You may carefully follow all manufacturer specifications on taking care of your automobile, including your oil changes, transmission servicing, air-conditioning servicing, and even had your fuel system serviced on a regular basis, but did you remember that each rim and tire also needs regular maintenance?
Each rim and tire helps support the weight of your vehicle and if they're under inflated, over inflated, or worn out, can cause problems in your suspension. An under inflated tire will cause more of a drag on your vehicle, periodically check the tire pressure and examine your rims for damage, loss of balancing weights, and uneven tread wear. Uneven tire pressure puts undue stress on your suspension system, which is another reason to be sure all your tires are filled to manufacturer specifications.
Periodically examine your rims for damage including cracks and dents. A cracked or bent rim will produce an uneven seal between your rim and tire allowing air to escape. You may notice you're constantly adding air to your tire or, that your car wobbles, shudders, or vibrates going down the road. Any of these can indicate a damaged tire rim and should be inspected by a qualified individual.
If you lose a balancing weight on the wheel, you may notice your steering wheel shudders, or vibrates. Balancing tires is a way to keep the effect of the high speed revolutions of your rim and tire the same on all four wheels. This is usually achieved by attaching lead weights to your wheel -- the balancing weight -- and should you lose one, you'll need to head for a tire service center to a new weight. If you need a new balance weight, it may be wise to have a complete rotation and balancing performed, especially if you may have traveled some distance after losing the balance weight, so that your tire wear is evened out.
When you inspect your rim and tire and you notice uneven wear it may indicate problems in alignment, balancing and even your. The cause of the uneven tire wear needs to be detected and resolved as soon as possible. Your tie rods, ball joints, and connecting rods can fail and you can lose a wheel while going down the road, causing you to come to a sudden halt or slide across the pavement showering sparks.
Tire wear is a great indicator of suspension health, tire and rim health, and of course, alignment and balancing. While you do regular servicing on all other systems within your car, be sure to have your tires and rims rotated, balanced, and have your suspension regularly checked at manufacturer-suggested intervals.
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