House payments, groceries, new shoes for the kid. There’s a lot of competition for your paycheck. It’s a finite resource that can be stretched only so far.
When it comes to your car’s tires, the best way to save a lot of money is to spend a little money on a regular basis. A new tire, or more likely a new pair or set of tires, is no small investment.
How can you get more miles out of your tires? You guessed it: take care of them with regular maintenance. Tires last longer when they’re periodically rotated and balanced. These are two distinct services, but they’re best done at the same time.
Why It’s Important to Rotate and Balance Tires
Imagine walking around with a mismatched pair of shoes. What if the sole of the right shoe were completely worn off, while the other had an inch or two of rubber. The differing height and weight of your shoes would make you unsteady. You’d feel stress on your knees and hips. You’d trip and fall more easily.
Your car’s tires are like shoes: they need to be matched to keep the ride smooth and secure. Unlike shoes, tire position is interchangeable. Any one of the tires can be placed anywhere on the vehicle. This is a good thing because each position on a car carries a different amount of weight and experiences different turning forces. Front or drive tires generally wear more quickly than rear ones.
Managing the wear on tires means you won’t need to replace them as often. More importantly, evenly worn and balanced tires have better traction and are safer.
How Are Tires Rotated?
Tires are rotated by removing each one and putting it back in a different location. Front tires are moved to the back, and right tires are moved to the left. Technicians may use a few different patterns when they rotate a vehicle’s tires. If your spare is full size, it too might get involved in the exchange.
What Is Tire Balancing?
Tire weight should be evenly distributed around the car’s axles. When new tires are installed they must be balanced. Old tires can become unbalanced. Technicians usually recommend checking balance when the tires are rotated.
To get things back on an equal footing, a technician uses a machine to check and compare the tires. Small lead weights are attached to the rims to distribute weight. When tires are unbalanced, your car will vibrate. Vibration places pressure on the suspension. Unbalanced tires bounce rather than spin smoothly. Handling and steering become more difficult.
How Often Should I Rotate My Tires?
Manufacturers specify how often a car’s tires should be rotated. Grease Monkey follows those guidelines. A common recommendation is to rotate the rubber every 7,000 miles. If you have an oil change every 3,500 miles, get your tires serviced during every other oil change. When you bring your car into our garage, we’ll keep track of all that and send you a reminder when it’s time for service.
Regularly rotated and balanced tires get better fuel economy, have better handling and last longer. Stop by Grease Monkey today, and we’ll check your car. No appointment is needed!