How much air should I put in my tires?

Proper inflation is crucial when it comes to tire care. Over- or underinflated tires wear unevenly and more quickly, which affects steering and vehicle control. It is important to note that the inflation pressure noted on the side of the tire is the maximum operating pressure and is not necessarily the best inflation level for your vehicle. You should always use the inflation recommended by your vehicle manufacturer, and never buy tires with a lower load index or speed rating than your vehicle's original tire. You can find the recommended tire inflation in your owner's manual, posted on the edge of your driver's door, or inside your glove box. When checking your tire pressure:

  • Use a good quality tire gauge and check/adjust your inflation every few weeks, before a long trip or before traveling with a heavy load.
  • Check inflation when your tires are cold, when your vehicle has been driven less than a mile, or one hour or more after driving.

Why do my tires need to be balanced?

Properly balanced tires result in driving comfort and extended tire life. Tires that are unbalanced can cause vibration, which leads to premature tire wear and damage to your vehicle's suspension. Have your tires balanced when they are mounted on wheels for the first time or when they are remounted after repair. Your tires should also be rebalanced at the first sign of vibration or “shimmy."

Can my driving habits affect the life of my tires?

Yes. Here are some ways to help extend the life of your tires:

  • Avoid speeding. When you speed, excessive heat is generated which leads to an increased rate of tire wear and a reduction in the tire's durability.
  • Avoid fast turns on curves and around corners, fast starts and sudden stops.
  • Try to avoid letting your tires ride near the edge of the pavement or driving over curbs, potholes, or other objects.

How do I know when I need new tires?

Today, most tires have tread wear indicator bars molded into the tread. Once the tread wears down and a solid bar of rubber across the width of the tread is visible, it is time to replace the tire. Additionally, you can perform a simple tread depth test by placing a penny into tread grooves. Make sure Lincoln's head is upside down and facing you. The distance between the rim of the penny and Lincoln's head is 1/16 of an inch, which is the bare minimum tread depth required for safe driving. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, it is time to purchase a new tire.

If I buy just two new tires, should they be put on the front or rear?

You should purchase two replacement tires of the same size and construction as those on the car, and they should be placed on the rear axle. New tires provide better traction in wet conditions, and placing them on the rear will give you more control and reduce fishtailing and hydroplaning.

If I buy just one new tire, where should it be placed?

If a single tire is purchased, it should be paired on the rear axle with the tire having the most tread depth of the other three.

Is it okay to “mix" tire types on my car?

Tires of varying size designations and construction can affect your vehicle’s handling and stability. For the best all-around performance results, your tires should be of the same size, construction (radial, non-radial), load capacity, and speed rating as recommended by the car or tire manufacturer.

Is it important to rotate my tires?

Properly scheduled tire rotation promotes uniform wear for all of the tires on your vehicle. We recommend you have your tires rotated at lease every 6,000 miles. Four-wheel drive vehicles may require rotation more regularly – such as every 4,000 miles. Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s rotation recommendations.

How often should I have my car aligned?

Most experts recommend that you have your vehicle's alignment checked every 10,000 miles or at least once a year.