Tire Service FAQ
The tires on your vehicle are incredibly important when it comes to keeping you safe on the road. If you’re not sure how to properly care for your car’s tires, we’ve got you covered. Check out these frequently asked questions and our tips for top-tier tire service.
How much should I inflate my car tires?
The tires on your vehicle were designed to be filled with a specific amount of air to work properly. This is commonly referred to as PSI (Pounds per Square Inch).
- Keeping your tires inflated correctly helps the tread do its job of keeping you from sliding all over the road. If the tires are over- or underinflated, this could lead to loss of control, especially on conditions like rain, snow, and ice.
- Vehicle manufacturers recommend that you fill tires when they are cold, meaning you haven’t been driving on them for a long time. This is due to science, as the friction from rolling on the road causes the tires to increase in heat and air pressure. That could mean you’ll get an incorrect reading from whatever machine you’re using to fill up the tires.
- While many passenger cars typically recommend 32-35 PSI for the tires, it’s best to check the specs for your specific vehicle. You can usually find the tire pressure information in the driver’s side door jamb, on the right. You can also refer to the owner’s manual.
Why do tires need to be rotated?
As you drive on your vehicle’s tires, the tread wears down little by little on certain parts of each tire. This happens on differing parts of each tire, meaning the tires wear unevenly. Rotating the tires from front to back and diagonally switches up the tread wear to allow for consistent traction and handling across all four tires.
Why do tires need to be aligned?
Similar to tire rotation, it’s also important to have the tires aligned on your vehicle. As you drive your car, the wheels will naturally start to shift to accommodate for the roads you encounter. An alignment will adjust the angle of the wheels so that they are pointing straight and so the tires are centered within the wheel wells. Doing this has many benefits, including getting the best possible fuel economy, feeling a smoother ride, and longer tire life.
When should I get new tires?
Throughout the lifespan of your vehicle, you’ll want to regularly check on the tires. While you don’t necessarily need to give them a full, rigorous inspection every time you get behind the wheel, it does mean giving them a once-over every month or so.
- Check for any signs of damage, like cracks or tears as well as any objects that have been lodged in the tires, such as nails or glass. You may not need completely new tires for a puncture, but you will certainly need to get it repaired as soon as possible.
- The best way to determine if you need new tires is to check the tread wear. The tread is what grips the road and keeps you safe. If it’s worn down and barely visible, you’re putting yourself in danger.
- You can test the tread depth of your tires with a proper tire tread depth gauge, which can typically be found online or in stores. Most vehicle manufacturers consider 5/32” or more tread depth fine and the impact it has on braking is minimal. Anything below that, like 4/32” or 3/32” should be replaced soon while 2/32” should be replaced immediately.
- You can also check the tread with a nickel if you don’t want to buy a new tool. Insert the coin with Queen Elizabeth’s crown facing down. If you’re able to see the top of her crown, the tread is below 2/32”, which is far too low and the tires need to be replaced. While this isn’t an exact measurement, doing this test will give you an estimate on when you should stop by and see us at Downtown AutoGroup for new tires.
Do I need winter tires?
As the weather turns chilly, standard tires become less effective on the road because their rubber compound was not designed for the extremely cold temperatures. That’s why switching them out for winter tires is a great idea!
These specially designed tires are more flexible and are better at gripping the road, thus keeping you safer. While winter tires are not mandatory in Ontario, they are highly recommended and many car insurance providers offer discounts for those who install them.
Our skilled team at Downtown AutoGroup in Toronto, Ontario, can handle all of these tire maintenance tasks. We can also answer any additional questions you may have. Simply stop by and see us, contact our team via phone or online, or schedule an appointment!