Tire Performance

Tire Rotation and Why?

As a consumer, I have always wondered why I should rotate the tires on my car and how often they should be rotated. Apparently there is a proper way to rotate the tires and a wrong way to do it as well. I have had many cars over the years and for some I have rotated the tires, while others I did not bother at all.  I did not notice a difference in the way the tires wore out or even if they wore out prematurely. The experts say that you should rotate them often. Apparently every 12k miles is recommended by some car dealers.

I have brand new tires on my car and they come with lifetime rotation and warranty ( the warranty is prorated). I have no excuse to not have them rotated. However I thought I should really investigate this tire rotation business and why you rotate your tires. My new found knowledge is being passed along on this website for those of you who care about these sorts of things.

Tire Rotation

Tire RotationEach wheel should be moved from one location on your car to another location on your car at regular intervals. Check your cars manual for the recommended period, however for the warranty I received with my tires, my tires need to be rotated every 12,000 miles. Consumers who also have a full size spare with their car should have this tire included in the rotation so that all tires have the same uniform wear on them.  Specific tire rotation guidelines also apply in terms of were you place the tires.

For cars that are front wheel drive, front tires are moved to the back and across. For example your left front tire should be moved to your right rear location. The left front tire should be moved to the right rear location. Both rear tires should be moved straight ahead. Following this approach all four tires will occupy each position over time and they should wear evenly provided your alignment is ok.  The picture above shows other possible tire rotation patterns, however you should follow your cars manual for the proper pattern.

Why should You Rotate Your Tires

This was something that I never really understood until I did a little bit of research. It turns out that your front tires do a lot more work than the rear tires even though they both cover the same distance. First of all the front of the car weighs more with the engine weight on them, secondly they perform the majority of the work pulling the car with front wheel drive cars and they do the majority of the braking. All of this seems pretty obvious when you think about it.

The last two reasons were a bit of a surprise to me but they do make sense. Your front right tire is more likely to hit debris on the road so it will take more of a beating from stones and glass than the other tires as well as hitting the odd curb. The left front tire is put under more stress since we tend to take left hand turns at a slightly higher rate of speed than we do right hand turns in North America. The reverse is true for parts of Europe were they drive on the other side of the road.

As a result of all of these reasons, rotating your tires makes sense to spread the load and to ensure that your tires wear evenly.

Include Your Spare Tire in Your Tire Rotation Plans

When you include your full size spare tire in this rotation, you will ensure that all of your tires wear at the same speed. If you ever have a flat tire, your spare tire will more evenly match the tires on the car as well. One more thing about your spare tire. If your spare tire is not the same make and model of tire that is on your car, you may want to forgo including your spare tire in the tire rotations. different tires handle differently and may cause some instability as a result in your driving. In my case, my spare is not the same as the four tires I just purchased so I will not include it in the regular tire rotation exercise.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Particularly those that will assist our readers. We will approve all well written comments that information to the web site to help our readers and we will approve the links to your site if the comments are informative as we mentioned.


Your Tires Condition counts

Your Tires Condition countsThe Automobile Club of Southern California has recently stated that as long as your vehicle has tires that are in good working condition, you would be able to have good fuel economy and extend the life of your vehicle as well. This is in accordance and with regards to the National Tire Safety Week which started just last April 23rd and would be continuing to the end of this week. The tire shown in this picture is definitely not in good working condition.  Your Tires Condition counts.

The front end needs to be aligned and maybe some tie rods replaced. This tire has severe wear and tear on the left hand side and the car probably pulls badly to the right as you are driving. Never mind about fuel economy, this driver needs to be concerned about the safety of his vehicle. He should be concerned about being able to stop quickly with out causing an accident.

Tires in Good Working Condition

So exactly what is “good working condition”? We have listed a few items that would be necessary for your tires to be considered in good working condition. They are as follows:

  • Proper tire pressure, not over and not under inflated
  • All four tires balanced properly
  • No cuts, tears or obvious damage to the tire
  • No premature wear and tear on one side of the tire or another
  • At least 1/8 of an inch of tread on the tires and this is considered low
  • Proper tires on the car, fitted for speed rating, size and width
  • Tire age is not more than 6 years

The National Tire Safety Week was launched so as to assist drivers in understanding the basic tire care. Aside from this, the fact remains that there is still that need for proper tire maintenance.

