Service technician installing a new tire

Tires

How much thought do you give to your tires? Most people don’t think twice about them unless they’re stuck on the side of the road with a flat or see a low tire pressure warning on the dashboard. Tires, however, deserve more thought than this since they’re essential to our safety behind the wheel.

At Duke Chevrolet GMC, we can help with all your tire needs, from routine maintenance that extends their longevity and heightens your car’s performance to helping you shop for a new set of tires that matches your driving style and needs. Our technicians are factory-trained and certified, and you have a front-row seat to their expertise and ever-growing knowledge of all things tire-related. Add in the convenience of our state-of-the-art service center, and it’s easy to see why we’re the most trusted tire center in the region.

You don’t have to wait for a flat tire or blowout to trust us with your tire needs. Our work and partnership with you start now. We’re committed to ensuring you get the most from your vehicle, especially your tires. Join us as we share our insights into tire maintenance and wear, including the importance of routine services, warning signs to look for, and what you can expect from our extraordinary team.

A close up shows a silver vehicle during a tire alignment.

Wheel Alignment

Did you know that having your tires balanced and wheels aligned are essential services that extend their longevity and improve your vehicle’s performance? Tire rotations also fall into this category and are part of what we call preventative maintenance. These services help you get the most from your tires, from how they’re balanced to how they’re aligned with the suspension.

While tire balancing focuses on the weight of each tire, aligning the wheels focuses on the suspension. During this service, our technicians look at the position of the wheels relative to the suspension by measuring the camber, toe, and caster angles. Every manufacturer outlines the ideal angles for each model, making it easy for our technicians to determine the necessary adjustments for optimal performance.

Your vehicle has several ways to let you know it’s time for an alignment. For example, you may notice the tread on your tires is wearing unevenly. More obviously, your vehicle may pull to one side when you take your hands off the wheel or have an off-center steering wheel even when driving in a straight line. Cars should have their alignment checked at least once a year because daily use will slowly push a vehicle out of alignment.

Tire Balance

The weight of your tires affects how your vehicle handles, meaning an imbalanced or uneven weight distribution can lead to excessive tread wear and even damage to the suspension. These costly repairs can be avoided when you know the signs your tires need balancing and have a team like ours ready to handle the job.

To balance your tires, our technicians mount each tire onto a balance machine to determine the ideal weight distribution. The machine rotates the tire at high speed and uses lasers to measure any wobble or vibration before telling our technicians precisely how much weight is needed to balance the tires. When tires are perfectly balanced, the suspension performs effortlessly, ride quality is improved, and the tread wears evenly.

How do you know when it’s time to balance your tires? You may notice the tread wearing unevenly, which can also indicate it’s time for an alignment. However, unbalanced tires are mostly easily recognized by vibrations in the steering wheel, seat, or floorboard as you drive at higher speeds. The most common reasons to need a tire rebalanced are if it has lost a tire weight or had a flat repaired.

A technician is shown inflating the tire on a blue 2023 Chevy Bolt EV.

Tire Pressure

Advancements in the automotive industry are responsible for innovative tools like tire pressure monitoring systems. Your vehicle's tire pressure monitoring system offers more convenience than a manual tire gauge. Accessing the information can be as straightforward as navigating your vehicle’s driver information center to find the current air pressure in each tire.

The tire pressure monitoring system relies on sensors to monitor the air pressure in your tires, but sometimes those sensors can fail. When this happens, you may notice that the tire pressure alert frequently notifies you of low tire pressure even when your tires are aired according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Fortunately, repairing the sensor is easy, with our technicians running a diagnostic test to determine the cause of the issue and the most effective repair, which is often a quick replacement.

Ignoring a problematic tire pressure monitoring system or failed tire pressure sensors can be hazardous and create unsafe driving conditions. When the system malfunctions, the only way to monitor the pressure in your tires is with a tire gauge. As a result, you may not realize when you’re driving on under or over-inflated tires.

Tire Rotation

Did you know that each tire on your vehicle has a specific job? While we don’t often think about our tires individually, it makes sense when you think about drivetrains. Cars come in front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive, which reveals more about how our tires work. For example, front-wheel drive vehicles require the front wheels to handle most of the work, while rear-wheel drive vehicles move those demands to the rear tires. Alternatively, all-wheel drive vehicles distribute the work across all four wheels to optimize traction in any condition.

What does this have to do with routine tire rotations? The tread on your tires wears differently because of each tire’s specific job. By leaving each tire in the same position, they wear unevenly, shortening their lifespan. Routine tire rotations mitigate this issue as our technicians rotate your tires in a specific pattern based on the drivetrain to promote even tread wear and extend the life of your tires.

A shot of the back of a service technician, repairing a tire

What Causes Tire Wear?

If you’ve ever purchased a new set of tires, you know they’re an investment. However, considering tires are your vehicle’s only point of contact with the road, buying a set of quality tires that match your driving needs and heighten your safety behind the wheel is essential. Moreover, it’s also important to know how to get the most from your tires by understanding what causes tire wear and how to proactively minimize that wear by being situationally aware.

A technician is shown checking tire pressure.

Tire Pressure

One of the most common culprits of tire wear is improper inflation. Automakers outline the recommended tire pressure for every vehicle in their lineup. This recommended pressure accounts for the vehicle’s weight and is designed to optimize performance, ride quality, and fuel economy. Overinflation and underinflation can cause uneven tire wear, reducing the life of your tires.

Tire Types

There are many types of tires, from all-terrain tires and mud tires to winter tires and summer tires. This variety showcases that everyone has unique driving styles and different performance needs. Moreover, it reveals how our driving habits can impact how fast our tires wear. For example, performance tires are better suited to high speeds but will have short lives in cold temperatures, while mud-terrain tires are great off-road but don't last long on the highway.

Improper Alignment

Your tires can also prematurely wear because they’re out of alignment. This misalignment can reveal itself in several ways, from feathered edges along your tires to excessive wear on one shoulder but not the other. Fortunately, mitigating the issue is easy, with our team providing wheel alignments from the convenience of our state-of-the-art service center.

A technician is shown using an impact wrench.

When to Replace Tires?

Did you know driving on bald tires is illegal as well as being extremely dangerous? The minimum legal tread depth is 2/32 inches, an established limit designed to ensure your safety on the road. So, how do you know when your tires need to be replaced?

Most tires feature tread wear indicator bars in the tread that, when flush with the surface of the tire, signify it’s time to replace your tires. In other cases, you may notice that a tire is damaged, whether there’s a puncture, split, or bulge that can’t be safely repaired. Sometimes, tire wear can be so severe that you see fabric or cord through the rubber.

Luckily, replacing your tires is hassle-free at our tire center because of our expert technicians and our commitment to integrity and transparency. Before you start shopping for new tires, we’ll explain the condition of your tires and why they can’t be repaired safely. From there, we’ll help you shop for the most suitable tires based on your driving, performance, and budget needs.

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Duke Automotive Corp. 36.7581, -76.586.