5 Tips to Prepare Your Tires for Spring Driving

Winter can be rough on your tires, so it’s important to be proactive to avoid tire problems in the spring.

Swap Out Winter Tires

Some tires are designed to handle slippery driving conditions better than others, especially in rainy spring weather. Commercial tires have special grooves that direct water out of the tread to improve traction while braking on wet roadways.

While winter tires and chains can provide stability in snow and ice, they should be properly stored to preserve them during the off season. And using winter tires out of season could accelerate wear and tear.

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Inspect Tire Treads

You should check your tire tread every 3,000 miles. The U.S. Department of Transportation mandates tire tread be at least 4/32 inches; anything less should be replaced. Low tire tread won’t provide enough grip on wet, slippery roads and may increase your risk of hydroplaning and decrease fuel efficiency.

There are several ways to check your tire tread depth:

Penny test: Stick a penny into the groove of your tire with Lincoln’s face positioned toward you and his head pointed downward. If you see all of his head, it’s time for new tires.

Tread depth gauge: Measure the circumferential grooves by placing the driver of the tire gauge into the tread until the flat tabs rest against the tire. The measurement portion on the opposite end of the gauge will show the tread depth.

Tread wear indicators: Some commercial tires have indicator marks printed next to the tread grooves. Once the tread measures even with that indicator, it’s time to replace the tire.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Underinflation is one of the most common causes of tire failure, and temperature changes can affect air pressure. Before driving, you should check tire pressure during your pre-trip inspection. Doing so lets you get a proper reading before your tires heat up. Be careful not to fill your tires with too much air, as warmer weather could make them expand and overinflate.

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Watch for Wheel Misalignment and Poor Tire Rotation

Potholes can make for rough driving conditions and throw off your alignment.

Here are some signs of misalignment:

  • Pulling to one side while driving
  • Uneven or accelerated tread wear
  • Steering wheel vibrations
  • A crooked steering wheel while driving straight
  • Squealing tires
  • Vibrations at speeds faster than 45 miles per hour

Unless your vehicle shows symptoms of misalignment, you should have your wheels aligned every 10,000 to 15,000 miles and your tires rotated every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. Your commercial vehicle may require more frequent service if you regularly drive longer hauls over rough roads.

Schedule Commercial Tire Service at Bauer Built

Bauer Built’s expert tire services eliminate any guesswork in commercial tire maintenance. Our tire technicians are well-versed in diagnosing and repairing commercial tires and wheel ends. We offer a mounted wheel program and wheel reconditioning services to maximize your cost-per-mile savings and extend the life of your rims.

Our commercial truck services also cover inspections, alignment, suspension and brakes. We offer computerized wheel balancing and alignment to ensure your commercial tires are mounted with precision for peak performance on the road.

Request commercial tire service or find a Bauer Built location near you for more service information.

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