Spare Tire

April 10, 2017

Driving on a Spare Tire

  One part of the vehicle that is easily forgotten about until it is needed is the spare tire. This is because you will not need to drive on the spare tire unless the regular goes flat or blows out. You will want to inspect the spare tire when you check the regular tires as well. This includes air pressure, tread wear, and the overall condition of the tires. If you notice anything out of the norm with the tires, make sure to bring the vehicle in as soon as you can.   While full-size matching spare tires and wheels require the greatest amount of storage space, they are the most versatile. Full-size matching spare tires and wheels should be integrated into the vehicle’s tire rotation pattern from the beginning. This will essentially create a set of five tires that will last longer than just four, as well as will wear out the spare tire before it ages out. If the vehicle has all-wheel or four-wheel drive, the spare tire will remain at a similar tread depth to the other tires on the vehicle, reducing driveline stress when called into service. Additionally, when it is time to replace the vehicle’s tires, they can be replaced as a set of five allowing you to benefit from using the latest tire technology or select a more desirable tire size that fits the original wheels.   Full-size temporary spare tires and wheels match the vehicle’s original tire dimensions, but typically feature lighter-weight construction and a shallower tread depth to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy and make the spare easier to install. While most of today’s vehicles are originally equipped with alloy wheels, full-size temporary spares are typically mounted on steel wheels and should be used only as spares.   Temporary compact spare tires are physically shorter and narrower than the vehicle’s standard tires and wheels. Their smaller dimensions require they operate at higher inflation pressures typically sixty pounds per square inch than standard tires. The compact temporary spare tire and wheel that comes with a vehicle is designed to fit that vehicle only. Never attempt to use a temporary compact spare tire and wheel on another vehicle unless it is the exact same make and model. All temporary spare tires are designed for short-term use only and they are not designed with the same capabilities in terms of load capacity, speed capability, or all-weather traction. Always check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and the temporary spare’s sidewall for instructions on proper use. It is also important to recognize that controlling a vehicle may be more difficult when using a temporary spare, and temporary spare tires are usually accompanied with warnings that advise against towing a trailer, or traveling over fifty miles per hour for further than fifty miles.
December 12, 2016

What to Inspect on the Tires

  The tires are an important part of the vehicle. They are the only part that provides a direct connection between the surface of the road and your vehicle. It is important to make sure the tires are maintained the best that they can be. This can help you to reach your destination as safe as possible. The vehicle should be brought in for regular inspections when it is recommended. This can help to keep the tires in the best condition possible.   Tread Wear   When inspecting the tires, make sure to check the tread on them as well. The tread is important because it is what helps to grip the road when you drive. This can help to improve the handling and stability when you drive. If the road is wet, the tires can hydroplane if the tread is low on them. You can check the amount of tread on the tire by using a penny. Place the penny upside down in one of the tire groves. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then there is not enough tread. You can also notice if the tread is wearing evenly around the tire. If you notice an issue with the tread, bring the vehicle in and we can inspect it for you. It is also recommended to check the spare tire as well to make sure it can be driven on if needed.   Air Pressure   The air pressure should be checked on a regular basis. This can help to make sure the tires operate efficiently when they rotate. Tires that are under inflated can lead to poor fuel efficiency. They can also be more prone to blowing out when the vehicle is driven. Over inflated tires have less contact to the surface of the road. This can cause the vehicle to drive uncomfortably. It could also result in bumps or jostles as you drive. Tires that are over inflated can be more likely to pick up sharp objects that are in the road.   Condition of the Tires   Another way to help improve the life of the tires is to have them rotated and aligned when it is recommended. Having the tires aligned can help to make sure they wear evenly around. If the tires are poorly aligned, it can cause extra strain on the vehicle when it operates. This is because it would have to make up for the misaligned tires. The tires should also be rotated so they can last as long as possible. Bring your vehicle in, and we can check to see if an alignment or rotation should be done for the tires.
October 13, 2016

When you may need a New Set of Tires

Having a safe and reliable vehicle is important. The condition of tires plays a critical role in vehicle safety. Tires take a beating every time you drive, so it is vital that you know the signs that it is time to replace them. There are some warning indications that should not be ignored. Worn Tread If you want to avoid an unnecessary accident or breakdown, replace tires when tread reach 1/16 of an inch or less. You can easily measure tread depth with a penny, so check your tires frequently. Put Lincoln down, head-first all the way into the tread. If you can still see his entire head, there is not enough tread remaining on the tire. Tread Wear Indicators Visible New tires often have build-in tread wear indicator bars that make judging your tire condition easier. When tires are new, you probably will not notice the bars at all. As the tires wear with use, you will start to see flat rubber bars running opposite to the tread direction. When the tread becomes too worn for safety, you can clearly see one or two of these bars on the tires. Inspect Sidewalls Damage to a tire’s sidewall can result in leaks or failure, so it is important to perform visual inspections periodically, especially on older tires. Check for cracks, grooves, or what look like cuts on the sidewalls. If you find any damage, replace the tires to reduce the chance of an accident occurring with them. Blisters or Bulges These flaws tell you that a tire’s outer rubber surface is weakening, which means it is time for a replacement. These weak areas are more likely to give way when you are driving at high speeds. This can increase your chance of an accident occurring when you drive. Vibrations Vibrations in the wheel while you are driving can be caused by a number of problems, and worn tires are just one. Getting the source of the vibration diagnosed and resolved is important to your safety, and it can prolong the useful life of your tires too. If you notice anything out of the norm, make sure to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.  
June 18, 2015

