The tire maintenance checklist
Every driver needs to face the inevitable: you’re going to have to replace your tires eventually. However, there are specific steps you can take to extend the life of your tires, preventing premature wear and tear. This article includes a checklist to help keep your tires in optimal condition for as long as possible.
#1: Check tire pressure
Maintaining proper tire inflation pressure will help extend the life of your tires while minimizing fuel consumption. That’s a win-win situation! You can find the optimal tire inflation pressure for your tires in the vehicle owner's manual or the tire placard located on the vehicle driver’s side door jamb. Invest in a reliable tire pressure gauge to test your tires at least once a month at home. In the U.S., a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) became mandatory for all vehicles produced after September 2007. The TPMS is handy because it alerts you to underinflated tires, but it has its limitations as well. So, you want to make sure you actively inspect your tire pressure. For more info, check out our Tire Pressure article.
#2: Check tire tread
Tires with little to no tread will lose their grip. Check your tire tread at least once a month to ensure they are safe enough to drive. For more info, check out our Tire Tread Depth article.
#3: Rotate your tires
Rotating your tires helps prevent irregular wear, which boosts your tires' longevity and increases fuel efficiency. We recommend rotating your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 mi/10,000 to 13,000 km. However, you should rotate your tires sooner if you notice irregular tire wear. Consult your owner's manual for the manufacturer recommended tire rotation intervals and patterns. For more info, check out our Tire Rotation article.
#4: Tire balancing and wheel alignment
Balancing your tires makes sure they roll smoothly, providing a comfortable ride while minimizing vibration. New tires need to be installed by a tire service professional who can make sure they are balanced. Wheel alignment makes sure your vehicle and tires run in a straight line. If they don’t run straight, you’ll likely experience increased tire wear, and your vehicle will start pulling to the right or left. For more info, check out our Wheel Alignment article.
#5: Matching replacement tires
Make sure when you purchase replacement tires that they are the same size as your original tires, and have an equal or greater speed rating and load capacity. Your tires need to match to ensure optimal performance and safety. We recommend replacing all four tires, but you should at least replace two tires at a time for proper balance and wear. For more info, check out our Different Tire Sizes article.
#6: Keep an eye on the spare
Regularly make sure your spare tire is in good shape. Remember to check the tire inflation on your spare tire at least monthly. It's going to age even if you don't use it. Temperature and air quality contribute to a tire's aging process, and pores or cracks can appear in the rubber. Your spare tire will also lose its elasticity and fail to function correctly. For more info, check out our Spare Tires article.
#7: Watch your driving habits
Your driving habits are some of the most significant factors that impact your tires. Speeding up too fast, and braking too hard can all take the life out of your tires. Driving steady and controlled on the road will do wonders for your tire longevity. For more info, check out our Driving Tips article.