We all know that tires wear. There are certain things you, as an owner, can do to help minimize this wear and prolong the life of your tires (and save money!).

66 Batman Batmobile wheel

Keep your tires properly inflated.

This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do.

Proper inflation makes for good contact with driving surface. Underinflated tires put unnecessary drag and friction on your tires wearing them down sooner. Bonus: keeping your tires properly inflated also improves your fuel economy. Double savings! Information on correct tire inflation pressure is provided in your owner's manual and on a placard on the driver's door pillar.

How often you check your tire inflation is up to you. As a rule of thumb, tires should be checked every time you fill your car with gas. That can seem like a lot, but we have more good news: you can drive in and check your pressure and add air as needed right in our service drive through any time we're open. No paying for pump air or heaving over a bike pump. (Editor's note: I've done that once. I don't recommend it. It was not fun. -spk)

Tires should be checked when cold since tire pressure will increase as the tires warm up; driving for three hours and then checking your pressure isn't exactly ideal. Because heat affects tire pressure, when it starts to cool down in the fall and early winter, your Tire Pressure Management System light may come on. The colder temperatures drop the air pressure in your tire, which leads to wear. As a general rule, if you haven't in a while, check your tire pressure when it starts getting cold out to save you seeing the TPMS light and to keep your tires working well.

Tire close up

Rotate your tires regularly.

Subaru recommends tires should be rotated every 7,500 miles. Your actual driving conditions may warrant doing a rotation sooner. Depending where you are in Maine, for example, you may spend more time on gravel roads than paved ones, and that will affect your wear. Road surfaces, driving habits, vehicle loading, and weather all have an effect on tire wear.

Your tires need to be rotated regularly no matter how great your driving is. Turning wears tires unevenly. Even if you manage to have exactly the same number of right turns and left turns, the turning radius on a right turn tends to be way smaller than when you make a left turn. This puts different wear on the inside and outside of the tires during the turns. Not only that, no vehicle can be perfectly balanced on all four tires during diving because of passengers or cargo or any number of other factors. That slight difference will cause wear over time.

Rotating distributes the wear on any given tire across the surface which is both safer and tremendously improves the life of the tire.

pile of tires

Tire Replacement.

When it's finally time to replace your tires, in order to extend the life of the new ones you get there's one really important (but really simple) thing to do. Change them all.

Subaru recommends replacing all four tires at the same time. All four tires should be the same manufacturer, brand (tread pattern), construction, degree of wear, speed symbol, load index and size. Mixing tires of different types, sizes, or degrees of wear can damage your power train. Using different sizes of tires also dangerously reduces controllability and braking. Like leads to collisions dangerously. You can always check your owner's manual (or look up your manual online) for recommended tires for your Subaru.

Categories: Service, Parts
Tags: advice