Tire Basics

Ben Eddings Tire Center

QUALITY TIRES. AMAZING SERVICE. GREAT VALUE.

The tire center at Ben Eddings offers all the top tire brands and models to fit any car, truck, or SUV. Our Certified Service technicians can handle all of your tire repair or replacement needs. If you're shopping for tires, use our convenient online tire shopping tool to find the right tires for your make and model of vehicle. Once you're selected your tires, schedule an appointment online with our service department.

Find Tires Schedule Service Get Service Coupons

TIRE ALIGNMENT & BALANCE

Proper wheel alignment is critical to your tire's life and for the life of your vehicle. Wheels that are not properly aligned can lead to the tread on your tires wearing unevenly, and can cause pulling, handling, or vibration issues while you drive.

Tires and wheels are aligned and balanced from the factory to provide the best overall performance. Adjustments to alignment and/or wheel balance are not necessary on a regular basis, but should be performed if you are having any issues with the vehicle pulling, bump steering or vibration.

What is camber?

Camber is the tilting of the wheels on the vertical axis. The amount of tilt is measure in degrees with optimal being at zero. Too much positive camber causes wear on the outside of the tire and puts excess pressure on the suspension system. Too much negative camber causes wear on the inside of the tire and will also place stress on the suspension system. Unequal camber will result in a pulling or leading of the vehicle.

What is caster?

Caster is the forward or backward tip of the steering axis and influences the directional control of the steering, but does not affect tire wear. Suspension issues, changes to the height of the vehicle, or over-weighting a vehicle and affect the caster. With too little positive caster, steering may be touchy at high speeds and wheel recovery out of turns diminished. If one wheel has more caster than another, a pulling or leading sensation may occur.

TIRE PRESSURE

It is important to maintain your tire pressure for vehicle performance, safety and to help tire wear. As the temperatures change, the pressure in a tire can change. For every 10 degrees of temperature change, there is approximately one (1) PSI rise or fall.

What happens if a tire is under inflated?

  • Signs of irregular or premature wear in your tires
  • Poor road handling
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Overheating, which can lead to a tire blowout

What happens if a tire is over inflated?

  • Signs of irregular or premature wear in your tires
  • Poor road handling
  • Rough or bumpy ride
  • Greater risk from road hazards

How to Check Tire Pressure

You should check your tire pressure regularly; once a month is ideal during colder weather. To determine the proper inflation for your tires, consult the label on the inside of your driver side door. To check your tires, use a quality tire gauge to be accurate with your readings - don't eye ball it. Additionally, do a visual check of your tires as best you can to look for any objects that may be lodged in the wheel treads. If you suspect a problem with your tires, bring your vehicle in to Ben Eddings Service Center for repair or replacement.

What is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System?

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a system designs to warn drivers when a low tire pressure condition exists. A sensor inside the tire measures tire pressure and temperature and transmits the data to the Tire Pressure Monitor. If the pressure is below the manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for tires, a warning indicator will alert the driver.

If the TPMS light comes on and stays solid with a check tire pressure, low tire pressure or similar message, check all tire pressures and adjust as needed. After adding/adjusting pressure, drive the vehicle normal until the light turns off (this can take a couple of miles). If the light does not turn off, bring the vehicle into Ben Eddings Service Center, or nearest vehicle repair center for evaluation. If the TPMS light blinks for more than one minute then appears solid, a diagnostic check of your TPMS system is required.

TIRE WEAR

There are many factors that can cause uneven tire wear such as your driving style, road conditions and tire maintenance habits. Tire replacement is needed when the tire tread indicator appears. This indicator is a narrow strip of smooth rubber across the tread that becomes visible as the tire surface wears. The below examples of tire wear are additional indicators of tire replacement and/or additional vehicle work being needed.

Tire Toe Wear

Toe Wear

Toe wear is identified by a feathered wear pattern on the inner or outer edges of a tire. This typically indicates a wheel alignment issue.

Tire Camber Wear

Camber Wear

An uneven wear on one side of a tire is an indication that a tire is leaning due to camber being out of alignment.

Tire Center Wear

Center Wear

Center wear occurs when a tire is over-inflated causing the center tread of the tire to wear more quickly.

Tire Edge Wear

Edge Wear

Edge wear occurs when a tire is under inflated causing the edges of a tire to wear more quickly.

Tire Cupping Wear

Cupping Wear

Cupping in tires is identified by diagonal scalloped wear patterns on the tire. This often occurs when the suspension is worn, bent or somehow compromised. This can also occur if a tire is out of balance.

TIRE ROTATION

Regular tire rotation will extent the life of your tires and will improve your vehicle's performance. Each vehicle is designed to perform a specific task, such as steering in the front vs rear wheel drive. This can cause tires to wear at irregular rates. Tire rotation, as part of regular tire maintenance, will help your tires wear uniformly. It's recommended that tires be rotated every 7,500 miles.

Note: If you vehicle has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) it will need to be reset after a tire rotation.

WHEN TO REPLACE TIRES

Tire Tread Depth

In most tires, tread wear indicators will appear when there is 2/32 inch or less of tread remaining. When these indicators are visible, or equal to the top of the existing tread, you should replace your tires. Additional signs your tires need to be replaced include:

  • You can see three or more tread wear indicators around the tire
  • The tire cord or fabric is showing through the rubber
  • There are cracks, cuts, or snags deep enough to show the cord or fabric
  • The tire has a bulge or split
  • The tire has a puncture, cut or other damage that can't be repaired

Measuring Tread Depth

There are many digital and mechanical tread depth gauges available to check your tire tread depth from 0 to 19/32 inch. Alternatively, you can use the penny test. Place a penny upside down in the tread of the tire. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head, the treads are worn and tire replacement is needed.