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We tend to take tires for granted until something goes wrong, or until it’s time to replace them. If you’re in need of a good set of tires for your Chevrolet, come to us at Flag Chevrolet. All you have to do is enter your car’s make/model/year/tire size into our Tire Finder Tool and let it direct you to the right set of tires for your vehicle. If you’re not sure what the right tire size is for your vehicle, just look for the combination of letters and numbers on your sidewall (i.e. P205/75/R15). When you’ve found the set of tires you want, just make an appointment with us for mounting, balance and installation.
Tires naturally wear when miles start to accumulate, but other factors like tire maintenance and driving habits can accelerate wear. Worn tires are dangerous — they increase the chance of losing traction and hydroplaning in wet weather, they ride rougher and are noisier and can lead to a loss of control while cornering. Tires feature wear indicators that are perpendicular to the tread – if you can see these wear bars and they’re even with the tread face, it’s definitely time to replace your tires. You can also use a coin as a tread depth gauge; insert a penny into the tread, Lincoln’s head down. If the top of Abe’s head touches the tread face, your tires are at 2/32” depth, the minimum required by law, and it’s time for replacement. Now try the test again with a quarter. Does the tread reach Washington’s head? If so, your tread depth is 4/32”. One more time with the penny – if the tread reaches the Lincoln memorial, your tread depth is 6/32”.
Make tire inspection a regular part of your vehicle maintenance! Be on the lookout for things such as:
No vehicle has 50/50 weight distribution from front to rear, and the inertia of braking or cornering tends to transfer weight to the front tires, wearing them more quickly. That’s why it’s important to rotate tires regularly to ensure even wear. Tires should be rotated about every 7,500 miles according to the manufacturer’s recommended rotation pattern, and regular rotations help enhance ride quality and road manners as well.
Underinflated tires cost you money in terms of premature wear and a hit on fuel economy due to added rolling resistance. Think of how much tougher it is to ride a bicycle with a low tire; that rolling resistance also creates a lot of heat, which is dangerous and invites tire failure. Check your tire pressure at least once a month, and remember to check pressure when the tires are cold. Air does expand with heat and checking when tires are hot will give an erroneous reading.
Wheel alignment is crucial for your vehicle’s drivability and tire life both. If you’ve noticed any of these problems:
There’s a good chance your vehicle’s alignment angles are off. Think of someone who walks with one foot skewed to the side and how that person’s shoes would wear differently. When one tire is dragged along by the other tires as it constantly tries to steer the vehicle in a different direction, that tire will wear prematurely – and that type of tire wear is not covered by warranty.
It only takes a fraction of an ounce of imbalance for a wheel and tire to set up a vibration. Sometimes it might be a vibration only at specific speeds, and other times it might vibrate at all speeds. If you’ve noticed a vibration or roughness on a smooth road, have wheel balance checked. An out-of-balance wheel can set up complications with wear on shocks, bearings and other suspension parts.
Beginning in the mid-2000s, new vehicles were required to feature a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Sensors at each wheel monitor tire temperature, rotational speed and inflation, then send information to the tire pressure monitor. If one or more wheels is 25 percent below manufacturer’s recommended cold tire pressure, the monitor will alert the driver.
TPMS sensors use a battery with a service life of ten years. When this battery fails, the sensor will need to be replaced. If your TPMS light blinks for one minute and then stays solid, that’s an alert that you need TPMS diagnostic service. If it stays solid with a “low tire pressure,” “check tire pressure” or “add air to tire” message, check the inflation of all four tires and add air as needed. Driving the vehicle again should then cancel the TPMS warning.