Tire Alignments should not Be Ignored

The tires on your vehicle are important. They help the vehicle to travel efficiently and with ease. If you notice that the vehicle travels crooked down the road, it could be an issue with the tires. The vehicle might have had a problem with the frame from a car accident. Sometimes the problems with going straight down the road are not so obvious, such as in the case of your tires. The tires need to be regularly aligned so that you know when you go down the road, you are going in a way that all tires are evenly touching the surface of the road. Not having your tires properly aligned can cause all sorts of issues from low gas mileage to uneven wear on the tires that could result in getting a flat or needing a new tire. Poor Alignment can cause issues with the Tires Tires that remain unaligned for a significant amount of time will wear unevenly. Even if you get the tires rotated, it could be enough to set the tire apart from the others so that it is not usable within the set of four you have. Since you are having the tires checked and rotated, it just makes sense to have them place the car on the machine and check the balance and alignment of them. It usually takes less than an hour to complete. This way you can help ensure the vehicle is in the best condition possible for when you will need to drive it. If you ever notice anything out of the norm, it is always important to contact us as soon as possible so we can fix it. What is an Alignment A tire alignment is a process that auto mechanics do on a machine to keep your tires in balance. When you get a new set of tires or have your current ones rotated, it is not as simple as simply stuffing them back over the rims and sending you away down the road. The tires need to be carefully checked so that they all face the same angle and will wear in the same manner as the car goes down the road. Even being off a degree or two from the rest of the tires could cause uneven wear. Our ASE master technician will drive your car up on a device with a measuring plate under each tire. How Alignments are Beneficial When you get your tires aligned it means that all of the tires are in the correct balance. When they are not in the correct balance, then the problems can creep up. One tire might wear faster than another one, making you have to buy tires sooner rather than later because one is worn out. Any improper tire alignment can also mess with the gas mileage your car gets. If the tires are fighting each other to go down the road, it is extra work the engine is doing that you are not even aware of. By having the tires with the right tire pressure and being balanced, they will get optimum fuel efficiency and gas mileage.  
April 16, 2015

Signs that New Tires Might be Needed

Before you drive your vehicle, make sure to inspect several parts of your vehicle. Topping off the fluid levels and checking the oil level is important. Also make sure that you take a few minutes and inspect the tires on your vehicle. The tires should be free from any cracks, puncture marks, or bulges that it might have. If you notice something that is out of the norm with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as you can, so we can inspect it for you. If a repair is needed, we can advise you on the options that you have. You need to be aware of three things when deciding if you need new tires: tread wear, exposure to the elements, and the tire age. Tread Wear is Important You can inspect the tread of the tire in a few quick minutes. All you need is a penny. With this easy test, a penny can buy you peace of mind when it comes to your tires and safety. Place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you always see the top of Lincoln’s head, your treads are shallow and worn. If this is the case, your tires need to be replaced. If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread, you have more than 1/16 of an inch of tread depth remaining. This means you probably do not need new tires. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the tread on the tires. The most important reason to worry about tread wear is safety. When your tire treads is worn, your vehicle may respond poorly in adverse weather conditions like rain and snow. With good treads your car will grip the road better. Also, having insufficient tread is considered illegal in many states. Also, worn treads can make other parts of your car wear prematurely. Exposure to the Elements Exposure to heat and the sun’s ultraviolet rays may cause structural changes to your tires. These changes are not usually a concern in moderate climates. If you park outside, try not to have the vehicle in direct sunlight. This can dry out the tires and cause dry rot. Learn how to properly store your vehicle if you are not going to drive it for several months or longer. This can help keep the vehicle lasting as long as possible when you drive. Tire Age is Important You should know how old the tires are on your vehicle. Regardless of tread wear, vehicle manufacturers generally recommend you replace your tires at six years. Most tire manufacturers recommend you replace your tires at ten years. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on your specific tires. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can recommend when new tires may be needed for your vehicle. When it is time to change your tires, make sure to know all your options for what tires would be the best for your vehicle. We can also recommend tires to fit your vehicle, budget, and driving style.