So, May is “Tire Safety Month.” It may sound like an artificial holiday, mostly because it totally is, but at least you’re not guilted into buying flowers and chocolates and greeting cards that’ll either go straight into the trash or held onto out of obligation.
Instead, you’re subtley reminded that you need to ask Abe Lincoln’s copper head if your tires are too worn down, then maybe go buy a new set of rubbers for your ride so you can make sure that summer road trip goes smooth as butta.
To get us in the mood (or whatever) for Tire Safety Month, Discount Tire asked us to visit one of their stores to get a free air pressure check, tire inspection, and tire rotation, which you can also do by heading over to their site and scheduling an appointment. Easy as pie…
Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Discount Tire. All views and opinions expressed here are my own. Check out our advertising guidelines to see why we’d never steer you wrong.
We Visit Discount Tire
Since I’m out of the country at the moment, I had my buddy Mike schedule an appointment on Discount Tire’s website. Since he just bought brand new tires for his WRX (at Discount Tire, funny enough,) he brought in his sister’s 2014 Kia Soul. I asked him to take a few pictures and give me an honest opinion on the entire experience:
Some Tire Tips
Only Replacing Two Tires?
Yes, usually it’s either the front or back that wear out the fastest, especially if you’re a lead foot like us. Given the fact that tires can be pretty expensive, many people choose to only replace two at a time.
It’s not the best way to go, but if you’re going to do it I recommend getting as close as possible to the other two tires in terms of specs, hardness, tread, etc.
Discount Tire also suggests making sure the rear tires are the newer ones, since if you’re taking a turn with newer front tires, the rear end could slide out from behind you like it is for this poor fella to the right. Of course, understeering in a slide isn’t the best either, but you will have more control this way, especially if you’re driving a car or truck with RWD or AWD.
Don’t Forget About Air Pressure!
That’s one thing I think we universally forget about the most – checking your tires’ air pressure regularly. It’s massively important to make sure your tires are kept within a certain range of pressure, so make sure you’re either checking them regularly or my suggestion, pick up some of those tire stem caps that goes red if you’re under-inflated.for you for free no matter where you got your tires.
Of course if you have a car built in the last 10 years or so, you’ll have TPMS already installed in your car, and even though some of them alert you so often most people just ignore it, it’s good to have. Discount Tire has much more info here on tire pressure, or you can take a look at this cute little guide below:
My Tread is Fine, Should I Replace Them Anyway?
So you did the penny test (to the right) and the tread is past Abe’s head, good for you. That doesn’t mean your tires are in good shape.
After a while, tires do wear out. The chemicals in the rubber start to lose their effectiveness and the rubber can get brittle and fall apart.
So how often should you change them? Although vehicle manufacturers say every 6 years, industry experts recommend every 10. Of course, I’m sure your ultra high performance summer tires aren’t going to wear at the same rate as your chained-up winter rubber. So, if your tread is still good, consider replacing them anyway after 6-10 years, or maybe when the warranty runs out.
So, What Tires Should I Get?
That’s a big question. You could just tell the person at the counter what you want and hope for the best. Personally, I like to know exactly what I’m getting and tweak it to my needs. If you’re like me then, you should have a basic understanding of what all those letters and numbers mean on the side of the tire. We have a guide to all that tire info here so you can brush up on it.
Discount Tire also has a guide on how to select the right tire for your needs.
So, What Now?
This article is just meant to get you thinking about the last time you paid attention to your tires, and maybe reminding you to have them looked at. Yes, this is a sponsored article, but in all honesty I use Discount Tire more often than anywhere else anyway, and Mike’s experience above shows it doesn’t take much. This article is also meant to give you a few tips about tires in general and remind you that those winter tires you might be rolling around on right now aren’t the best choice for summer driving.
Do you change your tires seasonally? When the last time you checked your tire pressure? Have you used Discount Tire before and like (or don’t like) them? Let us know what you think in the comments below.