Extending the life of your tires

It’s extremely important to take good care of your tires, and the easiest way to do it is to keep them aired up to the proper pressure. We know you’ve heard it before, maybe from your dad, maybe from your auto repair technician, maybe on a commercial. But that doesn’t make it any less true!

Your tires are your first line of defense in vehicle safety, for you and your passengers. They’re (hopefully) the only part of your car connecting it to the ground, think about the relevance of that. When you apply your brakes to stop or slow down the car, your tires are just as responsible for making the car respond as your brake system is.

On the outside of every tire is the Department of Transportation number. It will begin with the letters DOT and may contain up to 12 additional numbers & letters. The first & last digits are the most imporant as the first 2 letters/numbers identify the tire manufacturer. The last 3 or 4 digits represent when the tires were produced- now this is really important as age has a major impact on your tire’s ability to keep you safe.

  • Prior to the year 2000, the last 3 digits of a DOT number represented the week (2 digits) and the year (1 digit) of production. So if the last 3 digits are 439, the tire was produced in the 43rd week of 1999.
  • Tires produced after January 1, 2000, have a 4-digit date code at the end of the DOT number. So, 3500 indicates the tire was produced in the 35th week of the year 2000.
  • If your tires are over 5 years you should have them checked as your risk of tire separation or having a blow-out increases.

Aside from the safety aspect, keeping consistent & proper tire pressure will lower your gas mileage! This is due to what’s called rolling resistance. Its the same thing as trying to ride a bike with low tires, it’s harder to pedal the bike because your tires are soft & floppy. Well if your tires are low on your vehicle then it has to work harder, thus burning more gas. Keep a tire pressure guage in your glove box & check your tire pressure every other time you fill up for gas. You can find your recommended tire pressure on a sticker inside the driver’s side door frame.

At Sallas Auto Repair we’re sticklers for good tire maintenance, and will air up your tires at every oil change or repair. We also offer an optional Road Hazard Plan for every tire you purchase through us, where we supply a nationwide warranty on flat repairs, failures or blowouts*. Call us or stop by to find out more about how you can keep your vehicle’s first line of defense in the best shape possible.