A woman's guide to car tires..

Women certainly are not helpless. But sometimes we are a little overwhelmed working a 40-hour week, taking care of the children, cooking, cleaning, and
doing laundry. The car is just another added burden when there isn't a man around to tinker with it. For the woman who finds herself in this situation, this is a short primer on routine tire care that will extend the life of your tires and hopefully make your life a little bit easier.
Check Tire Pressure Regularly:
Tire pressure should be checked whenever you suspect a problem or at a minimum, seasonally.
Symptoms of improper tire pressure include excess wear and squeeling when going around a corner (for under-inflated tires) and reduced traction (for over-inflated tires).
Even the temperature can affect your tire pressure. Check your owner's manual to find where they've posted the proper tire pressure (usually on one of the doors) and be sure to keep it at that level. An improperly inflated tire not only wears quicker, it can also be dangerous when stopping and can cause tread separation. You can purchase a tire-pressure gauge at your local auto parts store, use a gauge at the gas station or ask your tire dealer to check it for you.
Have Your Tires Rotated:
Tires should be rotated every 5000 - 6000 miles. For various reasons, all four tires on a car do not wear the same. The purpose of the tire rotation is to allow for even wear and an extended life for your tires. Some manufacturers recommend "cross-rotation" (moving the right-front tire to the left-rear, etc.). Check your owner's manual for it's recommendations. Have your tire dealer rotate your tires regularly.
Check Your Wheel Alignment:
If you've hit a pothole or scraped your tire on a curb, your wheels may have been thrown out of alignment. Symptoms of wheels that are out of alignment are excessive wear (one tire may wear more than the others) and steering problems. You may notice that your car veers to the side when you're on a straight road or the car doesn't steer properly in a turn. Unless you notice any of these symptons, you should have your alignment checked annually.
Have Your Wheels Balanced at the Same Time Their Rotated:
An improperly balanced wheel will cause a vibration at higher speeds (50-70 MPH) which is noticable in the steering wheel (if a front tire is out of balance) or in the seat (if a rear tire is out of balance). It will also increase wear of shock absorbers, struts and suspensions. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should have your tire dealer take a look at your tire. He will need to locate the heavier part of the tire and attach a lead weight opposite it to counter-balance it. Unless you notice any of these symptoms, you should have your wheel balanced every time you have them rotated (every 5000 - 6000 miles).
To read more :
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But they can't spell tyre.
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Skipweasel
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Guy King wrote:

I wouldn't push that one too hard, I think you'll find that 'tire' was always the original spelling and *we* put the y in it relatively recently...
<Clickety-click> I stand corrected... it was tyre, then became tire everywhere, then was exported across the pond. After that *we* put the y back in independently. A bit like Aluminum...
Here you go:
"tire (n.) 1485, "iron rim of a carriage wheel," probably from tire "equipment, dress, covering" (c.1300), an aphetic form of attire. The notion is of the tire as the dressing of the wheel. The original spelling was tyre, which had shifted to tire in 17c.-18c., but since early 19c. tyre has been revived in Great Britain and become standard there. Rubber ones, for bicycles (later automobiles) are from 1870s. "
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Odd that, 'cos anyone who knows how wooden wheels with iron tyres work will understand that the tyre ties the wheel together. Without it the wheel is just a short-lived puzzle. Seems a far more likely derivation, but what do I know.
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Guy King wrote:

I know what you mean about how the cooling tyre compresses the rim and spokes into a nice solid unit, but I can't see what alternative derivation you are getting at?
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Dressing the wheel rather than tying it together.
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Skipweasel
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Not many cars have beam axles both ends these days...
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"Dave Plowman (News)" wrote:

I thought rotating was no longer recommended. Better to let tyres settle in for their particular job. Uneven wear is a different problem and should be addressed by proper alignment.
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I'm not sure that this is not an old wives' tale. In my view a tyre (which might be the same as a tire) settles down to its position on the car. If you swap it, it then wears rapidly in its new position. I discovered this when using a very blocky treaded tyre some years ago. The blocks wore to a slightly wedge shape. When I put it on the other side, the blocks wore quickly so that the wedge was the other way. I suspect that with normal tyres, which don't have blocks that size but have, in a manner of speaking, small blocks, the same would happen. I make a point of NOT changing my wheels around.
Rob Graham
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BMW, for one. specifically mention *not* rotating the tyres for just this reason. The other gotcha with rotating especially with FWD is the need to buy all four tyres at once.
It's a peculiar US habit which has carried on - like 'turning rotors' at pad change time.
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Yep. The only time your tyres should be rotated, is when the car is moving ;-)
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wrote:

Might be down to camber. MK2 Golfs GTIs run a fair bit of neg camber on the front end. Eventually you can find the front tyres wear unevenly. Wouldn't be much fun having them on the back...
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