Rain or Shine: 6 Tips for Tire Care for All Weather

Tire care doesn't have to be intimidating or time-consuming. If you stick to a regular schedule, tire care can be fast, easy, and affordable. Plus, it means safer driving conditions for you and your family, no matter where you’re headed or how the weather looks.
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Good vehicle maintenance comes down to regular tire care. Without proper tire care, you risk more frequent accidents that could have been easily avoided. Your tires protect you on all roads, in every condition, 365 days a year. And yet many drivers don’t take their tire care seriously or don’t stick to a regular tire maintenance schedule — in fact, wheels out of alignment is the second most ignored auto problem, followed by bald tires in fourth place. 

Tire care doesn’t have to be intimidating or time-consuming. If you stick to a regular schedule, tire care can be fast, easy, and affordable. Plus, it means safer driving conditions for you and your family, no matter where you’re headed or how the weather looks.

Dive into our top 6 tire care tips you can do today.

1. Monthly Tire Pressure Checks

Tire pressure is what keeps you safe on the road in all weather conditions. Low tire pressure can put you at increased risk of an accident, due to less handling and control. Low tire pressure also means less fuel efficiency and a shorter tire lifespan.

However, don’t over-inflate your tires, either. Overinflated tires give you less traction and uneven wear and tear. You’re more likely to have an accident and damage your tires. Always follow the appropriate PSI for your tires. Once a month, at the gas station, check your tire pressure and fill up with free air if needed.

Bonus: Regular tire pressure checks also help you spot tire damage before it causes an accident. Nails, screws, and other debris can cause slow leaks you won’t notice at first. Monthly checks keep you safe.

2. Tire Tread Depth

Never forget to check the depth of your tire tread. Loss of tire tread leads to slippery conditions, more accidents in the rain, and wear and tear on your tires.

As part of your tire care maintenance checklist, you want to check your tire tread using the penny test. Simply take a penny, insert it upside down into the tire tread, and be sure it covers at least half of Lincoln’s head.

When you’re doing your monthly tire pressure check, be sure to test your tire tread, too. This tire maintenance will help you spot uneven tire wear and tear before it causes a hazardous road situation.

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3. Frequent Tire Rotations

So what causes uneven wear and tire on your tires? Driving habits, more than anything, but also improper tire maintenance that compromises the tires. Misalignments from bumps or minor collisions, bad suspension, improperly inflated tires, brake issues, and more.

When your tires wear unevenly, you’re more likely to have compromised road contact and traction. This can lead to dangerous driving conditions, especially in rainy weather, and even bumpy rides.

Every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, stop by your local auto shop for tire rotations. Regular tire maintenance will help you maintain safe and comfortable driving conditions.

4. Regular Tire Alignment

In addition to tire rotations, you’ll want to stop into a Maryland auto shop for tire alignment, too. Over time, minor inconsistencies in the road can lead to bumps and minor collisions that can misalign your tires and wheels. Tire alignments help your car drive straight and evenly wear out your tires.

The good thing is that you don’t need a tire or wheel alignment every year, unless you’ve been in a collision or notice your car pulling to one side. Every two to three years is a significant time to check your tire alignment.

Tip: On a straight road, see if your car pulls to one side or pay attention if you need to constantly pull it back on track. Spotting a misalignment early can help prevent other issues from forming and causing increased cost of car repairs.

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5. Don’t Forget to Get Your Tires Balanced

On the same timetable as your tire rotations (every 4,000 to 6,000 miles) you should also be scheduling tire balancing services as part of your tire maintenance checklist. An easier recommended tip is going in once every season if you use your daily driver for commuting to work, shopping, events, and more.

Proper tire care maintenance includes tire balancing to ensure your tire weight is evenly distributed. Like with tire rotations and alignments, this helps to preserve tread, have a balanced drive, and protect your suspension and other car parts.

Tip: If your vibrates while driving, tire balancing services may help correct the issue. Schedule a tire maintenance service sooner than your mileage recommendation if you experience this while driving.

6. Always Inspect the Spare Tire

The most forgotten part of tire maintenance is having a spare tire on hand with the proper tools for doing a tire change. Once a month you should be checking your spare tire to be sure it hasn’t been compromised in some way. Keep a portable jack handy and any other roadside emergency elements you may need.

In an emergency, your spare tire is your lifelong to getting home safe. You can avoid long delays, roadside breakdowns, and more with a spare tire.

Get Tire Care Services in Maryland Today

Hoffmaster’s Auto Care in Silver Spring, Maryland is your go-to spot for tire maintenance services. We help with tire and wheel inspections, tire rotations, wheel balancing, alignments, and more.

We can walk you through proper tire maintenance and help set you up on a tire maintenance schedule that prepares you for any weather. Remember, tire maintenance is the backbone of safety on the road. Protect other important elements by never letting your tire maintenance lapse.

Tire Maintenance FAQ

Tire rotation involves moving each tire to a different position on your vehicle at regular intervals. This helps promote even tread wear, extends the lifespan of your tires, and ensures better performance and handling. It’s essential to stay on top of tire rotations because front and rear tires wear differently due to variations in weight distribution and steering dynamics.

It’s generally recommended to rotate your tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, or as specified in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Additionally, you should rotate them if you notice uneven wear patterns or if you experience vibrations or handling issues. Each season is a good guide to scheduling your next tire maintenance appointment. 

Regularly inspect your tire tread depth using a tread depth gauge or the penny test. Adequate tread depth is crucial for proper traction, especially in wet or slippery conditions. If the tread depth is below 2/32 of an inch, it’s time to replace the tire.

Proper wheel alignment ensures that your tires make optimal contact with the road surface, which improves handling, reduces tire wear, and enhances fuel efficiency. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear and affect vehicle stability and steering response.

Check your tire pressure at least once a month and before long trips. Correct tire pressure ensures safety, optimal fuel efficiency, and tire longevity. Improperly inflated tires can lead to decreased fuel economy, uneven tire wear, and compromised handling.

Spare tires should be checked periodically for proper inflation, tread condition, and overall readiness. Ensure that it’s properly inflated and has sufficient tread depth. Additionally, familiarize yourself with its location and the tools needed to install it in case of emergencies.

Tire balancing involves equalizing the weight of the tire and wheel assembly to minimize vibrations. It’s essential for all-season use because imbalanced tires can cause uneven wear, vibrations, and handling issues, especially at higher speeds. Regular balancing promotes a smoother ride and extends tire life.

Hoffmaster's Auto Care
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Our mission at Hoffmaster’s Auto Care is to provide our customers with the highest level of car repair service and expertise, delivered with honesty, integrity, and a commitment to excellence. Hoffmaster’s Auto Care in Silver Spring, MD has been in business for more than 40 years. All our technicians are ASE certified. You can rely on our experience and knowledge for high-quality auto repair and maintenance services.

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