How Often Do I Need A Tire Rotation?

How Often Do I Need A Tire Rotation?

You care about your car and know it’s important to have your tires rotated at regular intervals. You also know that getting this done evens out tire wear, which means better handling and traction for you. But what exactly are “regular intervals”? Learn how often you should get a tire rotation, what’s typically involved in the service, and how it can save you from having to buy new tires down the road. That’s more money in your pocket for the things you care about!

How often should I get my tires rotated?

About every 7,500 miles or 6 months.

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend that you get your tires rotated approximately every 7,500 miles or six months. However, some vehicles are exceptions and it’s always best to refer to your owner’s manual. This number can change depending on how, where, and what you drive. Simplify things by making it a habit to get your tires rotated every time you get your oil changed.

What is involved in a tire rotation?

Tires are removed, swapped, and remounted.

Tire rotation consists of switching the front and rear tires. It’s crucial to do this because the drive tires (i.e. front tires in front wheel drive vehicles) work harder than the others. If you don’t swap them out, these tires will wear down faster. By rotating your tires, you distribute the burden among all four tires and ensure they wear down evenly. Take a look at the tire rotation pattern below and you’ll see! At Firestone Complete Auto Care, our expert technicians remove, swap, and remount your tires so they live longer and drive safer.

Tire Rotation Pattern

How do regular tire rotations help me?

By helping you save money and drive safer.

Regular tire rotations reduce your risk of various tire problems—most obviously, tire failure or blowout. By regularly rotating your tires, you’ll be less likely to experience those, reducing your risk for an inconvenient and even potentially dangerous situation. Tire rotations also help improve traction and fuel efficiency by ensuring your tires wear down evenly. This increases the lifespan of your tires, meaning you’ll save money in the long run.

Getting your tires rotated is key to getting the best performance from both your tires and your vehicle. If you can’t remember the last time you had your tires rotated, there’s a pretty good chance they’re overdue for this important service. Make an appointment for a tire rotation at Lofton Motorsports today! We’ll get you rotated and rolling in no time.

Spring Into Vehicle Maintenance With This Checklist

Now that winter is just a memory, millions of Americans will take to the roads to enjoy the warmer weather. It’s time to perform some Car care spring is the perfect time of year to make sure your vehicle is ready for the upcoming travel season.

Whether you’re driving across the country or driving across town,

Exterior:

  • Wiper blades play an extremely important role in increasing visibility. Replace every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.
  • Check the tires. A simple test to check tire tread depth is to insert a penny into the tread of the tire. If the top of Lincoln’s head sticks out, your tires are starting to show signs of wear and should be replaced. Also, check the tire inflation and inspect the tread for uneven wear, which could indicate the need for a wheel alignment. Also look for bulges and bald spots.
  • Give your car a good washing from top to bottom. Use a product specifically made for automobiles. Always clean the tires and wheels before washing the body, and don’t use the same mitt for both.
  • If you find minor paint damage, cover the paint chips as quickly as possible. For a quick fix until you can get some touchup supplies, dab a little clear nail polish on the scratch.
  • Spring is an excellent time for waxing, which not only protects the finish but also makes subsequent washing easier. Before proceeding, make sure there are no foreign particles on the paint.

Under the Hood:

  • A good rule of thumb is that a change of season equals a change of oil. Changing your car’s oil and filter every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first, will ensure that your car operates at peak efficiency.
  • Get a tune-up if necessary. As part of the 21st Century Tune-Up on today’s modern vehicles, the following systems should be inspected: battery, charging and starting, engine mechanical, powertrain control (including onboard diagnostic checks), fuel, ignition, and emissions.
  • Check all fluids. There are several fluids that require attention, including engine oil, power steering fluid, brake and transmission fluids, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant. The antifreeze/coolant should be refreshed every two years.
  • Check hoses and belts. A belt that fails can affect the electrical system, air conditioning, and power steering, as well as the cooling system. Cooling system hoses may be deteriorating from within, so old hoses and clamps that appear to be in marginal condition may need to be replaced.

Under the Vehicle:

  • Spring is a good time to check the entire brake system, including brake linings, rotors, and drums.
  • Check the shocks or struts for signs of physical damage, such as leaking, rusting, or dents. Also be aware of the warning signs that you may need them replaced: vehicle rolls or sways on turns, front end dives when braking, rear end squats when accelerating, vehicle sits lower in the front or rear, a loss of directional control during sudden stops, and the vehicle bounces or slides sideways on a winding and rough road.
  • If you notice any fluid puddles or stains under your vehicle, it is a good idea to have it inspected. There are several fluids that can leak from the vehicle including antifreeze/coolant, battery acid, brake fluid, clear water, diesel fuel, engine oil, gasoline, gear oil, power steering fluid, shock and strut fluid, transmission fluid and windshield washer fluid.

