Good tires don’t come cheap, and anyone who has had to buy a full set of tires at once will tell you they are worth taking care of. Because tires are the only part of your vehicle that makes contact with the road, they also suffer the most wear and tear. This is why proper tire care is so important.

Read on for tire maintenance tips so you can get the most out of your tires.

Routine Professional Tire Care says the key to keeping your car running a long time is regular maintenance and always being on the lookout for possible problems. Since you’re already changing the oil every six months (approximately), that’s a good time marker to use with proper tire care as well.

Tire Rotation

Your front wheels and back wheels carry weight in different places, which creates different wear on the wheels. Getting your tires rotated gives each wheel a chance to bear the load in various places. Car and Driver recommends your tires be rotated every 3000 to 5000 miles, every six months, or during every oil change.


You have an unbalanced tire if you feel rough vibrations in the floorboards of your vehicle as you change speeds. Tire balancing is where the tire is spun on a spin balancer to determine if there are heavy spots in the rubber that can lead to vibrations on the road. The mechanic will either better line the tire up on the wheel or attach small weights in the wheel to counter-balance the irregularity.

Tire balancing should be done every 5000 to 7000 miles, or during every other tire rotation and oil change.

Tire Alignment

If you (very briefly) let go of your wheel while driving a level road, does your vehicle drift to one side or the other? This means your wheel alignment is off, which can lead to uneven wear on your tires.

Your vehicle’s alignment can be knocked out by potholes, uneven roads, or if you have wider tires. If you feel like you’re constantly wrestling your steering wheel like it’s a faulty cart at the grocery store, it’s time to get an alignment.

Even if your wheels seem fine, they should still have the alignment checked at least once a year, or during every other oil change.

At Home Tire Care

In between professional services, there are several tire maintenance practices you can do in your own garage. Let’s take a look at a few.

Air Pressure

Your vehicle’s manual will tell you what the pressure should be in your tires. Tires with low pressure can lead to dangerous blowouts. Overinflated tires can lead to faster wear and tear of your tires. Use your pressure gauge to determine if your pressure is in the best range.

Tread Depth

With use, the tire tread wears down. You can check the depth periodically to make sure there’s still enough tread to give you proper traction.

Find a penny or a quarter, align the top of the president’s head towards the center of your wheel, and slot it into one of the grooves of your tire. If you can see any of the space above Lincoln or Washington’s head, it’s time for new tires.

Treat Your Tires Right

When you follow these steps to proper tire care, you should be able to get the most use out of your tires. Maintaining car tires will save you the expense of replacing them prematurely.

For more ways to get the most out of your expenses, check out our Consumer archive.