Tire Maintenance & Replacement

“I didn’t know Lund Automotive before the time my car broke down and needed a tow. The tow truck driver recommended Lund. They did a good job at a reasonable price and did not push me to buy other services. They told me a squirrel got into the vehicle so instead of thousands of dollars of work they just charged me a couple hundred.”

Keith R.

tirephotoonroadTires are one of the most important components of your vehicle. The type of tire on your vehicle you choose effect every facet of a vehicle’s performance: acceleration, handling and most importantly, braking. Which tire you choose for your vehicle will affect every facet of a vehicle’s performance: acceleration, handling and most importantly, braking. Which tire you choose for your vehicle will have a dramatic effect on the overall driving experience. At Lund Automotive we are committed to proving the best advice in choosing the tires that best fit your driving needs. Our technicians don’t get a commission from recommending one brand of tire over another, when it comes to brands we are only interested in providing you expert advice that gives you the power to make the best decision for you, your vehicle and fits in your budget.

Despite advances in longer-lasting tires, actual tread life will vary by car type, tire type (such as all season or high performance), driving aggressiveness, and even road and weather conditions. You still need to replace your tires a few times or more throughout the life of a typical vehicle. As the adage goes, nothing lasts forever.

Proper maintenance and responsible driving can maximize the mileage in a set of tires. Monthly tread inspections can inform when the tires warrant replacement, well in advance of the federally mandated tread-wear indicators.

Tire Types

When it comes time to replace your tires, it pays to know what is currently on your vehicle and to learn about your options. In most cases, you'll want similar replacements, matching the size and speed rating. From there, you can use the ratings to find models that excel in the areas that may matter most to you, such as braking, handling, ride comfort, and noise. You can check our full Tire Ratings for more details.

All-Season Car Tires

All-season tires come in sizes to fit everything from small cars to light-duty SUVs and pickups. They are for drivers who want year-round traction, long tread wear, and a comfortable ride. But all-season tires typically lack the precise handling and grip of performance tires.

Performance All-Season Car Tires

Performance all-season tires provide year-round grip tuned for enthusiastic driving. They have a higher speed rating than standard all-season tires, and they generally provide better handling and braking than regular all-seasons.

Ultra-High Performance Car Tires

All season and summer ultra-high performance tires are commonly fitted to upscale sedans or sporty vehicles. All season UHP tires are designed to provide good handling and responsive steering in wet and dry conditions, but the tread wear and ride comfort are common compromises. Summer UHP tires are not intended for cold weather and won't grip in snowy or icy conditions. All-season versions may compromise some dry and wet grip to gain winter traction.

All-Season Truck Tires

All-season truck tires are designed for the heavy loads an SUV or pickup can move. These are well-rounded tires designed to perform well in most conditions.

All-Season SUV Tires

All-season SUV tires are specifically designed for modern SUVs, splitting the difference between car and truck tires. They are tuned for the performance, light-duty towing, and off-roading capabilities of those vehicles.

All-Terrain Truck Tires

Engineered for more heavy-duty applications, all-terrain truck tires are suitable for use on paved roads and light off-road use. The more rugged tread is designed to provide added traction on unpaved and snowy roads.

Winter/Snow Tires

Winter/snow offer superior grip to go, stop, and corner in cold, inclement weather. But they typically have faster treadwear than all-season tires because the tread is specifically designed to bite into snow and ice, and the rubber is formulated to stay pliable at freezing temperatures. Also winter/snow tires generally stop longer than all-season tires on cleared roads.
We test winter/snow tires suited to cars, performance winter/snow tires for sports cars, and truck winter/snow tires for pickups and SUV

Performance Winter/Snow Tires

Performance winter/snow tires come in sizes to fit cars using UHP all-season and summer tires, in other seasons, providing improved cold-weather grip.

Truck Winter/Snow Tires

Truck winter/snow tires are specifically designed for pickups and SUVs. Like car winter/snow tires, always use truck winter/snow tires in a set of four for optimum grip to go, stop, and corner.

Treadwear and Tire Maintenance

Longer-lasting tires make safety checks more critical than ever. Many of today’s tires last 50,000 miles or more before they wear out, though heat, environment, potholes, and under-inflation can weaken them.

Keep Your Tires Safe:

  • Check the air pressure each month when the tires are cold (before they've been driven more than a couple of miles). Be sure that they're inflated to the air pressures listed on the placard on the doorjamb or inside the glove compartment or fuel-filler door. Don’t use the pressure on the tire’s sidewall, that’s the maximum pressure for the tire.
  • Look for cracks, cuts, or bulges in the sidewall or tread and replace tires that have them.
  • Check for uneven tread wear, which typically denotes poor wheel alignment or worn suspension components, and have both checked by a shop. Also have your vehicle's alignment and suspension checked before mounting new tires to prevent them from wearing prematurely.
  • Stay within the vehicle's weight capacity listed on the doorjamb placard. Overloading makes tires run hotter, increasing the chance of a failure.
  • Measure tread depth with a quarter. If the top of George Washington’s head is just visible when placed in a tread groove, then the tread has about 4/32-inch depth—enough to offer some all-weather grip, but it’s time to thinking about replacement.

