Tire rotation is an aspect of tire service that is often ignored.
Tire rotation can help equalize tread wear and greatly extent tire life. This is usually
performed at 3,750 (usually minivans), 5,000 (usually trucks) or 7,500 (most passenger
cars) miles depending on the type of tire and vehicle. Check your owner's manual for
|Tire Wear Patterns
These are pictures of the most common type of tire wear patterns and why
Tire balancing is not usually a regular maintenance. Tires usually go
out of balance due to hitting a pothole or losing a balancing weight due to some type of
driving or handling stress on the wheel. Vehicle's symptoms could include
wheel shimmy, tire waddle, tire thump or wheel hop.
Two Types of Tire Balancing
|Tire Inflation Guidelines
Proper tire inflation is another area that requires routine checking and
maintenace. Proper tire inflation can have a dramatic effect on tire life, on fuel
economy, and safety of vehicle steering and handling.
Here are two examples of where to find the proper tire inflation guidelines for your vehicle on the inside of the driver's door. The first one is from my wife's 1999 GMC 2500. The second is from my Dodge Ram 1500.
- Do not bleed off air from a hot tire to bring inflaton pressure within
specs. A pressure reading on a hot tire is not accurate.
- Check inflation pressure with the tires cold. The vehicle should
not have been driven for at least three hours
- Do not fill the tire to the maximum inflation rate listed on the tire,
follow the recommendations on the tire inflation in the vehicle owner's manual, on the
inside of the driver's door or on the glove compartment lid.
Alignments are not a regular maintenance item. It is a type of
repair resulting from minor damage to the front end by hitting potholes, curbs or other
types of accidents. It may also be required after replacing shocks, struts or other
type of front-end suspension work.
The purpose of alignment angles in suspension design is to allow the tires
to track straight when the vehicle is in motion, to provide optimum high and low speed
handling and steering response, to minimize body sway during cornering and to minimize
tire wear such as camber wear.
Camber is the inward or
outward tilt of the wheel and tire relative to the chassis.
See example of camber alignment.