There are 4 things that must be done when installing a new set of tires so that you can get the most miles out of them. And one of them should be done monthly.
The 4 things you should do are:
- Set tire pressure monthly
- Balance tires every 15 to 18,000 miles
- Rotate tires every other oil change
- Check the alignment annually
Of course new tires should always be balanced and the vehicles wheel alignment should be checked at that time. I have folks call me all worried they can’t get in right away to check the alignment, I tell them not to worry, but do get it done within the first couple hundred miles.
Check Your Tire Pressure Monthly
The biggest thing problem I see on my customers vehicles on a regular basis is low tire pressure. That is the number 1 cause of premature tire wear. Not to mention it costs them extra in fuel. At the price of gas these days it’s even more important to keep the tires aired up.
Balance Your Tires Every 15,000 to 18,000 Miles
The reason you balance tires is because your vehicle will shake like a Chihuahua on a cold morning if you don’t. It’s not good for the tire and it’s not good for your vehicles suspension. It will put flat spots in the tread of the tire and cause your vehicle to have a noisy bumpy ride.
Rotate Your Tires Every Other Oil Change
That’s the easiest way for me to remember when to swap the tires front to back. Your owners manual will usually have a fancy diagram showing how to rotate the spare in and cross the two front on the 3rd Tuesday of the month of the full moon. See photo below. Me, I just swap’em front to back and call it a day. I say every other oil change because for most folks that’s about 7500 miles which is about the time to rotate tires. Unless, you’re running an off road mudder, then I’d be inclined to swap them every oil change. It will keep the lugs on the front tires from wearing all weird and causing a lot of noise. Or more noise if probably closer to the truth.
Check The Wheel Alignment
OK, what I’m about to tell you might not make the people who sold you the tires happy. If, and this is a biggy, your old tires wore perfectly. Do not let their alignment donkey anywhere near your ride. I can call them that because in the 31 plus years I’ve been doing alignments I’ve met less than 10 guys (mechanics) out of 100 that really knew what they were doing when it comes to wheel alignment. If your guy is telling you it’s all about they have the “alignment machine”, I got news for you, your guy’s an idiot and your tires are going to last longer by keeping him away from them.
But, if your old tires wore irregularly, then you have nothing to lose by letting the shop do an alignment and by all means have them do it. If there is an alignment shop in your area, go to them, it will cost you less in the long run.