From research completed, the statistics have shown that around 85 percent of drivers do not actually check their vehicle’s tire pressure properly or even at all.

Engineer Steve Mazor who is the Auto Club’s principal automotive engineer states, “Not knowing the condition of your vehicle’s tires is equal to pouring money down the drain. Proper tire inflation is necessary to for safe driving and to reduce gas costs.”

Your Tires Condition counts – Under Inflated Tires

He continue-s, “Under inflated tires can cut fuel economy by up to two percent per pound of pressure below the recommended level. They can cause your tires to run hot and they can prematurely wear out as well.

After every fill up, motorists should walk around their vehicles and check tires for uneven or excessive tread wear and proper inflation. Drivers can refer to their vehicle’s doorjamb or glove box for original specifications or the manufacturer of the replacement tire for tire pressure.”

As per statistics that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has, nearly one out of every three vehicles on the roads and highways has a significant under inflated tire. Aside from this fact is that there are some 600 fatalities and around 33,000 injuries that happen every year. These are results of low tire pressure related crashes.

Make it a Habit

It is an easy habit to get into. Before you start the car every morning, take a quick walk around the car. Check the tire pressure by observation, and if a tire looks low, check it with a tire pressure gauge. Once a week use a gauge to check the actual pressure and top up if needed.

Never over inflate since the tire pressure will increase as you use the car at high speeds. After you have done this a few times, you will quickly be able to assess whether a tire is low or not.

Benefits of Tire Maintenance

Although we have focused on tire condition and checking the inflation of tires, there are two primary reasons to check your tires. One is to gain better gas mileage. Your car will get the best gas mileage if your tires are properly inflated and balanced.  In addition tires that are well maintained have less tendency to have a blow out. If this happens at high speeds, you might lose control of the car causing far more serious consequences.

Feel free to leave comments about tire maintenance etc, to help our readers avoid accidents and gain better gas mileage.


Tire Performance

the right tires for your carGood tires will perform well in all kinds of conditions, snow , rain, hot pavement, gravel roads and sandy beaches. In fact, your tires actually give you much more comfort than many people realize. Good tires that are properly inflated and balanced along with the suspension system absorb  the bumps and potholes on the road providing you with a smooth ride at slow as well as high speeds. The tire performance is optimized when you they are balanced and inflated to the correct tire pressure.

With this in mind, it is important that you do take good care of your tires. In fact, you would not want to be driving a car that has worn out tires on it since it would be unsafe in many different situations, rain, snow and ice to name three.

Bald tires do not provide sufficient traction in these conditions and they are also more prone to blowouts. Aside from this, your chances of meeting a flat tire or having one of your tires blow up increase as the tread is worn down. Taking care of tires is important and relatively easy.

Tire Performance – Maintain Your Tires

There are four things that must be done to maintain your tires:

  • Proper inflation
  • Balance
  • Tire rotation
  • Alignment

Proper Inflation

At least once a month, you should check the tire pressure. All tires should be checked. To be sure that you have put in the right amount of pressure, check your car owner’s manual to confirm the proper pressure level. You may also find the information regarding this stamped on the side of the tire or on the information plate on the door jam. Make sure that you do not under inflate them or over inflate them. Both can cause premature tire wear.

Alignment

While driving, if you notice that your car is pulling in one direction even if you are driving on a straight road, then would be the time to have the wheels aligned. By having the car aligned, you are driving much safely and you also are lessening the pressure on the tires thus making them last longer.When the car pulls to one side or the other, the tires are also wearing on one side, which will prematurely cause them to wear out.

Balance Your Wheels

You should also have the wheels checked and balanced if you  feel continuous  vibrations while driving at certain speeds. This is cause by the wheels not being properly balanced and can cause them to wear more quickly. While they are being balanced you should also have the tires rotated on your car to take advantage of different wear patterns on each side of the car.

Tire Rotation

Check your car’s manual for proper instructions concerning when to rotate your tires and the method of rotation. This will help to ensure that your tires will last longer and wear evenly across all four tires.

Your cars tire performance can be maximized if you take care of them following these steps mentioned above. Every tire has an expected life span and mileage expectation. You will only achieve the advertised amount of mileage if you maintain your tires at the optimal level all of the time, other wise they will wear faster than they should.

If you have comments on tire performance, on maintaining your tires etc, please feel free to leave comments. Our readers will appreciate your input. For more information on tire performance, click here.

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