How often should I check my tire pressure?
You must check your tire pressure at least once a month and before going on a long trip. Also, make it a habit to check your tires every time you fill up your gas tank. Ideally, tire pressure should be measured when tires are cold—that is when you have driven less than a mile. Otherwise, your tires may have heated up, increasing the inflation pressure inside them by several pounds. Don’t forget to check the pressure of your spare tire at the same time.
What is the correct air pressure for my tires?
There is no universal “right” pressure for all tires. The proper inflation level will depend on your vehicle and it may even be different for your front and back tires. To find the correct pressure for your tires, look at the tire information placard that’s mounted inside the frame of the driver’s door, in the glove box or inside the fuel door.
How often should I check my wheel alignment?
Wheel alignment and balancing are important for safety and maximum tread wear from your tires. Inspect your tires regularly: at least once a month inspect your tires closely for signs of uneven wear. Uneven wear patterns may be caused by improper inflation pressure, misalignment, improper balance or suspension neglect. If not corrected, further tire damage will occur. These conditions shorten the life of your tires and may result in loss of vehicle control and serious personal injury. Call us at Bruce's Auto Service to schedule a 4-wheel alignment.
How important is it that I rotate my tires?
Rotation is important because each tire on a car carries a different amount of weight, making them wear at different rates. By rotating them, you basically even out those differences. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often to rotate your tires, but as a rule of thumb, it should be done every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Call us at Bruce's Auto Service to schedule your tire rotation. Customers who purchase (4) four tires with us will receive FREE tire rotations. We will keep track of when we rotate your tires and ensure that they are being rotated on a regular and consistent basis.
Can I mount my own tires?
Tire mounting can be dangerous and should only be done only by trained tire service professionals using proper tools and procedures. Serious injury or death may result from explosion of tire/rim assembly due to improper mounting. The technicians at Bruce's Auto Service are able to mount your tires on rims.
What should I look for when inspecting my tires?
In addition to performing regular maintenance, you must also keep an eye out for potential problems that might affect your tires. Regular inspections can help you prevent tire trouble, and keep you rolling safely down the road. When inspecting your tires, look for:
- Uneven tread wear. This can include more wear on one tread edge than the other, a rippled pattern of high and low wear or exposed steel wire.
- Shallow tread. Bald tires tend to skid and slide on the pavement and are more likely to be damaged by potholes and other road hazards. Ask us to check your tread levels when you’re here. If it’s worn down to the minimum level it must be replaced immediately for safety purposes.
- Troublemakers. Check for small stones, pieces of glass, bits of metal and other foreign objects that might be wedged into the tread and carefully pick them out. They can cause serious problems if they are pushed further into your tire as you drive.
- Damaged Areas. Cracks, cuts, splits, punctures, holes, and bulges in the tread or on the sides of the tire can indicate serious problems and the tire may need to be replaced.
- Slow leaks. Tires lose some inflation pressure over the course of a month or so. However, if you find that you have to add inflation pressure every few days call us to check the tire, wheel, and valve and if necessary repair or replace the tire.
- Valve Caps. Those little caps on your tire’s valve stem keep moisture and dirt out. So, make you they are all on your tires. Also when you have a tire replaced, have a new valve stem assembly installed at the same time.
Where can I find the date a tire was manufactured?
The date of manufacture is part of the serial number (DOT) which is located on only one side of each tire (the other side may have only a partial number or no number). The DOT is an 11-character number and looks like this: UP0RCNT1209. The date of manufacture for this DOT is the 12th week of 2009 (1209). If the DOT ends in only three (3) digits (contains only 10 characters), the tire was manufactured before January 2000 and should be removed from service and scrapped because it is over 10 years old.
How can I find out which Cooper tire fits my vehicle?
Always check the vehicle placard or vehicle owner’s manual for the proper tire size and give us a call so Bruce or Craig can recommend the most appropriate and affordable tire for your vehicle. Cooper tires are sold right here at Bruce's Auto Service.
What do all the numbers and letters on my tire sidewall mean?
Tires have very useful information molded onto their sidewall. It shows the brand and model name of the tire, its size, whether it is tubeless or tube type, the maximum load and the maximum inflation, safety warning(s), and much more.
- P225/60R16 97T – (Passenger Example) Size marking and service description for a P-Metric speed rating passenger tire.
- LT245/75R16 120/116Q Load Range E – (Light Truck Example) Size marking, service description and load range for a metric light truck tire. The load range identifies the tire’s load and inflation limits.
- Load Index – The load index is a numerical code associated with the maximum load a tire can carry at the speed indicated by its speed symbol under specified service conditions. The load index should not be used independently to determine replacement tire acceptability for load capacity.
- Speed Symbol – The speed symbol is also known as the “speed rating”.
- Max Load 730 kg (1609 lbs) and 240 kPa (35 psi) Max Pressure Cold – (Passenger Example) Indicates maximum load and maximum cold inflation pressure of the tire. Sidewall markings are given in both metric and English units. Follow tire inflation pressure recommendations on the vehicle tire placard, certification label or in the owner’s manual.
- Max Load Dual 1260 kg (2778 lbs) at 550 kPa (80 psi) Max Pressure Cold – (Light Truck Example) Indicates maximum load of the tire and corresponding maximum cold inflation pressure for that load when used in a single or dual configuration. Sidewall markings are given in both metric and English units. Follow tire inflation pressure recommendations on the vehicle tire placard, certification label or in the owner’s manual.
- DOT MA L9 ABCD 0309 – The “DOT” symbol certifies the tire manufacturer’s compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) tire safety performance standards. Next to these letters is the tire identification number (TIN) also known as the tire serial number. The first two characters are the factory code indicating where the tire was made. The last four digits are numbers identifying the week and year of manufacture. If a tire DOT ends in only three digits, the tire was manufactured before January 2000 and should be removed from service and be scrapped because it is over ten years old.
- M + S – This mark is commonly found on all season and winter tires. In several formats, the letters “M + S” indicate the tire is intended for limited mud and snow service.
- Mountain-Snowflake Symbol – This mark is commonly found on winter/snow tires. Tires that meet the RMA definition for passenger and light truck tires for use in severe snow conditions are marked on at least one sidewall with the letters “M” and “S” plus the mountain snowflake symbol.
- Speed Symbol – The speed symbol also known as the speed rating indicates the speed category at which the tire can carry a load corresponding to its load under specified service conditions. Although a tire may be speed rated, Cooper Tires does not endorse the operation of any vehicle in an unsafe or unlawful manner.