Services – Tires

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Checking Your Tires for Wear

You should check your tires for wear at least once a month and before and after long trips. To determine whether you need to (a) buy new tires, (b) have your wheels balanced, (c) have your wheels aligned, or (d) change your driving habits, simply read your tire treads for clues. Table 1 and Figure 1 show you what to look for.

Table 1: How to Read Your Treads

Clue Culprit Remedy
Both edges worn Underinflation Add more air; check for leaks
Center treads worn Overinflation Let air out to manufacturer’s specifications
One-sided wear Poor alignment Have wheels aligned
Treads worn unevenly, with bald spots, cups, or scallops Wheel imbalance and/or poor alignment Have wheels balanced and aligned
Erratically spaced bald spots Wheel imbalance or worn shocks Have wheels balanced or replace shocks
Edges of front tires only worn Taking curves too fast Slow down!
Saw-toothed wearpattern Poor alignment Have wheels aligned
Whining, thumping, and other weird noises Poor alignment, worn tires or shocks Have wheels aligned or buy new tires or shocks
Squealing on curves Poor alignment or underinflation Check wear on treads and act accordingly



Figure 1: What the signs of poor tread wear mean.


canpak-warning-95x95 Under-inflated tires wear out faster, create excessive heat, increase fuel consumption, and make your car harder to handle. Over-inflated tires can “blow out” more easily, wear out faster, and make the car unstable and unsafe to handle. And a new set of tires on wheels that are out of alignment can wear out completely in as little as one day of hard driving!


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