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Archive for December, 2013

Tire Care

As vehicles have become increasingly trouble-free, drivers seem to ignore their tires more and more. But the truth is that even though tires have improved over the past few decades in terms of performance and wear, they still require more attention than most of the car. The most important steps car owners can take are to keep the tires properly inflated and to rotate them on schedule. And even though your new car may include an automatic tire pressure monitoring system, you should still check the pressure of your tires every so often.

By closely examining the tires, you will be able to determine if the tire is wearing properly or if replacement should be considered. You should be aware of excessive wear on the inner or outer edge of the tire, which suggests something may be wrong with the wheel alignment. If the center of the tire is quicker to wear than the edges, then the tire is likely over-inflated. If the outer edges of the tire wears faster than the center, the tire is likely under-inflated. A diagonal scalloping on the tire, known as cupping wear, suggests the suspension may be worn, bent or somehow compromised. Patchy wear implies the tire is out of balance. If you are unsure about what are you are looking at, stop by the service center at a Tucson VW dealer to get a professional opinion.

Wear patterns aren’t the only things you can learn about from a close inspection of a tire. There are also markings and codes on the side of the tire that provide specific information, and this information is there to help you when it’s time to replace your tires. The molded-in markings on the side of the tire include information about everything from the tire’s size and load rating to its temperature and traction rating.

All tires are also marked with a manufacturer’s date. The expected service life of a tire is roughly 10 years. If you’re buying new tires, be sure to check the manufacture’s date, as you never know how long a tire has been sitting in stock.

Of course, checking the air pressure in your tires is an important component of getting the full-life out of

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your tires, and can prevent uneven wear. If you do not have a tire gauge, purchase one. They are relatively inexpensive and small enough to fit in your glove box. Discover the proper air pressure for your car. You can often find the right PSI for your vehicle on a yellow sticker inside the driver’s-side door jam, or you can consult your owner’s manual. Press the tire gauge against the open valve stem and the number will appear on the dial or digital screen on the tire gauge. Compare this number with the recommended tire pressure for the tire. If it’s too low, you can add air. If the pressure is too high, you can let air out of the tire.

If you have any questions or concerns about how to properly maintain your tires, visit Chapman Volkswagen in Tucson.