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Reasons Why You Should Not Neglect Your Truck's Wheel and Tire Maintenance

Importance of Truck Wheel and Tire Maintenance

By Jen DemkinPublished about a month ago 5 min read

Pickup trucks boast many capabilities, such as a reliable daily driver, a powerful hauler, or a trusty off-road rig. But just like any other vehicle, it needs proper care to keep it running smoothly and safely. It does not stop at keeping the tires and wheels clean to prolong their life. Caring for these components is typically overlooked, even though they are easy to understand. These vital components can make or break your pickup truck since problems may lead to various issues that may affect performance and compromise safety.

Problems Affecting Wheel and Tire Condition

Based on the reports of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 562 people died because of tire-related crashes in 2022. Failing to do maintenance requirements on your wheels and tires will lead to problems and may harm you, your passengers, or even the vehicles driving nearby. Check out the reasons why keeping them in top shape is essential:

  • Overinflation: The consequence of overinflated tires is reduced traction, a stiffer ride, and uneven wear. Moreover, it can increase the susceptibility to damage or tire punctures from road debris.

  • Underinflation: If the tires of your truck are underinflated, it may lead to uneven wear, overheating, reduced fuel efficiency, and potential blowouts. These issues pose significant hazards that affect your vehicle’s safety.

  • Misalignment: Misaligned wheels can cause steering issues, decreased stability, and uneven tire wear. Whether driving on smooth concrete or rough gravel roads, this issue can impact your truck’s safety and performance.

  • Balancing: Unbalanced wheels cause vibrations, premature tire wear, and steering instability, affecting ride quality and handling. The goal of balancing is to distribute equal weight around the entire circumference of the tire. Out-of-balance wheels and tires cause vibrations while driving, making the ride uncomfortable. It also results in premature wear of suspension parts and steering components.

  • Tread Wear: Insufficient tread depth can lead to reduced traction, increased risk of hydroplaning on wet roads, and expanded braking distances, which may jeopardize your vehicle's safety. Regularly checking the treads is essential to ensure the good condition of the tires. Some tires have small, raised markings within the tire grooves called tread wear indicator bars. You can find them around the tire at different points, which can help you measure how evenly the tread is already worn.

  • Age and Condition: Damaged wheels and aging tires can put you, your passengers, or the stuff you haul with your pickup truck at risk. The rubber compound undergoes chemical changes as the truck tires age, resulting in decreased flexibility and stiffness. You are putting your vehicle in danger since it can lead to various safety hazards, including decreased traction, longer braking distance, blowouts, tread separation, and loss of control while driving. Whether you use highway or off-road tires, taking note of the age is important, so you will have an idea of when they’re already at the end of their life and showing signs of deterioration.

The Price of Neglect

Here are the reasons why neglecting wheel and tire maintenance for your pickup truck is a bad idea:

  • Safety Hazards: Properly maintained tires with proper pressure levels and adequate tread depth ensure optimal traction, handling, and stability. Maintenance helps reduce the risk of accidents, particularly in adverse weather conditions. However, the tires can lead to blowouts and accidents, which are risky for heavy-duty trucks carrying cargo or towing trailers.

  • Hidden Damage: Neglecting the tire and wheel maintenance can escalate into bigger problems later, particularly when small issues go unnoticed. Bent wheels, damaged lug nuts, or loose tire components can all go undetected without regular inspections.

  • Reduced Performance: Your truck can perform at its best with well-maintained wheels and tires. They contribute to smoother rides, better fuel efficiency, and improved overall performance. Ignoring maintenance procedures like wheel alignment and balancing can cause the pickup truck to pull to one side. Moreover, some issues may lead to excessive vibration and uneven wear of the tires. They can result in poor handling, decreased fuel efficiency, and a less enjoyable driving experience.

  • Shorter Lifespan: Underinflated tires are more prone to wear and tear, leading to premature replacement. Not maintaining proper air pressure can also cause uneven wear patterns on the tread, significantly shortening the lifespan of your truck tires.

Benefits of Maintenance

Think of the wheels and tires as the foundation of your truck. Aside from performance and safety, they have a role in handling and fuel efficiency, as they are the points of contact between the road and your vehicle. Not paying attention to maintenance can lead to problems that can put you at risk or costly vehicle damage.

Durability

Alignments, rotations, and other forms of maintenance can help extend the lifespan of your wheels and tires. Avoiding improper tire pressure, dents, scratches, and premature wear can save you money in the long run.

Legal Compliance

Meeting safety standards and regulations regarding tire condition and tread depth is essential for legal compliance and avoiding fines or penalties.

Enhanced Safety

Safety is the most crucial benefit of wheel and tire maintenance. Keeping these parts in good condition can guarantee a safe ride for everyone in your truck. Proper tire inflation, tread depth checks, and balanced wheels contribute to a safer driving experience. You will reduce the stopping distances and have better control over your truck.

Improved Performance

Regular maintenance ensures the tires grip the road optimally and wear evenly. This translates to smoother rides, better handling, and maximized fuel efficiency, saving you money at the pump.

Extended Life

By catching problems early, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your tires and wheels and avoid untimely replacements, which can hurt your budget. You will need thousands of bucks to replace the stock rims and mount new aftermarket ones. Maintenance is required to prolong their pristine condition and ensure they will last for many years.

Peace of Mind

If the wheels and tires of your pickup truck are in top condition, it will give you peace of mind on every journey. You can focus on the adventure ahead without worrying about breakdowns or safety risks.

Safety on Every Mile

Avoiding the maintenance of your wheels and tires is a recipe for trouble because the outcome affects the performance and safety of your pickup truck. Moreover, it can increase your expenses or turn into a legal dealbreaker. Keeping in mind regular inspections, tread depth checks, alignments, rotations, and proper inflation ensures a safer and smoother driving experience. These procedures can also extend the lifespan of the tires and wheels. The time and effort you will invest in proper maintenance is just a small price to pay to avoid costly repairs and for the peace of mind that it brings in the long run.

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About the Creator

Jen Demkin

Hi, I'm Jen from 4WheelOnline. My fascination with vehicles started in my childhood. I like cars more than dolls. I enjoy writing about automotive industry news, vehicle maintenance tips, and more.

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    Jen DemkinWritten by Jen Demkin

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