Next Service Smart℠ Saturday: April 18th!


Tires 101: What is Tire Maintenance?

Remember to be Tire Smart and Do Your PART

Tires are expensive, but their maintenance doesn't have to be expensive. Through proper maintenance, you can get the most life out of your tires. Most of the tires we see that need to be replaced are in that state because of neglect and lack of maintenance. Basic tire maintenance includes: tire rotations, tire balancing, checking tire pressure, and yearly alignment checks.


Remember to be tire smart and do your PART. 

  • Pressure
  • Alignment Checks
  • Rotation every oil change/Balance when needed
  • Tread Life Checks 

  

*As a reminder, Service Smart℠ clients receive free tire rotations and a free yearly alignment check.* All Professional Auto Care clients may expect to have their tire pressure inspected.

Proper tire maintenance is key for tire longevity.

Proper tire maintenance is key for tire longevity. 

More About Tires!

Tire Pressure

Wheel Alignments

Wheel Alignments

Tire Pressure Check, SW Houston Auto Repair

 Maintaining proper pressure is vital and one of the easiest ways to help your tires reach their useful life. The two tire pressure conditions are under inflation and over inflation.

  

At home, proper tire pressure and physically examining your tires at least once a month can go a long way!


  Service Smart℠ clients, be sure to ask for your free spare tire pressure check!

Wheel Alignments

Wheel Alignments

Wheel Alignments

Wheel Alignment Check, SW Houston Auto Repair, Auto Alignments, Four Wheel Alignments

  Maintaining your car's wheel alignment reduces tire wear, improves fuel economy, handling, and increases driving enjoyment and safety.


Whether you have recently had a steering or suspension component replaced, major or minor accident, grazed a curb, or are a victim of Houston's potholes be sure to have yours checked.


 Service Smart℠ clients receive free yearly alignment checks.

Tire Rotations

Wheel Alignments

Tire Rotations

Tire Rotation, Tire Maintenance, SW Houston Auto Repair, Professional Auto Care

Tire rotation should be performed every oil change to ensure proper tire wear and prolonged tire life. Tires are typically moved in pairs from front to back and/or criss-cross. 


Service Smart℠ clients receive free tire rotations. 

Tire Balancing

What Makes Up A Tire?

Tire Rotations

Tire Balancing Check, SW Houston Auto Repair, Professional Auto Care Wheel Balancing

  A basic wheel balance mounts the wheel on the machine and spins the wheel to detect weight variations. The computer inside the balance machine calculates how much weight should be added to each side, and exactly where on the tire the weight should be. After installing the weights, the tire is rechecked to ensure that it is now perfectly balanced. The balanced tire will now spin smoothly and maintain a consistent size of contact patch on the road.

Tread Life Checks

What Makes Up A Tire?

What Makes Up A Tire?

Checking Tire Tread, SW Houston Auto Repair, Auto Maintenance Sugar Land

Tire tread gradually wears down as a result of normal driving.  


You can do this at home! Look at the "wear indicator bars" which run perpendicular to tire tread in between the grooves.


Safety Fact: 19,000 is the estimated number of people injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015 in which tires were a contributing factor. 

What Makes Up A Tire?

What Makes Up A Tire?

What Makes Up A Tire?

Tire Make Up, Tire Diagram, SW Houston Auto Repair, Professional Auto Care

Ever wondered about the parts of the tire and what is supporting the weight of your vehicle everyday?

Cool Videos

Cool Videos

Cool Videos

Tire Maintenance, SW Houston Auto Repair, Car Maintenance Tips, Professional Auto Care

Check out some cool videos going into even more detail!

Proper Tire Inflation, Free Tire Pressure Check, Professional Auto Care SW Houston Auto Repair Shop

Tire Pressure

Maintaining Proper Tire Pressure is Crucial for Tire Maintenance

Over- and under-inflated tires cause uneven tread wear around the circumference of the tire.