Proof: Fast center wear


Proof: Fast shoulder wear


Proof: Fast wear on one side of tire

Properly Maintained

Proof: Even wear across tire

Tire maintenance for motor vehicles is based on several factors. The chief reason for tire replacement is friction from moving contact with road surfaces, causing the tread on the outer perimeter of tires to eventually wear away. When the tread depth becomes too shallow (less than 2/32 inch), the tire is worn out and should be replaced. The same wheels can usually be used throughout the lifetime of the car. Other problems encountered in tire maintenance include:

  • Uneven or accelerated tire wear: can be caused by under-inflation, overloading or poor wheel alignment.
  • Increased tread wear on only one side of a tire: often a sign of poor wheel alignment.
  • Tread worn away completely: especially when the wear on the outer rubber exposes the reinforcing threads within, the tire is said to be bald and must be replaced as soon as possible. Sometimes tires with worn tread are recapped, i.e. a new layer of rubber with grooves is bonded onto the outer perimeter of a worn tire. Since this bonding may occasionally come loose, new tires are considered superior to recapped ones.
  • Sometimes a pneumatic tire gets a hole or a leak through which the air inside leaks out resulting in a flat tire, a condition which must be fixed before the car can be driven safely.

A Flat Tire

A flat tire tire can cause the rim of the wheel to ride on the tire tread or the ground potentially resulting in loss of control of the vehicle or irreparable damage to the tire. The most common cause of a flat tire is puncturing of the tire by a sharp object, such as a nail, letting air escape. Depending on the size of the puncture, the tire may deflate slowly or rapidly

Other causes

  • Failure of or damage to the valve stem;
  • Rubbing of the tire against the road, ripping the tire, or separation of tire and rim by collision with another object;
  • Excessive wear of the tire tread allowing explosive tire failure or allowing road debris to tear through it.

Some tires, particularly those with a slow leak, can be repaired and re-inflated; others, especially those with worn tread, must be replaced.


Front tires, especially on front wheel drive vehicles, have a tendency to wear out more quickly than rear tires. Routine maintenance including tire rotation (exchanging the front and rear tires with each other) is often done periodically to facilitate uniform tire wear.

Inflation (air pressure)

There are simple hand-held tire-pressure gauges which can be temporarily attached to the valve stem to check a tire's interior air pressure. This measurement of tire inflation pressure should be made at least once a month. Accurate readings can only be obtained when the tires are 'cold' - that is at least three hours after the vehicle has been driven or driven less than 1/2 mile since cold - tire pressures will not then be higher because of operating heat.[ The recommended inflation pressure is found in the owner's manual and on the vehicle's Tire Placard. Because of slow air leaks, changes in the weather and ambient temperature or other conditions, tire pressure will occasionally have to be corrected via the valve stem with compressed air which is often available at service stations.

Under-inflation of tires can cause premature tire wear and carries an increased risk of explosive failure (blowout) especially after prolonged high speed operation at high temperatures. Many vehicles have tire pressure monitoring systems; older cars are usually equipped with indirect monitoring systems while later cars are typically equipped with direct tire pressure monitoring systems.

Wheel Balancing

Every time a wheel is first mounted onto the axle with a new tire, it has to be balanced. The goal is to make sure the weight is even around the axle.

Wheel balance is checked on a wheel balancing machine that can sense as little as 1/4 ounce difference in weight around the wheel. Why worry about 1/4 ounce on a wheel that weighs many pounds? That tiny amount of weight is traveling very fast around the axle: hundreds of times a minute. It creates enough momentum to cause serious vibration. And when you multiply by 4 wheels, the wobble really adds up. Unbalanced tires put uneven pressure on the treads. Tires get too hot and wear unevenly. Tire imbalance can also strain the wheel bearings and suspension system.

To balance the tires, the technician places tiny offsetting weights at specific points around the wheel.

What are the warning signs that my tires aren't balanced?

You're most likely to notice uneven wear on the tires. Many drivers also notice vibration over 40 mph, especially if the imbalanced tires are on the front.

How often should my tires be balanced?

During typical use, it's a good idea to have your tires rotated and balanced every 4,000 to 6,000 miles. Have them balanced any time a tire is replaced or patched.

Wheel Alignment

Wheel alignment, is part of standard automobile maintenance that consists of adjusting the angles of the wheels so that they are set to the car maker's specification. The purpose of these adjustments is to reduce tire wear, and to ensure that vehicle travel is straight and true (without "pulling" to one side). Alignment angles can also be altered beyond the maker's specifications to obtain a specific handling characteristic. Motorsport and off-road applications may call for angles to be adjusted well beyond "normal" for a variety of reasons.

Under normal driving conditions many vehicles can go 30,000 to 50,000 miles before they need a new set of tires. To reach that mileage wheel alignment must be checked every 5,000 miles. Any severe driving incidents, or changed suspension components would also warrant a check.


Lund Automotive Service & Repair
9419 Doyle Rd.
Fox River Grove, IL 60021
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.
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