My Garage

The Four Keys to Wheel and Tire Care

The Four Keys to Wheel and Tire Care

Keeping your car, truck or SUV on the road is extremely important to the service experts at North York Chrysler. We have always had a strong commitment to providing our loyal customers with expert advice and the most current information on all makes and models including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, RAM, and FIAT. That is why we thought you would appreciate a closer look at the four ways that we work every day to keep your wheels and tires running at peak performance.

1. Tire Maintenance

Basic tire maintenance is extremely important to the health of you, your car, and your tires. It's always a good idea to start by checking your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires last longer and optimize fuel economy. In fact, for every one pound per square inch (psi) below the recommended pressure, your fuel economy decreases by 0.4 percent. For example, if your tires are five psi low (which is not uncommon), your fuel economy will decrease two percent. As well, over inflated tires will cause rapid tread wear at the center and underinflated tires can cause the rapid wear at the shoulders.

Try to check you tire pressure at least once a month or whenever the temperature drops or rises suddenly. You can find the proper tire pressure (maximum and minimum load) on the tire decal on the door jamb. This is also a perfect time to do a visual inspection for any abnormal wear patterns, tread depth, or nails/screws in the tire itself. If your tires are easily losing pressure, and there is no apparent reason, it is best to bring your vehicle into a professional for a check. If it is time for new tires, correct sizing is critical for safety and performance. Simply put, if your vehicle has 16-inch wheels, you must install 16-inch tires. If you wish to increase tire size, you must first change your wheels; otherwise, major damage can occur.

2. Tire Rotation

Having your tires rotated is a very simple and inexpensive service that can make your car safer and save you money. No matter how closely you watch your tire pressure, there is no way to guarantee your tires will wear evenly. This is mostly because your front tires support over half the weight of your vehicle and are responsible for steering and 80% of the braking. It is also the case that we expose the right side of our vehicles to hazards such as curbs and potholes. By rotating your tires on a consistent basis, you will prolong the life of your tires and help you retain even performance from your tires. For the proper tire rotation schedule, please review your owner's manual or speak with one of the experts in the North York Chrysler Service Centre.

3. Wheel Alignment & Balance

Much like with your tires, wheels are subject to abuse even on the smoothest roads. To keep your wheels in alignment our experts will adjust the angles of the wheels so that they are perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. It is not hard to knock your vehicle's wheels out of alignment and once disturbed, it will affect the handling and safety of your vehicle, as well as cause irregular tire wear. Our experts will make sure that the camber angle, toe measurement, and caster angle are all properly aligned so your vehicle drives safely and efficiently.

Maintaining proper wheel balance on your vehicle is crucial for saving lives and saving money. Improperly balanced and out-of-balance tires will cause a car to vibrate at certain speeds, usually between 60 & 80 km/h. Wheel Balance is a key aspect in tire wear. To get the most out of your tires it is important to keep your tires balanced.

A tire is out of balance when a section of the tire is heavier than the others. Even an ounce of imbalance on a rear or front tire is enough to cause vibration in the steering wheel even at 60 km/h. To balance a wheel, one of our service technicians will mount the wheel on a balancing machine that spins the wheel to find the heavier part. He will then adjust to balance the weight by attaching a lead weight on the opposite side of the wheel.

If you notice a vibration that wasn't there the day before, it is possible that one of the lead balancing weights fell off. If you feel the vibration mostly in the steering wheel, the problem is most likely in the front. If the vibration is mostly in the seat, the problem is probably in the rear.

How an imbalance creates vibration

Static Imbalance:

Occurs when there is a heavy or light spot in the tire that prevents the tire from rolling evenly and causing the tire and wheel to undergo an up-&-down motion
Dynamic Imbalance:

Occurs when there is unequal weight on one or both sides of the tire/wheel assembly's lateral center-line, thus creating a side-to-side wobble or wheel shimmy.

Wheel Balance is a key aspect in tire wear and it is important to keep your tires balanced throughout their life.  Even if you cannot notice the vibrations, they are often present. Uneven tread wear creates an imbalance that generates excessive heat and wear on your tires. Considering the hundreds of dollars tires cost, wheel balance is a wise investment. Inquire about our services today!

4. Differential Service

The final piece of the tire and wheel puzzle is maintaining a proper differential. The differential controls the speed of the left and right wheels on your vehicle, which allows them to rotate at different speeds to give you control during turning. The act of turning and cornering creates friction and heat in the differential, which can break down the additives in the differential fluid. At North York Chrysler, our Differential Service removes old contaminated fluid and replaces it with manufacturer-approved fluid, and cleans the gearbox and service areas.

To learn more about how the Service Centre and Parts Centre at North York Chrysler can help keep your tires, wheels, and overall steering properly maintained, please contact us today or drop by our centrally located dealership at 7200 Yonge Street in Thornhill, ON.

Categories: Service & Maintenance Tips