All drivers want peak performance from their tires as they are an additional costly investment to the vehicle. Just as you have your oil changed with frequency, you should also have your tires checked to help reduce accidents, save gasoline and keep your tires going longer.

How can I tell if my vehicle needs new tires?

While there are certainly a number of visual cues when determining if your tires are in proper operating condition (don't forget your spare!), as part of a complete maintenance inspection, you should have the below tire safety items checked by a certified technician. Before replacing your tires, be sure to consult with your owner's manual and follow the vehicle's manufacturer recommendations, as vehicle handling may be affected by a change in tire size or type.In addition, did you know that tire age is an important factor in tire safety? When it comes to determining the age of a tire, it is easy to identify when a tire was manufactured by reading its Tire Identification Code (serial number). Unlike vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and the serial numbers used on many other consumer goods (which identify a specific item), the Tire Identification Codes are really batch codes that identify which week and year the tire was produced.

Tire Codes After 2000: 

The week and year the tire was manufactured is contained in the last four digits of the series, with 2 digits used to identify the week a tire was manufactured immediately preceding digits identifying the year. Example: XXXX XXX 0607 (06, manufactured during the 6th week of the year; 07 is the year it was manufactured)

Tire Codes Prior to 2000: 

Tire Identification Codes were based on the assumption that no tire would be in service for 10 years. They were required to provide the same information, but the last three digits identified the week followed by the year of the decade. Example: XXXX XXX 068 (06, manufactured during the 6th week of the year; 8 is the 8th year of the decade in which it was manufactured)

What can Haller Complete Automotive Repair do to help keep your tires going?

Tire Pressure: Under or over-inflation can result in irregular wear, loss of control and accidents. A tire can lose up to half of its air pressure and not appear to be flat! Please have your tire pressure checked with every oil change. (Recommended air pressure is posted on the driver's door or in the glove compartment.)

Tire Alignment: If your vehicle is pulling to one side or shaking, it may be out of alignment and causing damage to your tires. Have your vehicle checked for proper alignment periodically, especially if you notice driving irregularities.

Tire Rotation: Regular rotation of tires promotes more even wear, which in turn prolongs tire life. The general guideline for tire rotation is every other oil change (or every 6,000 to 7,500 miles), unless otherwise directed by your vehicle or tire manufacturer.

Tire Tread: While the penny test can do the trick if you're in a pinch (legal tread depth is 2/32 of an inch - the exact distance from the tip of Abe's head to the rim of a penny), you may feel more comfortable having your certified technician measure this during an inspection. Note that in many states, it is illegal to drive on tires that are below safe tread depth. All of the parts we install are guaranteed to meet or exceed manufacturer standards, and if you wish, we'll return all of your old parts to you.


Alignment is one of the key maintenance factors in getting the most wear and performance from your tires. In addition, wheel alignment provides safe, predictable vehicle control as well as a smooth and comfortable ride that's free of pulling or vibration. Today's modern suspensions require a precise four-wheel alignment that can only be achieved through a modern alignment system. This applies to both front and rear wheel drive vehicles. While Discount Tire stores do not perform alignment work, the following information should help to explain the importance of proper alignment.

Alignment Basics

Aligning a car or truck involves the adjustment of the vehicle's suspension, not the tires and wheels. The direction and the angles that the tires point in after the alignment is complete, however, are critically important. There are four factors involved in setting the alignment to specification: caster, camber, toe and ride height. The following brief discussion of each aspect will help you understand the process and spot potential problems.

Caster is the angle of the steering axis (the part of the suspension that supports the wheel and tire assembly). Viewed from the side of the vehicle, an imaginary line drawn between the centers of the upper and lower ball joints forms an angle with true vertical; this is defined as caster.  Caster is important to steering feel and high-speed stability.

Viewed from the front of the vehicle, camber describes the inward or outward tilt of the tire. The illustration to the right shows whether this tilt is referred to as positive or negative. The camber adjustment maximizes the tire-to-road contact and takes into account the changes of force when a vehicle is turning. Camber is the one adjustment that can be set according to driving habits. Generally, if you drive more aggressively when cornering, more negative camber can be set. If you drive on highways and do very little hard cornering, more positive camber can be set.

Viewed from above the vehicle, toe describes whether the fronts of the tires are closer (toe-in) or farther (toe-out) apart than the rears of the tires.  Toe settings vary between front and rear wheel drive vehicles. In a front wheel drive vehicle, the front wheels try to pull toward each other when the vehicle is in motion, which requires a compensating toe-out setting. A rear wheel drive vehicle works just the opposite, necessitating a toe-in setting. Stated differently, toe is set to let the tires roll in parallel (at zero toe) when the vehicle is in motion.

Misalignment and Tire Wear

By now you may have concluded that poor tire wear and misalignment are closely related. That is true, of course. But what can be done to minimize this condition? It turns out that many of these misalignment conditions can be easily "read" by your tire dealer; and they can recommend the appropriate solution, which will be "get an alignment." For your assistance, the following illustration will help you see what your tire expert sees. Armed with this knowledge you can check your tires periodically. Remember that a knowledgeable glance at your tires on occasion can pay big dividends.

Worn Parts

Very often a worn suspension part is the cause of an alignment problem. On older vehicles, worn springs can lower a vehicle's ride height, altering its geometry and creating misalignment (all alignment settings refer to ride height). Weak springs can also contribute to uneven or "cupped" tire wear. Another common problem is worn ball joints. The symptoms here are erratic handling, slow steering response, and irregular tire wear. Finally, worn tie rods can allow the tire to wander left to right, effectively changing toe as the vehicle rolls down the road. Irregular feathering will develop on the tire tread when this is the problem. Again, this is not an exhaustive listing, but if you stay alert to these common problems, it may help you schedule an early visit to your mechanic and save on tire wear.

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