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Professional Tire Maintenance

There are tire maintenance procedures that automotive repair professionals should do because they have the proper tools and knowledge. Understanding these procedures will help you feel more confident in dealing with a repair provider.

Tire Rotation

Tires on the front and the rear of vehicles operate at different loads and perform different steering and braking functions, resulting in unequal wear patterns. To gain maximum life and performance from your tires, it is essential to rotate your vehicle’s tires every 6,000 miles if you drive under normal driving conditions.

Wheel Balancing

Properly balanced tires help minimize uneven wear and extend their life. When tires are balanced, small lead weights are attached to the wheels to limit vibration of the tire and wheels as they turn. Tires and wheels should be balanced when the tires are rotated (normally every 6,000 miles), after putting on new tires, after fixing a flat tire, and any other time a tire is removed from its rim.

Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment is the measurement of the position of the wheels compared to specifications that the manufacturer recommends. Each vehicle has a specific wheel alignment range. If the wheel alignment isn’t within its range, steering may become difficult and tires can wear unevenly. This can make them unsafe and also lower the vehicle’s fuel mileage. You should check your wheel alignment every 12,000 miles or whenever tires are serviced. If the wheel alignment is out of specification, adjustments can be made by moving adjustable suspension parts.

A vehicle’s wheels are properly aligned when you can drive down a road in a straight line without drifting or pulling to one side. However, since drifting and pulling to one side also can be caused by several other factors (including a failed radial belt in a tire, low air pressure and worn or bent suspension parts), a complete inspection should be made before a wheel alignment is performed.