Tire Maintenance Guide: 10 Simple Tips For Longer Lasting Tires

By Lesley Green
man changing tire of a car-min.jpg
  • 70% of vehicles have at least one tire with an inflation problem.
  • Get a wheel alignment yearly to avoid uneven tread wear.
  • Monitor your tire’s tread depth with the Bluenose test.

Tires are a vital part of your vehicle. They’re the only thing between you and the road. Stay safe, and save some money too, by ensuring your tires are maintained properly. Well-maintained tires will last longer, increase your fuel efficiency, improve your vehicle’s driving performance, and most importantly, contribute to your overall road safety.

1. Keep your tires properly inflated.

Under or over-inflated tires may not accelerate, brake or steer properly. Check your tire pressure at least once a month when the tires are cold, that is, before you head out for a drive. Chances are you’ll find that you need to make an adjustment.

According to the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada:

  • 70% of vehicles have at least one tire with an inflation problem.
  • 23% of vehicles have at least one tire under-inflated by more than 20%, and this increases your vehicle’s fuel consumption and reduces the lifespan of your tires.
  • 17% of vehicles have at least one tire over-inflated by more than 20%, resulting in excessive tire wear and reduced vehicle handling.

Tip: Not sure what your tire pressure should be? The vehicle information placard is a small sticker that lists the proper pressure for both your front and rear tires. Often, it’s located on the driver side, front or back door. If you’re unable to find it, refer to your owner’s manual. Do not rely on the number found on the side of your tires because that’s the maximum tire pressure, not the recommended tire pressure.

2. Rotate your tires regularly.

Rotating your tires will extend their life and improve performance. It’s recommended you rotate your tires once every 10,000 to 12,000 km or six months.

3. Get a wheel alignment.

Every year, or about 25,000 km, get a wheel alignment to avoid uneven tread wear. Daily impacts such as potholes and railroad crossings, over time, can easily knock your vehicle’s tires out of whack.

4. Make sure your tires are balanced.

Having unbalanced tires can lead to rapid and premature tire tread wear. You should have your tires balanced every time you change or rotate your tires or when you install a new set of wheels.

5. Frequently inspect your tires.

When you’re checking your tire pressure, also visually inspect your tires and be on the lookout for cracks or bulges, objects lodged in the tire, punctures, and uneven tread wear.

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6. Change your tires according to the season.

In Canada, it’s recommended that you have both summer and winter tires. Both types of tires are designed differently to match the driving conditions. Using winter tires in the summer or vice versa can wear your tires faster than expected.

7. Don’t mix and match tires.

While it may seem more cost-effective to replace one or two tires at a time, having mismatched tires can lead to rapid and uneven tread wear or even mechanical issues.

8. Replace your tires when needed.

Pay close attention to the tire tread for indication on when to replace your tires. Tires are manufactured with wear bars and when the bar becomes exposed, it’s time to replace them. Not sure what to look for, do the Bluenose test. Insert a dime with the Bluenose’s sail’s facing down into the tire tread. If you can see the top of the sails, the tire is worn out and it's time to get a new set of wheels.

9. Ensure punctured tires are repaired properly.

Depending on the severity of the puncture or size of the foreign object lodged in your tire, it can be easily repaired. However, it needs to be repaired properly. Take it into the mechanic.

10. Store spare tires the right way.

Make sure tires are clean, free of gasoline, grease, or any substance that could deteriorate the rubber. If you are storing your tires indoors, make sure it’s in a clean, cool, and dark location away from direct sunlight or sources of heat. If you’re storing them outdoors, make sure the tires are raised off the ground and use waterproof covering with holes to prevent moisture build-up.

Proper upkeep of your tires means not having to replace them as often, ultimately keeping you safer on the roads while saving you money as well. And, if saving money sounds like a good idea, compare car insurance rates today for a lower price. With InsuranceHotline.com, it takes a few short minutes to compare quotes from our network of over 30 insurance providers.