Lofton Motorsports offers inspections and all vehicle maintenance for your needs! Come visit us and we’ll make sure you’re safe on the road.

How To Add Liquid To Coolant Recovery System

If your car has a coolant recovery system, you can check the level of liquid on the side of the plastic reservoir. You just open the cap on the reservoir to check whether the coolant looks as though it needs changing or to add water and coolant. Many vehicles have a pressurized coolant recovery system called an expansion tank that makes opening the radiator unnecessary. These systems are considered “sealed” because the safety pressure cap is on the recovery reservoir rather than on the radiator.

  • If you overfill the system, the extra liquid gets hot, expands, and flows out of the overflow pipe. That may not seem too terrible, but because coolant is toxic, it can harm animals or children, who love its sweet taste.
  • If you don’t have coolant on hand and you just need to add a little liquid to the cooling system, plain old tap water will do. But try to maintain a good coolant level by adding a similar amount of straight coolant the next time you add liquid to the system.

You will probably never need to open the cap on the radiator, but if you have to open the cap for any reason, make sure to fill the radiator to the top with a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water before replacing the cap. This addition bleeds the system by forcing any air that may have gotten into the system into the reservoir and out through its overflow pipe when the engine heats up. Follow these steps when adding liquid to the coolant recovery system:

Adding cold liquid to an engine that’s hot can crack the engine block because the hot metal contracts sharply when the cold liquid hits it.

  1. Check the liquid level.

    Look at the outside of the reservoir to see where the level of the liquid in it lies relative to the “MAX” and “MIN” lines embossed on the side, as shown here.

    A coolant recovery reservoir (a) and a cap being removed safely from a radiator (b).

    A coolant recovery reservoir (a) and a cap being removed safely from a radiator (b).
  2. Lift the lever on the safety cap to allow the pressure to escape.

    To keep from burning your hand, place a cloth over the cap after you raise the lever. Then turn the cap counterclockwise to remove it.

  3. If the liquid level is low, add equal parts coolant and water to the reservoir.

    Add equal parts coolant and water until the level reaches the “MAX” line on the side of the container.

Worn Tires

When Is It Time To Replace My Tires?

Tire ReplacementThere are many things that factor into tire replacement. A flat tire or tire that is visibly damaged are obvious reasons. But what are the more common factors? The lifespan of a tire depends on a combination of influences including, the driver’s driving habits, climate, road conditions, tire design, and proper tire maintenance. The big three things to consider:

    1. Tread Wear – Proper tread depth is essential to prevent hydroplaning and skidding. The minimum tread depth is 2/32nd of an inch (1.6 mm).you can use a penny to check tread depth. Simply place the penny upside down into a tread groove. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, it’s time for tire replacement.

Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to properly grip the road in adverse conditions. Visually check tires for uneven wear, looking for high and low areas or unusually smooth areas and any signs of damage. Motorists should also check sidewalls for gouges, cuts, bulges or other irregularities.

    2. Climate – The heat of summer and cold of winter can wreak havoc on your tires. Too much exposure to direct sunlight, UV rays, and/or heat, can cause cracking in your tires. If the vehicle is parked outside in the elements, and is not driven with frequency, this can accelerate the process. Extreme cold can also factor into tire wear.
    3. Tire Age – Tires are designed and built to provide many thousands of miles of excellent service. For maximum benefit, tires must be maintained properly to avoid tire damage and abuse that may result in tire disablement. The service life of a tire is a cumulative function of the storage, stowing, rotation and service conditions, which a tire is subjected to throughout its life (load, speed, inflation pressure, road hazard injury, etc.). Since service conditions vary widely, accurately predicting the service life of any specific tire in chronological time is not possible.

Lofton Motorsports is unaware of any technical data that supports a specific tire age for removal from service. However, as with other members of the tire and automotive industries, Lofton Motorsports recommends that all tires (including spare tires) that were manufactured more than ten (10) years previous be removed from service and be replaced with new tires, even when tires appear to be usable from their external appearance and if the tread depth may have not reached the minimum wear out depth. Vehicle manufacturers may recommend a different chronological age at which a tire should be replaced based on their understanding of the specific vehicle application; Lofton Motorsports recommends that any such instruction be followed. Consumers should note that most tires would have to be removed for tread wear-out or other causes before any prescribed removal period. A stated removal period in no way reduces the consumer’s responsibility for tire replacement as needed.

Lofton Motorsports recommends that you regularly inspect your tires. An inspection of the tires should be incorporated during routine vehicle maintenance procedures. If tire damage is suspected or found, it should be carefully assessed by a trained tire specialist immediately.