Winter is rough on everything. But when it comes to cars, it is particularly harsh with tires. The worse the weather was during winter, the more damage you can expect on your tire tread, rotation, and even air pressure come springtime.
Spring is packed with long drives, unseasoned roads, and rain. Your tires need to be prepared for all these terrain changes and the sudden jump in distance it will be travelling. In fact, most car dealers, like your trusted Volkswagen dealership in Albuquerque, NM, are known to give out plenty of advice on rotating tires between seasons. Here are ways to keep your tires in good condition and ready for spring.
Tire checking is easy enough. Check for any wear and tear, or foreign objects that have lodged themselves onto the tire. When seasons change, tire pressure can be significantly affected. Winter to spring usually creates a drop in tire pressure due to the cold air. Check your car manual to see the recommended levels of tire pressure for your vehicle.
Contrary to popular belief, the weight of a car is not evenly distributed on its tires. Front tires take up more than half the weight. This means that wear and tear on tires are not even, creating an unstable and unsafe driving experience. Most people take their cars to a mechanic to have their tires rotated. However, this simple twenty-minute job can be done easily at home, saving you hundreds of dollars a year.
There are two types of tires: directional and non-directional tires. Directional tires have treads only going in one way, which means they’re either made for the left or the right side. Changing directional tires are straightforward. Simply exchange the front right tire for the back right tire, and exchange the front left tire for the back left tire. Essentially, you switch the back tires with the front ones.
Non-directional tires are switched out with the cross method. Both back tires go to the front. While the former front tires go to the back and swap sides. As a rule of thumb, tires should be rotated every 5,000 miles. Here are five easy-to-follow steps for tire rotation:
- Engage the parking brake.
- Unscrew the lug nuts on your wheels just a little. Do not take them off completely yet. Taking them off when the car has been jacked up will be much easier.
- Use a car jack to lift one wheel and put a jack stand beneath it. Having more jack stands will help but if you only have one or two, the whole activity won’t take you more than twenty minutes.
- Remove the tire and rotate them in the correct pattern based on your tires. When the tries are switched out on the wheel mount, tighten the lug nuts as hard as you can.
- Gently lower the car off the jack stand and tighten up the lug nuts again. The lug wrench should move from lug nut to lug nut in a star shaped, diagonal pattern.
You should be replacing your tires every 2 to 10 years. This depends on how well you’ve maintained the tires. But tires are usually replaced once the treads are compromised. Tread depth can be determined by inserting a quarter into the tread in the middle of your tire, with Washington’s head pointing in. If the tread is on par with Washington’s head, the tires are still in the safety zone. If you do this with a penny and the tread is on par with Lincoln’s head, then the tires will need to be replaced. While you’re checking your tires, look at your tire pressure. If you’re unsure about when to replace your tires, contact the Volkswagen dealer in Albuquerque, NM today.
So, make sure to do the necessary tire maintenance before spring. You won’t wear your thick winter coat for spring, so don’t leave your car in its winter tires. Check out Fiesta Volkswagen dealer in Albuquerque, NM for tips and tricks on how to get your car ready for springtime.
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