Driving down the road with my son, I heard a, “ding” as a light illuminated on the dashboard. One of the tires on our van had low air pressure. This is the second time in a week that the driver’s side rear tire has lost pressure.
The first time I attributed it to a drastic drop in temperature, but twice in such a short period of time likely means it has a leak. We immediately went to the tire center, where I only recently had two new tires put on the van.
Not only were we going to have the tires repaired, my newly licensed son was going to get a lesson in car maintenance as we waited for our tire to be looked at.
If your car’s in need of new tires, here’s how to get biggest bang for your buck and ensure the mileage is fully expended before replacing them.
Tires are not an expense you want to pay for on a regular basis. Purchasing a set of four quality tires will run somewhere between $400 and $600.
So it’s imperative that you take actions to ensure your purchase lasts as long as possible.
- Keep them inflated: Both of our vehicles have a tire pressure gauge in the glove box. Our van will tell us when a tire is low, but it won’t tell us which one. Improperly inflated tires will wear unevenly causing them all to wear out sooner. It also results in poor gas mileage, so you’re wasting gas and resources. I like to check our tires about once-a-week, and I’m teaching my son to do the same.
- Perform regular tire rotations: The tires that “drive” the car will wear out faster. For example, both of our cars are front wheel drive, therefore tires on the front will wear more quickly. If the tires are not rotated every 8,000-10,000 miles they will wear down much faster. But how do you remember when you last had your tires rotated properly? Keep a small piece of paper in the same little folder as your insurance information and registration. Each time I get an oil change, I check my rotation log to see if it’s time to have them rotated.
- Pick the right tire center: The place where I buy tires offers free replacement of tires that get punctured as long as it’s not due to my own negligence. They also will rotate the tires for free. It’s definitely nice to not to have to worry about these maintenance costs. So look for a tire center who offers these perks.
We were in-and-out of the tire center in less than 15 minutes. Our tire was repaired free of charge, and my son was a little more knowledgeable on how to get the most out of a set of tires.
What’s another way to extend the life of tires? How do you get the most mileage out of your car’s tires?
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