An over inflated tire creates a slight bulge in the center of the tire. Overtime, this section of the tire becomes more worn that the rest of the tire. If the problem is not caught and corrected soon enough, the tread could completely wear away in the center while having good tread on the outer edges of the tire. 


An under inflated tire creates concavity in the tire putting more pressure on the edges of the tire. If a tire is run for a long time being under inflated, the edges of the tread can wear out completely while still having good tread in the center. 


Tire pressure is an extremely important factor for long term tire health. 


Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

This system helps consumers be aware when their vehicle's tire pressure goes lower than a specified value. A sensor at the tires sends a notification to the vehicle's computer when a tire is low.

It is important not to rely solely on this system. Many times the specified value can be 10 psi lower than the recommended pressure psi (pounds per square inch of pressure). Damage to tires can still occur because of the range some vehicles utilize. It is recommended to check your tire pressure once per month, especially if you want to protect the investment of your tires. 

qUICK tIP

We highly recommend clients to walk around their vehicle once a month and physically look at the tires. You are looking to see if any look lower than the others or even physical damage to a side wall or bulges from them. 


Always have a tire pressure gauge handy, too!

SW Houston Auto Alignments, Car Alignment, Four Wheel Alignment

Wheel Alignments

Are Alignments Necessary?

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend performing a 4-wheel alignment at least once per year for proper maintenance. Having your wheel alignment properly performed you can improve safety, experience a smoother ride, and increased fuel efficiency. 


Normal wear and road conditions can take their toll on your car's steering and suspension system. Hitting a pothole, a curb, or going over railroad tracks can throw alignment specifications, can affect alignment angles, and can damage steering and suspension parts.


Take the mystery out of alignment with our state-of-the-art Hunter Hawkeye alignment system. Our laser guided, precision alignment system provides you with:

· Added longevity to your tires

· Improved gas mileage

· Improved handling

· Reduced steering stress

· Overall improvement


  

By having a certified technician examine your alignment you can feel the peace of mind and potentially catch any problems before they become serious. Times when a 4-wheel alignment may be necessary:

1. After purchasing a set of tires

2. After a collision, accident, bumping a curb or even hitting a large pothole (which Houston is famous for having just about everywhere...)

3. After replacing steering or suspension components

4. The vehicle is either pulling to the right or pulling to the left while driving

5. There is a vibration or any other type of unstable steering symptoms

6. Irregular tire wear

7. The car's steering wheel is off-center (meaning to drive straight you need to hold the wheel off centered)

Learn More

The aligner computer uses this information to calculate your car's current alignment measurements and then compares these measurements to the car manufacturer's [OE] alignment specification.


If it determines that your car's wheel alignment is outside factory specifications, the aligner provides the technician with the exact information needed to make decisions concerning the proper adjustments and return the alignment angles to the manufacturer's specifications.

FAQ Wheel Alignments

How Important are Wheel Alignments?

What are "Symptoms" of a vehicle with an incorrect alignment?

What are "Symptoms" of a vehicle with an incorrect alignment?

Think of it this way, research indicated that the average vehicle is driven about 12,000 miles per year. A car with a toe angle off adjustment of 0.34 degrees (only 0.17 inches) out of specification will drag the tires sideways for more than 68 miles by the end of the year.

What are "Symptoms" of a vehicle with an incorrect alignment?

What are "Symptoms" of a vehicle with an incorrect alignment?

What are "Symptoms" of a vehicle with an incorrect alignment?

 Have your vehicle checked if you notice:

  1. Excessive or uneven tire wear
  2. The vehicle pulls to the left or right
  3. Feeling of looseness or wandering
  4. Steering wheel vibration or shimmy (not to be confused with tires being out of balance)
  5. Steering wheel is not centered when the vehicle is moving straight ahead 

How often should I have my vehicle aligned?

Why a Four Wheel Alignment? Why not just two wheels at a time?

Why a Four Wheel Alignment? Why not just two wheels at a time?

Follow the vehicle's manufacturer's recommendation noted in your owner's manual. As a general rule, have your wheel alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year. Most manufacturers of vehicles and tires recommend to have your vehicle aligned each time you purchase a new set of tires.

