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Tire Wear & Tear: How to Check Your Tires

Even if you don't put a ton of miles on your vehicle, you should inspect your tires at least once a month and always before long trips. It's important to keep an eye out for excessive or irregular tread wear, underinflation, or damage like scrapes, bulges, cracks, punctures and more. If any of these conditions are present, or if you are experiencing continuous pressure loss, the tire should be dismounted and inspected for damage by a trained tire professional to determine if a repair can be made.

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Understanding Tire Wear Patterns

To help maintain even treadwear and prolong tire life, review this quick reference about alignment, rotation, and visual inspections. For a professional evaluation, find a Tire & Service Network location near you.

Misalignment of the front or rear wheels can cause rapid or uneven wear. Front-wheel-drive vehicles and those with independent rear suspension require alignment of all four wheels, instead of two. Getting your alignment checked as specified in your vehicle's owner's manual is the recommended way to prolong tire life.1

Sometimes irregular tire wear can be corrected by rotating your tires. Consult your vehicle's owner's manual or visit a Tire & Service Network location near you to find the appropriate rotation pattern for your vehicle. If your tires show uneven wear, ask a Goodyear expert to check for and correct any misalignment, imbalance, or other mechanical problem involved before rotation.1

A tire's tread directly affects how it grips the road, so it's important to regularly inspect it visually for signs of uneven wear. These signs can include high or low areas, or unusually smooth ones.1

1 "Be Tire Smart," The Rubber Manufacturers Association

Visual Tire Inspection for Damages

Inspecting your tires can help you find punctures or other visible signs of damage that could necessitate replacement.

Frequent (at least monthly) inspection of your tires for signs of damage and their general condition is important for safety. If you have any questions, have your tire dealer inspect them. Impacts, penetrations, cracks, knots, bulges or air loss always require tire removal and expert inspection. Never perform a temporary repair or use an innertube as a substitute for a proper repair. Only qualified persons should repair tires.

Tire Repairs

It's crucial to know when it's okay to have a tire repaired and when a tire should be replaced

  • If a tire loses air pressure, it should be removed for an internal inspection.
  • Driving on a flat tire for even a short distance can ruin it
  • Most punctures, nail holes, or cuts up to 1/4 in. (.64 cm) can be repaired if the damage is confined to the tread
  • Do not repair any sidewall or tread punctures larger than 1/4 in. (.64 cm), and NEVER repair tires worn below 1/16 in. (.16 cm)

Note: Goodyear does not warrant any inspection or repair process. The repair is entirely the responsibility of the repairer and should be made in accordance with established U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) procedures.

Wheel Balance and Alignment

Having your tires balanced and your vehicle properly aligned is important for tire longevity and vehicle performance.

  • Unbalanced tires cause road vibration, which can lead to driver fatigue, premature tire wear (also known as cupping or dipping), and unnecessary wear to your vehicle's suspension
  • Tires should be balanced whenever they're mounted on wheels
  • They should be rebalanced at the first sign of a vibration or shimmy, and once a year

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