Are Your Driving Habits Reducing Your Tire Life

Smoking TiresHave you ever been in conversations with your friends or co-workers and they spoke of how their tires have worn out way too quickly? Why is it that some people can get 4-5 years out of a set of tires while others may only get 1-2 years at best? Is it the quality of the tires?

In most cases tire quality, regardless of whether you are running on low cost all-season tires or expensive summer driving tires, will not have as much to do with it as you might first think. Instead, it will likely be due to their driving habits.

So how do driving habits increase or reduce tire wear? There are actually several reasons behind it. Check the following tread life factors to see if any of them apply to your driving habits.

1. Speed

High speed driving will certainly have a negative effect on tread life. The faster you drive, the more your tires heat up. Heat buildup is a big factor in tread wear and overall durability of the tire. It breaks down the rubber and causes premature tire wear and even tire failure in some cases. Beyond that, aggressive driving can also wear down your engine, transmission, brakes and suspension parts much more quickly.

2. Road Obstacles

PotholesThis is one that happens with most all of us. Hitting or driving over curbs, driving into potholes or running over debris on the highway are a sure way of needing to buy new tires more quickly than you would like.

In some cases, like driving over a piece of metal, you can damage the sidewall and have to replace the tire immediately. While there are always going to be times you can’t avoid certain obstacles, the key here is to be sure and avoid all of these obstructions if at all possible.

I had a good friend who had a bad habit of curbing her tires whenever she parked out on the street. It wore down the sidewall to the point that one day her tire simply blew out as she once again scrapped up against a curb.

3. Cornering, Acceleration and Braking

Are you a more “spirited” driver who likes to take the corners harder than normal? Or do like to impress others by smoking your tires as the stop light turns green? Sure, this can be a lot of fun, but it is also going to reduce tread life much sooner than expected. Hard braking, or skidding to a stop will do the same thing.

4. Tire Inflation

Keeping your tires properly inflated is perhaps the number one cause for premature tire wear for all types of drivers. Too low, and too high, tire pressure quickly causes increased tread wear, and lower fuel mileage as well. The best thing you can do for your new tires is to check tire pressure at least twice a month when you fill up the gas tank. A tire gauge costs only a dollar or two at most. It’s quick and easy to check your tires, and it can save you a lot of money in the long run.

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