Why a Four Wheel Alignment? Why not just two wheels at a time?

Why a Four Wheel Alignment? Why not just two wheels at a time?

Why a Four Wheel Alignment? Why not just two wheels at a time?

It is extremely important to see the alignment as a whole rather than piece of the puzzle. Even if your vehicle does not have adjustments in the rear, the aligner will still detect if the source of the problem is coming from the rear. An ASE Certified Technician will be better equipped to advise the best course of action with all the facts present. 

Tire Rotations

Additional Information

 Tire rotation should be performed every oil change to ensure proper tire wear and prolonged tire life. Tires are typically moved in pairs from front to back and/or criss-cross depending on the tire make, vehicle make and technician recommendation after examining the vehicle tires.  

  

Did you know a directional tread pattern is designed to roll only in one direction? That's why you'll see arrows on the sidewalls pointing in the direction that tire needs to be mounted. They can only be rotated front to back.


Some high end vehicles have different tire sizes in the front than in the back. Rotating these tires incorrectly can cause serious damage in some cases.

Example of rotation pattern provided by a manufacturer.

Example of rotation pattern provided by a manufacturer. 

Wheel Balancing

Additional Information

Tire balancing should be checked every other oil change due to changes in tire wear and road hazards which affect weight variations of the tire. Tires are placed on a machine and measured. 

  

When tires are first installed and subsequently when a change in the weight of the tire occurs - such as the wearing of some of the tread - the wheel should be balanced. There are usually small weight variations in one part of the tire relative to the other parts. 


At certain speeds, this imbalance causes the tire to vibrate up and down, shaking the vehicle and often causing a vibration in the steering wheel. The contact patch - that is, the part of the tire that is in contact with the road - also varies in size when the wheel is shaking, potentially reducing the vehicle's grip on the road. 


A basic wheel balance mounts the wheel on the machine and spins the wheel to detect weight variations. The computer inside the balance machine calculates how much weight should be added to each side, and exactly where on the tire the weight should be. After installing the weights, the tire is rechecked to ensure that it is now perfectly balanced. The balanced tire will now spin smoothly and maintain a consistent size of contact patch on the road. 

What Makes Up A Tire?

Please reference the tire structure breakdown on the right provided by Michelin

1. Inner liner: An airtight layer of synthetic rubber

2. Carcass ply: The layer above the inner liner, consisting of thin textile fiber cords (or cables) bonded into rubber. These cables largely determine the strength of the tire and help it resist pressure. Standard tires contain about 1,400 cords, each one of which can resist a force of 33 lbs. 

3. Lower bead area: This is where the tire grips the metal rim. The power from the engine and braking effort is transmitted from the rim of the tire to the contact area with the road's surface. 

4. Beads: They clamp firmly against the tire's rim to ensure an airtight fit and keep the tire properly seated on the rim. Each wire can take a load of up to 3,968 lbs without risk of breaking. There are eight of them on your car - two per tire. 

5. Sidewall: It protects the side of the tire from impact with curbs and the road. Important details about the tire are written on the sidewall, such as tire size and speed rating. 

6. Crown piles (or belts): It largely determines the strength of the tire. It is made up of very fine, resistant steel cords bonded into the rubber. 

7. Cap ply: This important safety layer reduces friction heating and helps maintain the shape of the tire when driving fast. 

8. Tread: It provides traction and turning grip for the tire and is designed to resist wear, abrasion, and heat. ​​

Tire Cut Out Diagram Provided by Michelin.

Tire Cut Out Diagram Provided by Michelin. 

General Video About Tires

Video about Wheel Balancing

Video About Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

Professional Auto Care is the most trusted name when it comes to maintenance and helping clients get the most out of their vehicle. Tire maintenance is critical to ensure proper tread wear and ultimately, to ensure you get the most life out of your tires possible. Professional Auto Care is an auto repair shop located in Southwest Houston just outside Sugar Land and Missouri City.