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Q: Lots of tire wear and wear is not even

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I only have about 30,000 miles on my 2008 Toyota Sienna and I need another set of wheels to replace the ones I currently have. I thought rotating the wheels more would help, but no! This car just makes tires wear unevenly and ride terribly. I'm really disappointed with how much this is costing me. It's not what you would think of when you think Toyota. I am not an aggressive driver. Is there anything I can do to make the tires last longer?

A: Greetings and thank you for writing in with...

Greetings and thank you for writing in with this question! We first need to separate “wheels” and “tires.” Wheels are the metal (aluminum or steel) piece that the tire (black rubber) mounts to. Tires should generally last longer than 30,000 miles. However, tire life is dependent on a number of causes: vehicle load, driving speed, temperature, and inflation pressure. Rotating the tires and keeping the tire pressures properly set are the best ways to increase tire life. Are the tires wearing evenly? If the edges are wearing evenly but the center isn’t, then the tires are under-inflated. If the center of the tire is wearing but the edges aren’t, then the tires are over-inflated. If the inside edge of the tire is “feathered” or is wearing prematurely, then there is a suspension or alignment issue. Next time you’re searching for tires, be sure to use the Uniform Tire Quality Grading guidelines to choose a proper tire. The “treadwear grade” gives a good indication of how long a tire will last. A tire rated at “400” should last twice as long as a tire rated at “200.” However, manufacturers use different standards for the treadwear ratings. In general, the higher the number, the longer the tire will last. An expert mechanic, such as YourMechanic, can perform a tire inspection and provide a suggestive course of action.

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