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Servicing your wheel-tire sets is crucial in keeping your car safe to drive; thus, this post by Mike Ford Shop in Ham Lake lists key preventive maintenance procedures to keep your tires in mint shape.

Preventive Maintenance Procedures to Prolong the Life and Performance of Your Tires

Tire Pressure Checks

Keeping your tires well inflated is key to ensuring their optimal performance, hence the importance of checking their pressure at least once each month. To better understand why pressure checks are needed, it's worth mentioning that tires tend to gradually lose inflation due to osmosis (air permeability through the tire rubber) and temperature fluctuations. In fact, the regular monthly air loss for a tire is 1 pound per square inch of pressure. Since tires tend to lose air, driving on underinflated tires is common among drivers; however, low tire pressure can lead to significant issues. For instance, tires' rubber structure deforms due to air loss, making tire rotation harsh and challenging. Additionally, the engine must burn excessive amounts of fuel to provide underinflated tires enough energy so that they can support the vehicle's load and perform. Tires with too much air also carry certain risks. Overinflation changes the tire's optimal shape by rounding its edges; this condition causes the tire to reduce its grip on the ground, which means less traction. Being a driver, you surely know that reduced traction can result in skidding and overall poor handling control. After reviewing all the risks related to under- and over-pressurized tires, make sure to check your tire inflation once every few weeks (at least once a month). To that end, look into the maintenance contents in your owner's manual and follow the pressure checks instructions thoroughly. If you haven't done a manual pressure check before, you'll see this task is easy and safe to do on your own.

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Wheel Alignment

Did you know your vehicle was designed with determined angles for your wheels? The manufacturer specified these alignment settings to improve the performance of your car's tires; in addition, these angles are intended to provide you with safer and more precise handling. Even though your vehicle came out of its factory with perfectly aligned tires, regular use causes the wheels to become misaligned over time, especially when driving mishaps come across, such as bumping a curb or a pothole impact. All in all, it's entirely normal for your wheels to become misaligned gradually, hence the importance of staying on top of your vehicle's alignment intervals. Now, it's recommended that most cars get a wheel alignment once every year; however, stick to the intervals described in your owner's manual to ensure the best service for your tires. Also, note if your vehicle pulls to one side while steering straight, as this is the main indicator of your wheels being out of their alignment angles. If so, call your trusted mechanic to figure out whether or not your vehicle needs a wheel alignment.

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Tire Balancing

A tire balancing is, quite simply, a preventive maintenance adjustment to correct any found weight imbalance on your wheel-tire sets. To better understand this, think about a spinning wheel; to rotate smoothly, it needs to have its weight evenly distributed around its circumference; otherwise, a heavy spot somewhere could cause the wheel to spin unevenly, causing the tire to wobble. Common factors can cause the wheel-tire assemblies to develop significant heavy spots. However, before going over them, it's important to note that wheels typically include small weights to compensate for manufacturing weight disparities; hence, when these weights get detached by hitting a speed bump or a sidewalk curb while driving at high speed, the wheel becomes imbalanced. Plus, having a tire replaced or driving on inadequate tire pressure are major factors contributing to developing unbalanced wheel assemblies. Nonetheless, it's essential to stay on top of your tire balancing intervals, especially if you notice your vehicle starts to wobble or hop when driving, as that could indicate that there's a heavy spot on your wheels. Either way, refer to your owner's manual for information about your car's balancing requirements and follow the intervals accordingly for optimal tire performance.

Tire Rotation

Finally, did you know that your front tires take most of the vehicle's load? Or that when braking, your front tires receive all the weight; hence they use more grip to the ground? Given these factors, it's safe to assume that front tires wear faster than back tires; yet, all four tires need to wear evenly to get the most value and performance out of them; hence, rotating your tires is essential. Simply put, a tire rotation consists of moving the front tires to the back and switching them from side to side. This procedure might sound simple; however, it plays a crucial role in maximizing your tires' service life. For most cars, tire rotations are recommended every 5,000 to 8,000 miles approximately; yet, check your owner's manual to verify your tire rotation intervals.

In addition to staying on top of your tire maintenance, take care of your engine by adding high-quality lubricants, like AMSOIL's Signature Series 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil. Call Mike Ford Shop at (763) 257-3130 or click here to place an order on the most efficient synthetic oil in Ham Lake.