While a variety of factors contribute to how well your vehicle performs, few have as direct an impact as your tires. They are literally the place where the rubber hits the road. While tires are designed to withstand a significant amount of abuse, they do wear out. Adverse weather conditions like rain and ice make it difficult for a SUV or car with worn tires to stop properly or to stay firmly on the road. Heat, exposure to the North Carolina sun and age as well as poor road conditions like rocks and potholes may cause structural damage to sidewalls. It is essential that you check your tires regularly.
Tires should be inflated to the proper level. Under inflation can cause heat buildup and structural damage that leads to tire failure. Tires that are underinflated reduce the life of the tread and rob you of gas mileage. Tires that are over inflated are more likely to be cut, punctured or damaged by a sudden impact with a pothole, curb or other obstacle. Even if you have a Tire pressure Monitoring System, it is important that you check the pressure once a month.
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Importance of Rotating and Balancing Tires
In addition to other routine services like oil and filter changes, you should rotate and balance your vehicle’s tires. Rotating and balancing helps prolong the life of your tires by ensuring they wear evenly. Unevenly worn tires can cause rough handling and reduce gas mileage. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended service interval. As a minimum, you should rotate and balance your tires at least once a year.