It’s easy to forget about the importance of tire maintenance until it comes time again to replace your tires. Did they last longer than expected? Or shorter than expected? To really get the most out of your tires, here’s some tips to keep in mind for both at home and professional service.

What you can do on your own:

Perform the penny test.

Find a penny that’s clean and new enough to see all of Lincoln’s figure. Place the penny headfirst in the tread of one of your tires. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, then the tread is too shallow and not recommended for safe driving. Repeat this same action on all sides of the tire to see if there’s been some uneven wear. Write down your findings and then perform it on each of your tires. Depending on the inflation, alignment, and rotation of the tires, there could be even or vastly different wear on each one.

Check tire pressure.

Luckily, most home improvement or auto parts store will have a tire gauge tool to help you out on this one. Most gas stations will also have an air pump that may or may not be able to read the tire pressure in your tires as well. Either way, it’s a good idea to have the tire gauge on hand so you can check it whenever—especially when the temperature starts to drastically change. Temperature, time, and damage will all affect the pressure of your tires and whether it’s too inflated or too flat. This all causes uneven wear, which could result in the need to replace your tires sooner than if they were getting even wear.

What you can get from a service center:

Get your tires aligned regularly.

The typical recommendation is to get your tires realigned every 3 years. However, you should always reference your owner’s manual just to make sure that’s the best course of action for your car. A lot of service centers will check the alignment as you’re in for regular maintenance, such as an oil change, so you can also rely on that if you have a trusted auto repair shop. If you start to feel your steering wheel pulling in one direction or it vibrates when you’re driving, then its most likely time for that alignment.

Get your tires rotated.

This maintenance task is typically recommended every 5,000 to 10,000 miles, or every time you get your oil changed. Depending on the type of drive your vehicle has—front-, rear-, or all-wheel drive—your tires will naturally wear at different rates. Rotating them helps extend their life, so you can get the most out of your investment.

If it’s time for a tire rotation and oil change, Superior Service Center can help you out. Make an appointment at our Eagan, MN or Apple Valley, MN location.