Common Questions

Common questions

When should tires and wheels be balanced?

The first time new tires are mounted on wheels. Any time a tire is changed, for that matter. At the first sign of any vibration or unusual tread wear.

How important are wheel alignments?

Proper wheel alignment is crucial for even tread wear and accurate steering. Front and rear tires should be checked regularly for any sign of uneven wear. Pay attention to any changes in how the tires “handle,” or in steering response. This could mean the tires haven’t been properly aligned.

What exactly is wheel alignment?

A wheel alignment means adjusting the wheels to optimize ground contact and rolling resistance for the vehicle. This results in all suspension and steering components running efficiently and longer tire life.

How can car maintenance increase tire life?

Improper alignment leads to excessive and unnecessary tire wear. You might also notice an increase in your fuel consumption if your wheels haven’t been properly aligned.

How can you safely fix a flat?

First, the tire must be removed. Next, you can try repairing the flat with a patch, or replacing the tire. If you replace it, you must make sure it’s with the same size and type of tire.

Where is the best spot to store tires?

In plastic bags in your garage will do. Simply make sure you stack them on a smooth, oil-free floor. Plastic tire storage bags are usually available at tire retailers or mechanics, and you’ll find they’re quite practical. Make sure wherever you stack them is cool, clean, dry, doesn’t get any sun, and is out of the way of any strong drafts or electrical transformers, motors, or fuse panels (eg: central vacuum canisters.)

Is it really necessary to rotate your tires?

Yes, it really is. In order for all 4 tires to wear evenly, you must rotate your tires regularly. Consult your owner’s manual for tips and any special recommendations for your vehicle.

Do you always need to replace current tires with tires that are the same size?

99.9% of the time the answer is yes. Tires should always be replaced with the same size designation, or an authorized option (that’s the.1%), as recommended by your vehicle’s or the tire’s manufacturer. One thing is 100% certain: never choose a smaller size than those that came with the car.

What should you watch for when driving on new tires?

Drive extra carefully until you’re completely familiar and comfortable with how new tires perform and handle on the road. Pay particular attention when braking, accelerating, cornering, or in rainy and/or snowy conditions—these are the times when you’ll really notice the difference.

How much air do tires need?

Recommended tire pressure and size for both front and rear tires are clearly marked on the tire plaque that’s affixed to the vehicle. Be very careful when “plus” sizing a vehicle: the inflation pressure will change to take into account the decreased air volume available in order to continue to meet the minimum load carrying capacity stated for that vehicle.

Why is proper tire inflation so important?

Keeping your tires at the recommended pressure puts efficiency—and safety—first. Properly inflated tires don’t overheat, they last longer, and they help you get better gas mileage. Plus, all tire specs and requirements are developed to work with your vehicle’s other suspension, steering and body components to ensure maximum comfort, safety, handling, and braking efficiency.

How can you tell how old a tire is?

North American standards require that certain information be clear and visible. Regulations stipulate a rating on the tire sidewall that includes the manufacture date.

What should you look for when inspecting tires?

You’re looking for signs of uneven wear, both on the tread and the sidewall. And you should be doing this visual inspection at least once a month.

What factors should you consider when selecting tires?

First of all, you have to check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or the tire plaquard typically stuck to the inside driver door. Either will specify tire size for your vehicle. Above and beyond that, you’ll need to take climate, road conditions where you live, as well as your driving style into consideration in order to make a truly informed choice.

Can you “mix” tire sizes on your car?

It’s always best for performance and safety to keep all 4 wheels the same size, type and brand. But if you do decide to mix, size can differ from front to rear, but never mix sizes on the same axle.

What should you do if you start to notice a vibration?

Vibration indicates that your car needs looking at. The tires and suspension should be checked to determine the possible cause as well as the solution.

Is it true that out-of-balance wheels can drastically reduce the life of your tires?

Yes. In order for tires to run properly, the weight of each tire and the wheel assembly must be distributed evenly. Wheels that are out of balance can lead to tires wearing out thousands of kilometres too soon.

Does how you drive affect the life of your tires?

Your driving style may actually extend the life of your tires! First of all, always make sure you accelerate, brake and turn smoothly and carefully. Avoid sudden starts and stops or careening around corners. Pay attention to what’s on the road: stay out of the way of obstacles like glass, potholes – even the curb! – as much as possible. And finally, slow down! And don’t spin your wheels. These last two generate a lot of heat that wears out your tires.

What’s all the fuss about Nitrogen inflation?

Nitrogen is an inert, dry gas. Its high level of stability makes your tires less sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Nitrogen inflation helps keep pressure constant, and allows tires to run cooler in all kinds of weather. Heat kills tires.

Is spinning your tires bad?

Spinning the tires generates a significant amount of heat. And that heat can not only damage your tires, it might even make them burst! No matter how badly you’re stuck, avoid spinning your tires. Instead, use an anti-spin device or call an emergency vehicle. You may have to wait, but your tires will thank you in the long run.

Is it O.K. to buy used tires?

Just like buying a used car… let the buyer beware! And in this case, the buyer is you! And again just like a used car, used tires may have damage that isn’t immediately apparent. If you do decide to go the used route, make sure you buy from a reputable dealer, like an OK Tire dealer. Your safety may depend on it!

Can you install your tires yourself?

Tire mounting is best done by a professional using specialized equipment. By installing them yourself, you risk damaging the tires and rims. You could even risk serious injury if the tire bursts. Don’t skimp on safety… see your OK Tire Dealer.

Let’s say you can only buy two new tires – where should they be installed?

The best tires should always be on the rear of the vehicle, for front-wheel or rear-wheel drive, new tires should always be installed on the back axle.

Do tires need to be cleaned?

Always keep your tires clean to avoid damaging them. Several great products are available specifically for cleaning tires.

What’s the difference between the “old” snow tire and the “new” winter tire?

The key differences between the two are in the tread design and rubber compound of the tire.

The old snow tires were designed for good traction in snow and ice conditions. Traction was dependent on the tire being able to grab ice and snow and throw it as the tire turned. Old tire designs were big, chunky and had wide grooves. While these tires performed well on snow, they tended to be unstable on pavement, caused drifting, wore quickly and were quite loud.

The new winter tire’s tread is less bulky and better designed providing a quieter ride, very little drifting, good grip on pavement, long wear characteristics, and – last but not least – good ice and snow traction.

Research and technology has greatly changed the effectiveness of the winter tire. Snow tires have always been made of a softer rubber compound that stayed flexible in colder temperatures but when the weather dropped below 7 degrees celsius, the rubber would harden and lose its ability to grip, like a hockey puck skimming across ice. New compounds in winter tires maintain their softness and grip in up to -45 degrees celsius and are proven to have a shorter stopping distance.