Car brands like Audi and Volkswagen are associated not only with prestige, but true dependency. This is one reason these manufacturers take so much pride in the parts placed in their cars, including the tires. The problem is that tires will wear down eventually and, if you fail to care for them, this can happen prematurely. There are some driving habits and caring tips that can help increase the life of your tires.
Driving Habits for Tire Longevity
There are many things you can do to ensure that tires last as long as they should. The following are a few things that could be easily accomplished by any car owner:
- Avoid accelerating quickly. This can put too much pressure on the wheels, wearing them down prematurely.
- Avoid speeding. The faster you drive, the hotter your tires get and heat breaks down rubber, causing premature tire wear.
- Do not ride your brakes or stop quickly, unless necessary. This is important because both habits can wear down your tires quicker.
- Try your best to avoid sharp turns as well as getting too close to curbs during turns, which can grind the tire’s rubber too harshly. This will naturally degrade your tires.
- Whenever possible, stick to smooth ground because it is gentler on the tire’s body. Rocks, cracks, and bumps can be harsh on the tires, so avoiding them is best.
- Stick to the limits indicated on the tires or owner’s manual. Do not operate the automobile faster than suggested or carry loads heavier than suggested because both can stress the tires.
- Avoid debris and obstacles. Running over things other than the flat road will unnecessarily reduce the tire’s longevity.
Caring for Tires Effectively
- You should check your tires periodically for any number of issues that could affect the longevity of the tires. For example, look for stones, nails, glass, or other types of debris trapped within the ridges of the tire. All tires must be checked, especially after going on an unpaved road or driving near an accident scene.
- Be sure not to ignore maintenance such as tire balance, tire rotation and alignment. These are important to ensure that the tread wears down evenly, which helps prevent replacing tires prematurely. Unbalanced tires will put too much weight on one side of the tire compared to the other, wearing them down quickly. Tires that are not rotated regularly will start to wear unevenly, which can bald tires eventually. Misaligned tires can cause unnecessary wear on tires.
- One of the biggest factors in a tire’s life is the tire pressure. Don’t forget to regularly check the tire pressure in each tire. The tire pressure not only helps ensure performance is pristine, but it also keeps the driver safe. Under-inflated tires could cause you to lose control of your car under certain conditions. Over-inflated tires not only add pressure to your tires but could also lead to a blowout. If the tire is inflated to the proper pressure, it’s life will be as optimal as the manufacturer had intended.
One issue that most people are not aware of or tend to overlook deals with the way that temperature affects your tires or, more specifically, the tire pressure. Tires can lose about a pound of pressure when the temperature drops by 10 degrees. This means that you can be driving an under-inflated tire, even if you checked your pressure recently when the temperature gets cold. This is something to think about if you are driving across different states or if you drive in a region that has harsh winters. The same thing can be said when the temperature rises. This adds pressure to your tires, so you should pay close attention to your tires during those extremely hot summers.
Choosing the Best Tires
If it’s time to replace your tires and wonder how to get the longest lasting tires, there are some measurements such as the manufacturer’s tread wear warranty and the government’s treadwear grades, but according to Consumer Reports, neither make it easier to compare tires from various manufacturers. Warranty and tread wear grades are a better tool for comparing models from a single manufacturer rather than across different manufacturers. It can be said that these metrics are a good start and tires with both impressive treadwear grades and impressive warranties are generally a good choice, however for a really comprehensive tire buying guide, based on independent research, check out Consumer Reports Tire Ratings.
Owner, Hillside Imports
Rene Rodriguez has over 25 years of experience working exclusively on VW and late model Audis. As Hillside Imports owner, and service writer, he’s dedicated the past 20 years to educating consumers about safety, reliability and performance.