Your tires are where the rubber meets the road and are arguably among the most important parts of a vehicle in terms of both safety and performance. Regular tire maintenance and necessary repairs and replacements not only increase the safety of you and your passengers but also promote a smoother and more comfortable driving experience.
Learn about some of the tires services available to you here at Hi-Line Autohaus in Charlotte, North Carolina, to see how we can keep you and your vehicle safely on the road.
Sometimes a tire is no longer safe to drive on and is beyond the repair threshold. In fact, the Department of Transportation recommends replacing any tire with a tread depth of 2/32 inches or below, and in many states a vehicle will not pass inspection if a tire is worn beyond that.
You can measure the depth of your treads with the penny test. Place a penny between the ribs of your tire with Abraham Lincoln’s head pointed down. If part of his head is hidden, the tire is probably still okay. But if his entire head is visible, your tire may be beyond the 2/32-inch mark and in need of a replacement.
Tires without the appropriate amount of tread will have a more difficult time gripping the road, especially in wet conditions.
The tires on your car wear over time as you drive, but they don’t do so evenly. Typically, front tires will wear faster than the rear ones. And, for a variety of reasons, the inner treads (those facing the vehicle) may wear out faster or slower than those on the outer edges of the vehicle.
Not having your tires regularly rotated can leave you with a wear pattern that is beyond repair and increases your risk of a blowout or flat tire. Regularly rotated tires not only improve your safety but may also be necessary to remain protected under a warranty.
Most manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 5,000 miles or so. A good rule of thumb is to have your tires rotated every time you have your oil changed. Rotating the tires involves moving tires from front to back and from the driver’s side to the passenger side (and vice versa) in order to redistribute the wear and tear of the road.
It’s not enough to simply install a new tire and drive away. Anytime a tire is replaced, it’s recommended you have the wheels aligned to fine-tune the angles of your tires and steering systems. These angles can affect how your tires contact the road and can make a big difference in the safety and handling of your vehicle, your tire tread wear, and your overall driving experience.
Minor collisions and even striking a pothole or curb can be enough to knock your wheels out of alignment. If you feel the car pulling in one direction, feel the steering wheel is crooked when the car is moving in a straight line, or the steering wheel vibrates or makes noises when turning, you may want to have your alignment checked. Additionally, it’s a good idea to have regular alignments done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles or so in addition to after any tire replacement.
Not to be confused with tire alignment, tire balancing involves balancing the weight of the tire and the wheel to ensure they work together in tandem. Properly balanced tires will spin on the same center of gravity as the wheel and create a smoother ride. Tires that are out of balance will not spin in sync with the wheel and will vibrate and wobble as they turn.
It’s wise to have your tires balanced every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, which is about the same frequency as a tire rotation and alignment.
Sometimes a flat or damaged tire can be repaired. If you ran over a nail and suffered just a single small puncture near the middle of the tire, it can often be patched up, filled with air, and re-installed on your vehicle. If your tire suffered large or multiple punctures or damage on the sidewall or outer edges of the tire, it may be beyond repair and must be replaced.
Each case is different, and our technicians will give you the option of repairing the tire whenever possible while keeping your safety at the forefront.
Just as there are many different types of vehicles and driving conditions in Charlotte, North Carolina, there are also numerous types of tires from which to choose.
Additionally, SUVs, minivans, and sedans all have different tire styles and sizes according to the weight and demands of the vehicle.
While the technicians here at Hi-Line Autohaus can provide you with expert tire service, there are a few things you can do yourself to increase the safety and durability of your tires.
For starters, always keep your tires inflated to the level recommended by the manufacturer. You can find the appropriate air level for your tires in your vehicle owner’s manual or on the inside of your door jamb.
Perform frequent checks of your tires to inspect for damage, particularly after hitting a hard pothole or bump in the road.
Lastly, do not mix and match tire types or brands. Mismatched tires can lead to uneven wearing and even mechanical issues.
If your tires are in need of a replacement, rotation, repair, alignment, or balance, schedule an appointment with the team here at Hi-Line Autohaus in Charlotte, North Carolina, and learn about the many other ways our service center can assist you, with things like oil changes, brake repair, windshield wiper replacement, and much more.