What to Know About Your Tires
Most of us know that our tires need to be replaced and that we should keep a spare in our trunk. Beyond that, how much do you know about your tires? If the answer is “not much,” don’t worry! Your Lakeland area Ford dealership, Bartow Ford, has your cheat sheet to understanding basic tire terms and what maintenance you should be worried about.
Tires might seem simple, but there’s actually a lot that goes into them. To understand what maintenance or repairs your tire might need, here are some basic tire terms:
- Tread: The part of your tire that makes contact with the ground.
- Handling: The responsiveness of your tire to steering inputs.
- PSI: Pounds per square inch. This is used to measure your tire inflation pressure.
- Treadwear: As you drive, friction between your tire and the road wears the rubber away. Irregular treadwear patterns can lead to larger problems.
- Sidewall: The side of your tire: which does not make contact with the ground.
- Rim: The portion of your wheel that the tire is mounted to.
- Hubcap: A metal or plastic cover for the hub of your wheel; often decorative.
- Wheel Alignment: The position of your car’s wheels when compared to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation.
Just like the engine or brakes, the tires on your car require regular maintenance. This includes tire rotation, tire balancing, and wheel alignment.
- Tire Rotation: The tires at the front of your car operate differently than the ones at the rear. They drive at different loads and perform different steering and braking functions. This results in uneven treadwear. By rotating your tires, you can extend their life and performance. It’s usually recommended that tires are rotated between 5,000 and 7,000 miles, but check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s specific recommendations.
- Tire Balancing: This will limit the vibration of the tire and wheels as they turn.
- Wheel Alignment: Unaligned wheels results in uneven tire wear. By ensuring that your wheel alignment is correct, you can extend the life of your tires. Have this checked anytime new tires are installed.
When you understand what your tires need to stay in tip-top shape, you’ll be able to keep up with maintenance. If you need to get your tires rotated, balanced, or need to get your wheels aligned, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, Bartow Ford, can help. You can book an appointment online or call us at (800) 303-4016.