Tires 101: How to Maintain Your Tires

American Tire Distributors (ATD) is one of the largest independent suppliers of tires to the replacement tire market. We operate more than 140 distribution centers, including 25 distribution centers in Canada, serving approximately 80,000 customers across the U.S. and Canada. With more than 80 years of experience, we know a thing or two about tires and we want you to be safe every time you get behind the wheel.

To get the most out of your tires, you need to maintain them. Getting your tires regularly rotated helps your tire ware evenly, which extends the life of and helps improve performance of the tire. If you notice uneven wear on your tires or feel your car pull to one side, you may need a wheel alignment. This ensures that your tires are getting the proper contact to the road.

Tire Rotation

Having your tires rotated regularly will prevent irregular tread wear from occurring. Your vehicle owner’s manual will have a section on what the recommended mileage should be in between each rotation. If your owner’s manual doesn’t include this, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Associate (USTMA) suggests rotating your tires every 5,000–8,000 miles. This is also the standard time in between oil changes for most cars, so it’s great practice to have your tires rotated at the same time of your oil change. Be sure to have the service shop check your tire pressure as well. If you prefer to rotate your tires on your own, our friends at Michelin have put together this fantastic interactive tire rotation guide.

Tire Balance

If you’ve felt a vibration or your vehicle pulling to one side, this may indicate an unbalanced tire. Whenever this happens, it’s best to inspect your tires as soon as you can for your safety. If your tires are properly inflated, it’s best to take it to a professional and let them know what is going on. When tires are mounted onto your wheels, there are counterweights placed on the inside of the wheel. You may notice these when you inspect your tires. These tiny weights make sure your tire is balanced and will roll properly. If one of these falls off, this can cause the vibration or pulling you have experienced.

Tire Alignment

As mentioned above, if you feel a vibration or your vehicle pulling to one side, this could also indicate a miss aligned tire. Even the smallest misalignment can cause issues, so this should be handled by a trained technician. If you recently hit a pothole, curb, speed bump or any other hazard that might have been in the road, this could cause your tires to become misaligned. This can lead to rapid uneven tread wear and affect the safety and performance of the overall tire. When you inspect your tires if you come across uneven wear or damage like splits, cuts or cracks, but you don’t have a vibration or pull while driving, this still could mean a misaligned tire and should be checked by a professional.

From your friends at ATD, we want you to be prepared for the road ahead so you can thrive and drive into the future. Follow along our Tires 101 blog as we explore the world of tires.

Who we are as people is who we are as a company. We share the same values in the way we work with each other, our partners and our customers. We are ATD.