Nice Wheels

Ok, so have those great looking aluminum wheels, but now they get black dust all over them—it’s brake dust from braking and it’s ugly. So what can you do—well you can continue cleaning them or replace the brake pads and use ceramic brake pads. Ceramic pads don’t create as much dust and tend to be quieter as well—they do cost more though. Is it worth it—you decide!

New Tires?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to replace two tires on your vehicle instead of replacing four, the two new tires always should be installed on the rear of the vehicle. This is true whether you have a rear-wheel drive or front-wheel drive vehicle. You might say, but I have a front wheel drive vehicle and I want the new tires on the front for traction—good question, but the new tires still go on the rear. The reason is because of handling. With new tires in the front you will get better traction, but the loss of traction from worn tires on the rear will cause the back of the vehicle to slide causing you to spin out of control. Numerous vehicle testing has been done on this topic all with the same result—new tires always should be installed on the rear.

Tire Pressure Tips

Tire pressure is a measure of the amount of air in a vehicle’s tires in pounds per square inch.  Proper tire pressure will maximize tire life and wear, and it will affect fuel economy as well due to less rolling resistance in the tire.

A common misconception when determining tire pressure, is to go off of what the tire says itself.  When the manufacturer actually has their own specifications for tire pressure settings.  It is located inside the door on the drivers side inner door wall.  It will give you front, rear and spare tire pressure settings.  The number on the tire is actually the maximum allowable tire pressure, not the recommended tire pressure.

You should check the tire pressure in your vehicle monthly to ensure safety.  Under inflation will cause the tire to wear rapidly on the outside edges, it will also cause the side wall of the tire to bulge which creates excess heat in the tire and potentially cause the side wall to blow out.  Almost all tire blowouts can be traced back to under inflation.  Over inflation will cause the center of the tire to wear rapidly, because the tire is shaped more like a doughnut.

Tire pressure can be affected 1-2 PSI for every 10  degree temperature change.  For example, going  from 90 degrees to 40 could cause as much as a 10 PSI drop in tire pressure.

When Should I Rotate My Tires?

That is a great question.  Normally vehicle manufactures recommend a tire rotation at 5,000-7,500 miles, or every 6 months, depending on the vehicle. The owners manual will tell you what mileage interval your vehicle requires a tire rotation and all other maintenance schedules.

The rotation pattern is typically moving the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front. Another way to determine when your tires are ready to be rotated, is to look at wear on the edge of the tires, if it is square or rounded.

You can rub your hand back along the tire to look and feel for feathering or choppiness.  If there is too much indication along the tire, the tires would need to be rotated, or your vehicle could need an alignment. Even tire wear is desirable to maintain consistent performance in the vehicle and to extend the overall life of a set of tires.  Turning the vehicle will cause uneven tire wear as well.  The weight on the front of your car is different, which also causes uneven wear.  Since most cars are front-engine cars, the front axle usually carries most of the weight.

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Can My Tire Be Replaced If…?

Can my tire be repaired if there is a nail or screw in the sidewall?

The answer is no.

You need to replace the tire.  Smaller holes can be repaired in the thread area of a tire, but not the sidewall.  Attempting such a repair, would compromise the integrity of the tire.  On high speed rated tires, repairs of any kind are dangerous and should not be attempted.  Just replace the tire if it needs to be, for your own safety.

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