A Man with a P.H.D in Rubberology

I recently had the opportunity to meet with the Uniroyal Tire Doctor himself, Roger Stapley. Hes been in the tire industry for over 30 years and had some great information and advice regarding the rubber that connects us to the road.

Being the time of year Roger wanted to talk about spring as it relates to tires, specifically the things that drivers should be aware of in regards to tire maintenance. His discussion can be broken down into three separate categories: balance/rotation, air pressure, and alignment.

RS: The key thing that we like to cover is the question of maintenance because if drivers will maintain their tires properly theyll get much longer life out of them, theyll save on fuel, and theyll have better handling. Theyll have a more comfortable vehicle and inherently a safer vehicle.

AS: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about tire maintenance?

RS: One of the first things I think about is tire balancing.

AS: What happens when your tires are not balanced?

RS: When you reach a speed of 50 to 60 mph you start to get a vibration. If you start to feel a vibration at that speed, thats a pretty good indication that your tires are out of balance. If youre feeling that vibration in the steering wheel its a pretty good chance that your front tires are out of balance. If you feel a vibration in the back seat, theres a pretty good chance that your back tires are out of balance.

AS: How would you fix the problem?

RS: The easy fix for that is to get all four tires balanced at your tire dealer.

AS: How much dies it usually cost?

RS: The average is about $7.00 per tire.

RS: The other thing you think about is perhaps rotating your tires. Some people have winter tires but a lot of people on the coast dont use winter tires, they go with the all season tires. Now is a good time to think about rotating your tires.

AS: What is tire rotation?

RS: Rotating them means taking the tires off and crisscrossing them. For example, the left front goes to the right rear. We recommend a tire rotation every 6,000 miles, and getting the balancing done every second time (every 12,000 miles).