Welcome back to Service Saturday by Buckeye Honda.
Last week we started our multi-part series about tires and today we are going to give you 5 things that your tires are trying to tell you. Next week we are going to continue with 5 more things that your tires are trying to tell you so don’t miss it. In the meantime if you feel that it is time to talk to a professional about what tires might be right for your car, truck or SUV come in to Buckeye Honda and talk to the people that know your vehicle the best. We stock many of the best brands of tires, and have access to virtually every make, type and size tire that you might need.
Most people do not worry about or even notice their tires until they are ready to be replaced or once they have gone flat, take a moment and familiarize yourself with your tires. Check the tire pressure once a month – Did you know that most tires lose 1 psi each month under normal operating conditions? Fuel economy suffers when tire pressure drops and your tires will not perform at their best when they are under inflated. If you do not want to check the pressure bring it to Buckeye Honda and let us check it for you – For Free! We can do this without an appointment and if you need some air we will provide it free of charge .
It Looks Like: Your tire is worn down only in the middle.
The Diagnosis: This tire was over-inflated, causing the center ring only to contact the road. Consequently, whoever drove this car had only a fraction of the rubber contacting the asphalt, so his or her traction suffered.
To find the correct tire pressure, check the door placard or the owner’s manual. Check the pressure when the tires are cold, before you start driving. Some people claim that you should over-inflate tires to reduce rolling resistance and increase fuel economy. But that’s a fool’s game. You might save some fuel, but you’ll pay more in prematurely worn tires.
If your pressure is correct but you still see center wear, this could indicate that the wheel and tires are not properly matched. There is one caveat here: Woody Rogers, product information specialist at Tire Rack, says that some rear-wheel-drive vehicles can produce center wear on certain tires, even if they’re properly aired up and maintained. But that’s true only for high-powered sports cars.
Cracking and Bulging
The Diagnosis: This usually comes from hitting a pothole, curb, or debris. Under-inflation and over-inflation put tires at a greater risk of damage from impacts.
Large cracks in the sidewall that runs along the rim are either impact-related or caused by chronic under-inflation. Numerous small cracks in the sidewall or tread blocks come from exposure to the elements and age.
Bulging is what looks like a pimple in the tire, most often in its sidewall. It happens when there’s an impact that causes internal damage, but the damage doesn’t show up until weeks or months later. With cracks or with bulging, you’re looking at buying a replacement. “[The tire] should be removed from service, regardless of the cost,” Rogers says. “Eventually, it will fail.”
It Looks Like: A pattern of alternating hills and valleys
The Diagnosis: It happens when worn or damaged suspension components cause the tire to bounce as it travels, coming down harder on some spots of the tire than others. Bad shock absorbers are the usual cause, though anything that connects the wheel to the rest of the car could be a culprit. Improper alignment or lack of having the tires rotated can also be major contributors to tire cupping, keeping up with these two things will help in maintaining your tires and save you money in the long run.
The Diagnosis: This tire trouble is most often seen on the rear tires of a front-wheel-drive car with an incorrect toe setting. Incorrect toe can be corrected with an alignment. All of our alignments come with a 1 year warranty! Insufficient tire rotation intervals as well as worn bushings, grommets or ball joints may also cause a diagonal swipe. Another possibility: If you often carry heavy loads in the trunk or cargo area of a vehicle, that may change the geometry of the suspension, leading to a diagonal swipe.
It Looks Like: The inside and outside edges are worn down; the middle is not.
The Diagnosis: This is a tell-tale sign of under-inflation. Too little pressure is arguably the most dangerous condition for a tire, as it will flex more and the heat that builds up could cause a blowout. An under-inflated tire won’t absorb bumps well and may knock the front end out of alignment or damage the suspension.
How to Avoid Under-inflation: Again, keep an eye on your tire pressure by checking it monthly. Don’t rely on the car’s tire-pressure monitoring system to let you know when a tire is low on air. “[The warning system’s] threshold is typically 25 percent under-inflated,” Rogers says. This means a tire that should be at 28 psi could be down 22 psi before you see a warning light. And that could be low enough for you to destroy a tire.
Do not forget about next week when we finish up with 5 more things that your tires are trying to tell you. If you are not sure about something that is going on with your tires being them to Buckeye Honda and let us take a look at them.