If your vehicle's tires have bald spots, bulges, cracks, are close to their maximum mileage, or are just getting old, it is probably time to replace them. Some people forget about the importance of their tires and wait until they go flat or blow out before heading to a tire shop. This is not a good idea. Good, sound tires are important to your vehicle's safety. They need to grip the road properly to avoid sliding or skidding into an accident. Older or worn, damaged tires also affect how the vehicle turns corners and can lower your gas mileage quite a bit. However, before you head to the tire shop, there are a few things you need to do.
You don't need to have the entire car inspected, but you should have a mechanic check the wheel alignment and suspension. If the alignment is off or the suspension is shot, the tires will wear out quickly and unevenly. These are both relatively easy repairs that can save your tires and the money you spent on them. If you put on new tires when there is a problem with these two areas, you will end up having to buy new tires again long before they should expire.
Don't forget about the spare. If it is in good condition and not too old, you can keep it. However, you may find it would be better to save one of the current tires to use as the spare. Compare the spare to the other tires and decide which one, if any, you should keep.
Check Owner's Manual
It is possible that the tires currently on the vehicle are not the ones recommended by the car's manufacturer. While this is not always a big problem, it can cause the tires to wear out sooner than necessary. When you take the vehicle to a tire shop, they will look at the sidewalls of the tires and replace them with the same size. If you notice that the owner's manual suggests a different size, discuss it with the tire mechanic. They should be able to explain the differences between the two sizes and what it can mean to the overall performance and wear on the tires. In most situations, it is best to go with the recommended tires.
While it can be tempting to just replace one or two tires to save money, it is best to replace them all at the same time. This will ensure the tires all wear evenly so you won't have to replace another one any time soon.
To learn more, contact an auto service shop in your area. Alternatively, if you have a truck and want more specialized service, contact a truck repair shop.