Even with all the technological advances that the automobile industry has developed to make vehicles safer and more secure, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed since the days of the Ford Model A: tires are the only parts that touch the road.
That means that tires are still the some of the most important components of your vehicle. And that means that regular tire maintenance during a speedy oil change is one of the best ways to make sure that your automobile is operating in as safe a manner as possible.
But you’ve probably heard all that before from your speedy oil change technician. And you’ve probably heard from that speedy oil change technician that rotating your tires regularly is essential to keeping your tires running at the optimal level. Getting regular tire rotations is an easy maintenance procedure that can be done during a speedy oil change and can help a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, increase the level of safety, and lengthen the life of your tires.
But what does “tire rotation” actually mean? What does it do? After all, don’t tires rotate all the time when the vehicle is in motion?
Yes, they do. But that’s not really what “tire rotation,” as it is called during a speedy oil change, means. Tire rotation simply means speedy oil change technicians swap your front tires for your back ones. The rims aren’t removed, and no new tires are added. Some cars, like certain sports cars and hot rods, have rear tires that are larger and different from the front. So tire rotation at a speedy oil change is unavailable for those vehicles. But if you have a normal car, truck or SUV, then getting a tire rotation at your next auto change service should not be a problem.
But why should do you this? Why does the simple swapping of tires during a speedy oil change help those tires last longer? And why is it safer? Aren’t you just using the same old tires?
Yes you are. But keep in mind that most vehicles are either front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive. A car that features a front-wheel drive will demand more from the front tires because things like acceleration and braking all fall on the front tires. Since they do all the work, they’ll get more wear and tear than the tires in back, which are allowed to take it easy. Rear-wheel drives, of course, experience the opposite situation, where the back pair takes the brunt of abuse.
And tire rotation during a speedy oil change can even benefit four-wheel drive vehicles. Even though there’s a more even division of labor between the wheels on a four-wheel drive, there are still significant differences in the way front tires operate when compared to the back tires. And it’s a good idea to swap sides as well, as tires can experience wear depending on which side of the vehicle they’re on. That’s why most speedy oil change technicians will swap sides when they move the back tires to the front.
Most speedy oil change centers also offer low-cost or free tire rotation services for the entire life of your vehicle’s tires. These programs are usually a good idea. Speedy oil change and tire dealers want your business, so they’ll often give you breaks on things like tire rotation service. You might have to pay more if you’re still using the original tires that came with your vehicle, but those should be able to be rotated with a speedy oil change.
So how often should you have your vehicle’s tires rotated? The consensus from speedy oil change technicians seems to be that if you are using synthetic oil, which requires less frequent changes, then a tire rotation at every speedy oil change will keep your tires healthy and your car safe. If you’re using regular petroleum-based oil, then every other speedy oil change will do. In other words, you should have your tires rotated anywhere between 6,000 to 10,000 miles.
These standards are usually adhered to when you schedule regular service checks with your speedy oil change center or dealership. Since they may keep track of your mileage and your service schedule, you won’t have to worry too much about your tire rotation schedule.
One easy additional automobile service that should be performed with every tire rotation at a speedy oil change is checking the tire pressure. The raising and lowering of surrounding air temperature, like the changes that take place in the summer and winter, will often make the air pressure in the tires increase or decrease. These fluctuations can cause strain on a vehicle’s tires and, if left unchecked, can lead to tire failure. But not all tires will lose pressure at the same rate. Again, factors like the tire’s placement on the car (on the front as opposed to the rear) and the amount of wear of the tire can also affect the internal pressure of that particular tire. In other words, you may have three tires with an adequate pressure and one that’s in need of some air. A tire with less than optimal tire pressure can create a dip in fuel efficiency, thus a greater chance of tire puncture and dangerous situations like insufficient car handling and breaking.
If you think that your car’s tires may not have optimal tire pressure, the good news is that checking tire pressure can easily be done at home or at any speedy oil change center. All that is required is a tire gauge that can be bought at most hardware and drug stores for just a couple of bucks.
But new tires aren’t cheap. A set of four tires can set you back $250 to $800 depending on your vehicle’s specifications, which is why it is important to extend the life of your tires. An average car will have to have its tires changed every 30,000 to 75,000 miles, which usually means getting a new set of tires every two to four years.
So how do you know when it is time to get a new set of tires? Most speedy oil change service technicians will recommend a decidedly easy and low-tech test. Take a penny and stick it into one of your tire’s treads with Lincoln’s head going in first. If you can still see the top of his head, it means less than 2/32″ of tread depth is remaining and it is time to get a new set of tires.
When you get your tires rotated, your speedy oil change service technicians get the chance to glimpse inside your car and discover any other important automotive issues such as suspension problems. If your speedy oil change service technician finds uneven tread along your tires, it could mean a vehicle’s improper alignment or some other steering problem.
Regular tire rotation and general tire maintenance can result in a healthier car that enjoys a long and efficient life. You’ll also have peace of mind, knowing that you are doing all you can to keep your vehicle running safely.