Helpful Reminders For Getting Most Out Of Your Tires

With summer road trips rapidly approaching, now’s a good time to make sure your tires (and spare) are ready for the journey.

Check your spare regularly because tires lose air pressure over time and the last thing you want is a flat spare when you really need it.

For vehicles equipped with full-sized spares, experts recommend including them with routine tire rotations so all five tires wear evenly. Regularly checking and monitoring the spare helps ensure it’s ready for action when called into service.

But how often should your tires be rotated?

Industry specialists and automotive experts suggest every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

By regularly changing a tire to another position on the vehicle, any abnormal wear patterns that were starting to develop could be corrected.

This prolongs the length of the tire’s life and proves itself a worthwhile investment in getting every last mile out of those inflatable rubber circles hauling us from point A to point B.

Cans of tire sealants are beneficial to have near your spare, though it’s important to remember that it doesn’t actually repair the puncture. The tire sealant’s job is to re-inflate the tire enough to get your vehicle to the repair shop.

Generally, sealants are generally not flammable, so they can be left in the trunk beside the spare. Read product warnings carefully to ensure the product is non-flammable.

The U.S. Tire Manufacturer’s Association offers the following tips and insight about tire rotations and tire maintenance:

  • Tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles (or per the tire manufacturer’s recommendations) or at any sign of uneven wear.
  • Vehicle manufacturers generally recommend replacing all tires at the same time. Replacing all four tires at the same time makes rotation even more vital for maintaining uniform tread depth and optimum tread wear.
  • Some vehicles use different-sized tires mounted on the front and rear axles, or directional tires that can only roll in one direction. (Note: Directional tires are more often found on sports cars, rather than your average passenger vehicle.) Check the recommendations in the vehicle owner's manual or ask your service advisor for tips about proper rotation.
  • Tire pressure should be adjusted for its new positions. Adjust tire pressure in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations.
  • If your vehicle has a matching full-size spare tire, include that tire in the rotation. Technicians should always check and adjust the inflation pressure of the full size spare when incorporating it into the rotation pattern.
  • Check the tire tread and sidewall monthly. Look for uneven or irregular tread wear during a routine check of the tire’s air pressure.
  • Keep a tire sealant product in your vehicle. It can temporarily re-inflate a tire and get you to a service station. Caution: Sealants cannot repair a puncture.
  • Routinely check the spare. Make sure it is inflated and in operable condition. If your spare is full-sized, rotate it with your other tires so all five wear at the same rate.
  • The type of puncture dictates if a tire can be repaired. Even a brand-new tire can’t be fixed if the injury is in the sidewall or the shoulder.
  • Run-flat tires still need repairs. Even though run-flat tires will operate for 50 miles after certain punctures, their perforation will need to be addressed sooner rather than later.