Tire Rotations & New Tire Installation – Everything You Need to Know
Making sure your vehicle’s tires are in good condition is critical to your safety, especially when road conditions are dangerous during rain or snow. We want to help keep you safe on the road with everything you need to know about properly caring for your tires, including regular tire rotations, maintenance, and new tire installation when necessary. Whenever you come in for service at Graff Bay City, you can be sure your tires will be properly inspected by our ASE Certified technicians. However, in between your routine service appointments, use the information and tire tips below to properly care for your tires!
Got Tire Questions?
Check out our top tire FAQs for answers!
Tire Maintenance Tips - Rotations, Inspections, Repairs, Replacements
Maintaining your vehicle’s tires is actually fairly simple. With regular tire rotations, wheel alignments, and tire inspections, you’ll help to extend the life of your tires and stay safe behind the wheel. We also recommend getting in the habit of checking your tires before any long road trips. Here are a few tire maintenance tips to follow throughout the year, especially as seasons change:
- Tire Rotations When? Every Other Oil Change – Routine tire rotations are the most important part of caring for your tires. Each tire will wear differently depending on its position on the car, so rotating them will allow for more even wear across all four tires. Regular rotations can help to extend the life of your tires and help you save on tire purchases overall! As the seasons change, when you come in for your tire rotation, you may want to consider switching from all-season tires to winter tires for added protection. Visit our Winter Tire Care page for more information on how winter tires are different.
- Wheel Alignments When? Once Every Year – There are many ways your vehicle’s wheels can become misaligned: through normal wear, hitting bad potholes, hitting a curb, or just from bumps on the road. Misalignment causes your tires to work harder to move straight, causing premature and uneven tread wear. If your tires are not aligned, it can also cause your car to pull to the right or left – which is a sign you need a wheel alignment. Schedule an alignment with your next tire rotation and our team will thoroughly inspect and properly align your tires.
- Check Tire Tread When? Once Per Month – You can use the beloved penny trick or quarter trick to check your tread every month. With Washington’s head facing down, insert a quarter into a tread groove on outer edge, center, and inner edge of the tire. If the top of his head is not visible, your tires have at least 4/32” of tread and are fine for continued use. If you can see above the top of Washington’s head, it means your tread is no longer safe and it’s time to replace your tires. You should have 4/32" of tread or more, and at the very least 2/32". While the difference between 4/32” and 2/32” doesn’t seem like much, the difference is significant, according to research by the Tire Rack, America’s largest independent tire tester.
- Check Tire Pressure When? Once Per Month – While you may think your tires “look” inflated, it’s important to check your tire pressure with a handheld gauge for accuracy. Your tires can lose air from impact while driving, as well as regular weather changes, so it's important to do an inspection once a month. In fact, for every 10-degrees Fahrenheit decrease in temperature, tires can lose one pound of pressure! Follow the tire pressure recommendations outlined in your owner’s manual or on the tire information decal attached to the driver’s door jamb. Since recommended tire pressures are for cold tires, make sure to check your tire pressure before driving. Checking tire pressure on warm tires can result in a pressure reading of up to 5 psi higher than the recommended pressure!
- Damage Inspections When? Once Per Week – This tire care tip is simple once you get in the habit. Before getting into your car, once per week, walk around your car and do a quick visual check to look for any damages. Keep an eye out for any uneven wear, bald spots, tire punctures, or tire bulges, especially on the sidewall. If you see anything unusual, avoid driving if you can and have it inspected and repaired right away!
- Repairs/Replacements When? As Needed – When your tire's tread becomes too thin (under 4/32") or there's damage, it's imperative to have your tire repaired or replaced as soon as possible. Your safety on the road is at stake when you drive on damaged tires, so don’t wait. It's usually best to have all four tires replaced at once – If only one or two tires are replaced at a time, it can cause shaky handling, especially in inclement weather.
Signs of Tire Wear
When you skip your routine tire rotations and practice poor tire maintenance, it can result in premature tire wear, a flat tire or even a blowout. Tire wear can also be impacted by other factors like worn suspension parts or wheel alignment, so it’s important to always be aware of the condition of your tires anytime you get behind the wheel. If you notice any of these tire issues, bring in your vehicle for a tire inspection.
- Wear in the center of the tread: When your tires are over inflated, you’ll notice more wear in the middle of the tire, where it contacts the road when there it too much tire pressure.
- Wear on the outer edges of the tread: When your tires are under inflated, you’ll notice the most wear on the tire’s outer edges that contact the road then there’s not enough tire pressure.
- Wear on only one edge of the tire: This can indicate your wheels are out of alignment and therefore are wearing unevenly.
- Uneven tread wear overall: Sometimes called cupping, erratic tread wear can indicate the wheel is out of balance, or that the shock absorbers or other suspension components need to be replaced.
- Bulge on the tread or sidewall: May indicate that one of the belts in the tire carcass has separated from those next to it.
- Unusual vibration or thumping noise: This warning sign can also indicate an out-of-balance tire or a tire with a separated belt. It can also be a sign that you may have a flat spot on your tire as a result of locking the wheels in a panic stop.
- Vehicle pulling to one side: If it feels like your vehicle is pulling to one side while you’re driving, it may be an indication of an underinflated or damaged tire on the side of the car to which the vehicle pulls. If this is not the case, a brake problem or poor wheel alignment may be causing the pull.
What About Winter Tires?
See why seasonal tire care is critical!
Schedule a Tire Rotation or Get New Tires Installed at Graff Bay City!
When it comes to your vehicle’s tires, our ASE Certified and factory-trained technicians have the expertise and know-how to perform tire rotations, new tire installations, tire repairs and replacements that keep your vehicle running smoothly. We stock tires to fit all makes and models, and offer a Tire Price Match Guarantee! We carry 11 tire brands including Bridgestone, Goodyear, and Michelin, and offer the guaranteed best price on all of the tires we sell. Be sure to check out our Coupons page for discounts to save you even more money on tire services such as:
- Tire inspection for proper inflation and wear (for new tires and spares)
- Tire rotation
- New tire installation
- Tire mounting and balancing
- Disposal fee
You can easily schedule a service appointment for your tire service at Graff Chevrolet online by filling out our scheduling form, or by giving us a call at (989) 684-4411. We look forward to serving you in a timely and professional manner at our dealership at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI.