We all know that tires are one of the most important aspects of your car to keep your eye on, but what exactly do you do with them and when? For those that tend to try not to think about their tires as much as possible, you may want to reconsider your priorities. 

Taking care of your tires not only increases your driving comfort and fuel economy but also your safety, and there is nothing more important than that. While there may seem to be a lot of factors that you need to keep in mind, maintaining your tires is not as difficult as you might think. One of the easiest ways to ensure your tires' wellbeing is by bringing in your vehicle for routine maintenance and having a trusted technician check their condition. Our service team is more than happy to perform this inspection, but let's review some questions you may have.
WHEN DO I CHANGE MY TIRES?
Unlike up north, we don't have to worry about switching our summer tires for our winter tires, but what that means is that we may be lulled into a false sense of security. Just because we don't need to have separate tires for certain conditions doesn't necessarily mean that our current tires are suited for the road. 

Unfortunately, there is not a sure-fire way to know how long a tire lasts. How long a tire lasts is dependent on several factors such as:
  • Design  
  • Driving habits 
  • Road Conditions  
  • Climate 
  • Tire Care 
 
That being said, there are still many things within your control. First, if you're taking a more hands-off approach, keep in mind certain milestones to have your tires inspected. After five years of use, be sure to have your tires thoroughly inspected every year by a professional. As a general rule, it is recommended that you ought to replace your tires after ten years of use even if they appear to be alright. 

Want to take a more hands-on approach? If you are able to inspect the tires yourself, look for these indicators that may suggest that your tire needs to be changed:

  • Tread is worn beyond recommended tread depth levels  
  • Uneven tread wear 
  • Damaged areas  
  • Damaged valve caps 
  • Rough ride or vibrations when driving 
  • Shallow tread 

Found something that you are unsure if it is a problem? Be sure to have a professional inspect it to find out.  
HOW DO I CHANGE MY TIRES?
If you have tires that are already mounted and balanced, as in tires that are already on wheels, then you are going to need to roll up your sleeves and get a jack, lug wrench, and wheel wedges. Find a nice even patch of pavement, put your car in park with the emergency brake on, and wedge all the tires with the one you're starting with being the exception. Loosen, but do not remove, the lug nuts using your lug wrench. They should be loose enough to remove by hand. Place the jack in the proper location under your car, which can be figured out by referencing your owner's manual.

Make sure the jack has a solid connection to the car's frame. Raise your car until the tire is about 6 inches off the ground and do not have any part of your body under the car. Unscrew the lug nuts and place them somewhere safe. Pro tip: leave the top lug nut as the last one to take out so that it's less wobbly. After taking off the old tire, align the new tire with the exposed lug bolts and pop in the lug nuts, tightening by hand. Do not attempt to use the wrench until you have lowered the car.

Lower the jack until it is compressed enough to remove. Tighten the lug nuts so that they are secure but not so tight that you won't be able to remove them with a wrench later. Congratulations! You only have to do that three more times! You'll get the hang of it after a while, and it will go by quicker. Knowing how to change a wheel is always good to know, but letting a technician do it for you is much quicker.  
 
 
HOW MUCH AIR SHOULD I PUT IN MY TIRES? 
First of all, get a tire gauge and get used to the idea of checking your tire pressure. Do it while you're pumping gas, do it when you get home from work, do it after mowing the lawn. It doesn't really matter when as long as you make it happen. You don't want to deal with damaging your tires. 

Second, look for a sticker in your door jam or your owner's manual for your car's recommended PSI. Generally, this number is between 30 and 35, but sometimes the front and rear tires have different recommended PSIs. Whatever it recommends, make sure that the numbers match where they're supposed to. For example, if the recommended PSI for the front tires is 36, pump them both up to 36. Having one at 34 for and the other at 37 can lead to uneven wear, which also don't want to deal with. 
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? THE TEAM AT SUNSET AUTO CENTER CAN HELP!
We know the tire changing process can be a hassle! Just reach out to our service center, and we will do what we can to help you. If you want a trustworthy team of skilled technicians to take care of our tires for you, just contact us to set up an appointment.