Tire Maintenance Articles
- Taking care of your tires
- Check your tires
- Tire Service
- GM Tire Protection Plan
Manufacturers provide detailed specifications on each replacement tire, making tire selection easier.
Taking Care of Your Tires
The key to prolonging the life of your tires is properly maintaining them. This means knowing when and how to look for problems.
Regular tire inspection is the best way to increase your vehicle's fuel efficiency, reduce harmful emissions, save money and most importantly, make your vehicle safer. It's also easy, here's how:
- Check your tire pressure at least once a month with a good tire gauge. You can read more about tire pressure here.
- If there is unusual tire wear, vehicle pull or vibration is noticed, have alignment and wheel balance checked.
- Rotate your tires regularly.
- Monitor treadwear and replace worn tires.
- Visually scan tires whenever possible for foreign matter in the tread, or other objects that could cause leaks.
Check Your Tires
As a general rule, you should check your tires at least once a month and before any extended road trips. Finding out you have a problem early will save you time, effort and more importantly money down the road.
A good visual inspection of your tires takes only a moment, if you know how. Finding a problem doesn't mean the tire is ready for replacement, sometimes the problem is minor and can be corrected, keeping the tire in service longer.
- Inspect your tires frequently for stones, bits of glass, metal or other foreign bodies that could puncture or otherwise damage your tire.
- Check your tires' built in "wear bars". These are narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread. When the tread is worn to the level of these bars, you know it is time to replace the worn tire.
- Check the tread: if it is worn down to less than 1.6 mm (2/32 of an inch), tires must be replaced.
- Check your tires' air pressure regularly. If any tire continually needs filling, the tire or valve could be damaged. For more information on tire air pressure and inflation, please click here.
Knowing the Signs
How do you know when there is a problem with your tires? Knowing what to look for is a great way to find out.
Examine your tires and look out for the following signs of damage:
- Excessive inner or outer edge tread wear - indicates possible alignment problem
- Excessive centre or shouldertread wear - indicates possible inflation problem
- Patchy tread wear patterns - indicates possible balancing problem
- Diagonal tread wear patterns - suggests possible worn-out suspension components
Be sure to also look for any unusual tears, abrasions, nicks, or cuts in the tread or sidewall. Any of these could lead to tire failure, or tire blow out.
In some cases, the tires themselves are not the problem, however they can alert you to greater problems, which need to be addressed.
Balance issue: An unbalanced wheel and tire assembly may create an abnormal vibration on smooth roads and can lead to irregular tread wear.
Alignment issue: Misaligned front or rear wheels, malfunctioning brakes or shock absorbers, bent wheels, and other mechanical problems can cause uneven and rapid tread wear and should be corrected by a qualified Goodwrench Technician.
Rotation issue: Tires should be rotated every 8,000 to 13,000 km (5,000 - 8,000 miles) to prevent irregular tire wear. For the average Canadian driver, this means having your tires rotated every 6 months.
Consult your owner's manual to confirm your vehicle's rotation configuration schedule and click here for a more detailed look at your vehicle's maintenance schedule.
Riding on Air
How important is tire inflation to your vehicle? Considering tires are your first and only contact with the road, proper and correct inflation is vital to the optimal performance of your vehicle and your personal safety.
Check the inflation, measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) of each tire at least once a month using a good quality pocket-type gauge. This is the only way to check your tire's air pressure. You cannot tell if your tires are properly inflated by simply looking at them.
The proper tire pressure for your vehicle can be found on the information placard, which is located on the inside edge of the driver's door frame. Consult your owner's manual for more information.
How to Check and Adjust Air Pressure
Find the recommended inflation pressure for your tires on the vehicle information placard. For most GM vehicles, the tire inflation placard will be found on the driver's door or centre pillar near the door latch. Check your owner's manual for its exact location.
Tire pressure should always be measured when tires are cold. This means your vehicle should be stationary for at least three hours or has not been driven more than 2 km.
Remove valve cap from tire, press tire gauge onto valve and take pressure reading.
Add or remove air to achieve recommended air pressure. If you need to reduce pressure, release air by depressing the metal stem at the centre of the valve and re-measure. If more air is needed, take note of the pressure reading, take a second reading and then add air.
Replace valve cap and repeat for remaining tires, including your spare.
Never Over. Never Under.
Over inflation of a tire is as harmful as under inflation. That's why knowing your vehicle's tires' exact recommended air pressure figure is important.
Too much air can cause the following:
- Unusual wear
- Poor handling
- A rough ride
Likewise, too little air can also cause problems:
- Too much flexing
- Tire overload
- Unusual wear
- Reduced handling
- Reduced fuel economy
Keep Your Tires Rolling
Selecting the right tires for your vehicle as well as regularly monitoring their performance will only take you and your vehicle so far. There comes a time in the life of your tires when a qualified GM Goodwrench technician needs to step in.
Understanding when you need to bring your vehicle into a GM Goodwrench dealer is a great way to prolong the lifespan of your tires. Understanding why you need to have your tires checked professionally is equally important.
Proper alignment is a key component to prolonging the life of your tires. If your vehicle is misaligned, it can cause your tires to wear unevenly and you may experience handling problems like "pulling" or abnormal vibration.
Because rear wheel and front wheel tires experience varying stresses, rotation is important to ensure even wear. This means switching your tires' position on your vehicle. Doing so will prolong the life of your tires and will reduce the risk of sudden tire failure.
If your vehicle is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, it will need to be reset once tire rotation is complete.
Generally speaking, tire manufacturers recommend your tires be rotated every 8,000 to 13,000 km (5,000 - 8,000 miles). However, if at any time you notice any unusual wear, your tires should be checked by a qualified GM Goodwrench technician.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Many new GM vehicles now come equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring system (TPMS), which automatically detects and alerts the driver when there is an increase or decrease in tire pressure. This system will need to be reset when tires are rotated. Speak to a GM Goodwrench technician for help.
Finally, your tires should be balanced. If they are out of balance, you may feel a pounding or shaking though the steering wheel or your seat. This can shorten the lifespan of your suspension components as well as your tires. This can also increase fuel consumption.
To schedule a service appointment with your local GM Goodwrench dealer, click here.
GM Tire Protection Plan
Because You Never Know
Proper tire maintenance and spotting problems early on are great ways to keep your vehicle in good shape. But flats and road hazards do happen. That's why GM offers the GM Tire Protection Plan.
Tire road hazard failures can be frustrating and costly. The GM Tire Protection Plan (GMTPP) will help defray most of your out of pocket cost for potential repairs or even replacement of your vehicle's tires.
Here are some of the features of the GM Tire Protection Plan:
- Covers the damages to your tires due to road hazard conditions (nails, pot holes, etc.) that result in the tire no longer being able to hold air or be safely operated.
- Coverage up to $40 for each tire repair*
- Coverage up to $399 for each tire replacement*
- Covers all eligible tires on your vehicle throughout the term provided.
- Provides up to $75 reimbursement for road side service and towing.*
- There is a liability limit of $2,000 per term*
- Offers three different terms to match your driving habits:
- 3 Year Term
- 4 Year Term
- 5 Year Term
- All with unlimited Kilometres!
The Plan's Major Benefits
- Cost protection from tire repairs and/or replacements, including protection from inflationary price increases during the selected term.
- The GM Tire Protection Plan is supported by General Motors and its more than 8,000 dealers across Canada and the U.S.
- Keep your vehicle in factory-new and safe condition with replacement tires of the same make and model as your originals**.
*Inclusive of all applicable taxes.
**Or comparable quality tires if original make and model not available.