A vehicle's tyres are important for safety when driving, as old and worn tyres can allow the vehicle to slip and slide all over the road, especially when you apply the brakes. Tyres also cushion a vehicle, reducing wear and tear on the axles, springs, struts and other such important pieces under the hood. Since your car's tyres are so important for the vehicle itself, note a few important tips for when you're ready to shop for new tyres to ensure they're always in good repair and that you get the most life out of your tyres as well.

Balancing and alignment

Never assume that new tyres don't need to be balanced and aligned, even if you buy four new tyres at once, and even if they're all the same model and size. A small difference in the weight of the rubber of one tyre can cause drag and pulling, which then means added wear and tear on all the tyres. Balancing the tyres will prevent this damage. Your vehicle's alignment is also affected by the tie rods, rims and other parts of the vehicle, not just the tyres themselves, so even a new set of tyres may need an alignment once they're installed.

Breaking in your new tyres

The rubber of new tyres may be very hard and brittle and may need some time to soften. Try to avoid hard braking, sudden acceleration, and driving on gravel roads soon after the tyres are installed to give that rubber a chance to get softer and less brittle. This may reduce the risk of added wear on those tyres, and even of cracking and other such damage.

When to replace tyres

Never wait until tyres are worn, cracked, bulging or otherwise showing damage before you replace them. This damage can mean that the tyre is at risk of a blowout, and it can also cause skidding and sliding, as mentioned. Note, too, that tyres have an expected lifespan, but you may put added wear and tear on your tyres by driving them over gravel roads, salted roads, or very hot asphalt, all of which can damage the rubber of the tyres. Lots of sudden starts or strong braking can also damage the rubber of the tyres, causing the tread to wear down more quickly than it should. Rather than thinking your tyres won't need replacing until after a certain timeframe, check them often for signs of wear and needed replacement to ensure you're safe on the road.