What You Need to Know About Your Tires  | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What You Need to Know About Your Tires 

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With no tires, you can’t get anywhere with your car. Keeping a good eye on the condition of your tires is one of the most important tasks you have as a driver. Here are the signs your tires are in good condition — versus when it’s time they are replaced. 

Tire Safety

When you think about it, the tires on your car are the only part that directly hit the road. The integrity of your tires affects how you’re able to handle your vehicle, how it rides, brakes, and even affects rider safety, too. AAA explains that for best performance, tires on your car must have the correct air pressure, tread depth, balance, and be properly aligned. 

Air Pressure 

To get the longest lifespan out of your tires, it’s important to maintain correct tire pressure. Further, the air pressure is important for your gas mileage. In your owner’s manual, you will see a recommended tire pressure that will ensure you’re getting the most of your gas mileage, handling, and tire life. 

Tread Depth

When your tire treads begin to wear down, you risk your safety when driving in all conditions, but especially in wet weather like rain and snow. Good treads help your car have a better grip on the road. To test your tread depth, all you need is a penny. Place a penny head-first into several tread grooves across the tire. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, it could signal your treads are worn and that new tires are needed. 

Balance and Alignment 

Wheel alignment errors can cause three basic problems on your car; irregular tire wear, handling problems and a crooked steering wheel. A common indicator of misalignment is excessive shoulder wear on a tire. This type of irregular wear is often caused by errors in camber or toe. Your car’s balance has to do with weight distribution. Having uneven balance can result in an uneven distribution of weight. 

Signs of Worn Tires 

There are two ways that you can check for signs of tire problems. First is what you can notice by looking at your tires, the next is problems to keep an eye out for while you’re driving. 

Visual Inspection 

  • Over inflation: too much air pressure can result in your tire’s middle section to be the main part hitting the road. This will lead to wear in the center of the tread and less wear at the edge of the tires.
  • Under inflation: too little air pressure can cause the tire’s outer edges to contact the road. This will create wear primarily on both edges of tire tread and less wear in the center. 
  • Tread wear on one edge: this occurs when the wheels are out of alignment.
  • Erratic tread wear: also known as cupping, this could mean the wheel is out of balance or that there is an issue with your shock absorbers. 
  • Raised portion of tread or sidewall: this could indicate that one of the belts in the tire carcass has separated from those next to it. 

While Driving 

  • Unusual vibration or thumping noises: vibration or weird thumping sounds could mean you have an out-of-balance tire, one with tread that has a flat pot due to locking wheels in a panic stop, or a tire with a separated belt. 
  • A pull to one side: while driving at a steady speed, pulling to one side could mean you have an under inflated or damaged tire on the side of the car the vehicle is pulling to. If this isn’t the reason, it could be a brake problem or poor wheel alignment. 

Maintain Good Tires with Scott’s Auto

Trust Scott’s Auto for all of your tire needs. If you’re not sure where the life of your tires currently stand, stop by and see us for peace of mind. With locations in Fort Collins, Montrose, Grand Junction, and Loveland, we’re here for you. Call to let us know when you want to come in, or just stop on by!


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