothole.

Tire Replacement

Tires have a lifespan of four to six years, depending on driving conditions and usage. You should replace your tires when the tread depth is below 2/32 of an inch, when the sidewalls have cracks, punctures larger than 1/4 inch, bulges, or blisters. You should also replace your tires if they are over six years old, regardless of mileage or wear. Newer tires have advanced safety features such as improved handling, better hydroplaning resistance, and shorter stopping distances.

Tire Repair

Tire repair is a standard service that involves fixing punctures, tears, or cuts on the tire’s surface. Most tire punctures can be repaired, depending on the location, size, and extent of the damage. However, repairing a tire is only feasible when the puncture is on the tread and the damage is less than 1/4 inch. You should never repair tires with sidewall damage, holes, or cuts. Properly repaired tires are safe and reliable, and restore the damaged tire’s performance.

In conclusion, tire services are critical in maintaining the health of your vehicle’s tires. Whether it’s rotation, balancing, alignment, replacement, or repair, each service plays a unique role in ensuring the safety and performance of your vehicle. Always consult your auto repair shop for any questions or concerns about your car’s tires. Remember, proper tire care not only provides a better driving experience but also ensures your safety on the road.

Images by Marcus Millo from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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