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TIRE WEAR TIPS

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TIRES NEED REPLACING?

Tread wear indicators appear when the tires only have 2/32 inch or less of tread remaining. Rubber in tires ages over time. This also applies to the spare tire (if available), even if it is never used. Multiple factors including time, temperature, loading conditions and improper inflation, affect how fast a tire ages.

WARNING SIGNS THAT YOUR VEHICLE WILL NEED TIRE REPLACEMENT:

  • You can see three or more tread wear indicators around the tire
  • The tire cord or fabric is showing through the rubber
  • The tire tread or sidewall is cracked, cut, or snagged deep enough to show cord or fabric
  • Bulge or cracks on tire sidewall
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Flat spots on tire
  • Center of tire is worn
  • The tire has a puncture, cut, or other damage that can’t be repaired correctly

TYPES OF TIRE WEAR

There are many factors that can cause tire wear such as your driving style and tire maintenance habits. Tire replacement is absolutely needed when the tread wear indicators appear. A tire’s built-in tread wear indicators look like narrow strips of smooth rubber across the tread and become visible as the tire surface wears.

SUGGESTS A WHEEL ALIGNMENT ISSUE

MAY BE DUE TO CAMBER MISALIGNMENT

OCCURS WHEN A TIRE IS OVERINFLATED

OCCURS WHEN SUSPENSION MAY BE WORN, BENT, OR COMPROMISED

OCCURS WHEN A TIRE IS UNDERINFLATED

HOW TO MEASURE TREAD DEPTH

DIGITAL AND MECHANICAL TOOLS
A quick and easy way is with a tread depth gauge. It measures tread depth from 0 to 19/32 inch. These tools come in either digital or mechanical versions.

THE PENNY TEST
The easiest way to check wear on your GMC tire is with a penny. Place a penny upside down in between the tire tread as shown on the right. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, the treads are worn and tire replacement is needed.

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HOW TO PROPERLY STORE TIRES

Tires age when stored normally mounted on a parked vehicle. Park a vehicle that will be stored for at least a month in a cool, dry, clean area away from direct sunlight to slow aging. The area should be free of grease, gasoline, or other substances that can deteriorate rubber. This also applies to unmounted tires.

Parking for an extended period can also cause flat spots that may result in vibrations while driving. When storing a vehicle for more than a month, remove the tires or raise the vehicle to reduce the weight from the tires.

WHEN SHOULD TIRES BE ROTATED?

Tire rotation is the practice of moving your vehicle’s wheels and tires from one position to another to help promote even tire wear. Even tire wear will help with the life of your vehicle’s tires. It is important to rotate your tires at the intervals recommended by your owner’s manual. It is recommended that a trained professional rotate your ties and torque to required specifications to help them keep working properly and as designed.

It’s important to rotate your tires according to the correct tire-rotation pattern. Doing so can prolong the life of your GMC tires and can reduce the risk of sudden tire failure. Front tires encounter different tasks than the rear tires. And a front-wheel-drive vehicle’s tires perform different tasks than those on a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. See the Maintenance Schedule section in your Owner’s Manual for additional information about your specific vehicle.

If your GMC vehicle has a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, it will need to be reset after each tire rotation. See your Owner’s Manual for details. Or, read more about tire pressure.

DO I NEED A WHEEL ALIGNMENT?

Proper wheel alignment is key to the life of your tires. If your vehicle is misaligned, it can cause your tires to wear unevenly, and you may experience handling problems such as pulling or abnormal vibration.

Tires and wheels are aligned and balanced at the factory to help provide best overall performance. Adjustments to wheel alignment and tire balancing are not necessary on a regular basis. Consider a wheel alignment check if there is unusual tire wear or if your GMC vehicle is significantly pulling to one side or the other.

A tire that is out of balance often affects ride quality and can shorten the life of tires, bearings, shocks, and other suspension components. If the vehicle is vibrating when driving on a smooth road, the tires and wheels may need to be rebalanced.

WHAT IS CAMBER?

Camber is the tilting of the wheels from the vertical when viewed from the front of the vehicle. When the wheels tilt outward at the top, the camber is positive. When the wheels tilt inward at the top, the camber is negative. The amount of tilt is measured in degrees from the vertical. Camber settings influence the directional control and the tire wear.

HOW DOES CAMBER AFFECT WHEEL ALIGNMENT?

  • Too much positive camber will result in premature tire wear on the outside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts.
  • Too much negative camber will result in premature tire wear on the inside of the tire and cause excessive wear on the suspension parts.
  • Unequal side-to-side camber of 1 degree or more will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the most positive camber.

WHAT IS CASTER?

Caster is the tilting of the uppermost point of the steering axis either forward or backward, when viewed from the side of the vehicle. A backward tilt is positive and a forward tilt is negative. Caster influences directional control of the steering but does not affect tire wear. Caster is affected by the vehicle height, therefore it is important to keep the body at its designed height. Overloading the vehicle or a weak or sagging rear spring will affect caster. When the rear of the vehicle is lower than its designated trim height, the front suspension moves to a more positive caster. If the rear of the vehicle is higher than its designated trim height, the front suspension moves to a less positive caster.

HOW DOES CASTER AFFECT WHEEL ALIGNMENT?

  • With too little positive caster, steering may be touchy at high speeds and wheel returnability may be diminished when coming out of a turn.
  • If one wheel has more positive caster than the other, that wheel will pull toward the center of the vehicle. This condition will cause the vehicle to pull or lead to the side with the least amount of positive caster.

Always visit a Certified Service expert technician if you experience any of these situations. Check your Owner’s Manual for more information about wheel alignment and tire balance on your specific vehicle.

WHY IS TIRE PRESSURE IMPORTANT?

Air is a gas, expanding when heated and contracting when cooled. For most of North America, fall and early winter are especially important times for checking tire pressure on your GMC vehicle – as the ambient temperature falls, tire pressure goes down. A good rule of thumb: with every 10 degrees Fahrenheit of temperature change, tire pressure changes about 1 psi–higher as temperatures rise, lower as they fall.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR GMC TIRE IS UNDERINFLATED?

  • Premature or irregular wear
  • Poor handling
  • Reduced fuel economy
  • Overheating, which could lead to a blowout

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOUR GMC TIRE IS OVERINFLATED?

  • Unusual wear
  • Poor handling
  • Rough ride
  • Greater risk of damage from road hazards

HOW TO CHECK TIRE PRESSURE

Check your GMC tires at least once a month when the tires are cold, meaning the vehicle has not been driven for at least 3 hours or no more than 1 mile. The Tire Information Label located on the inside of your vehicle’s door frame has the recommended cold tire pressure for your GMC vehicle. Use a quality gauge. Don’t try to eyeball it - radial tires may appear fine even when they’re underinflated. Look for objects that can get wedged in the tread—they’ll work themselves even further into the tire and cause air loss. To make sure you’re covered, every check of your tires should include a check of your spare (if available), as well.

UNDERSTANDING THE TIRE PRESSURE MONITOR (TPMS)

WHAT IS A TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM?

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) helps with vehicle handling and control by keeping you updated on the vehicle’s tire pressure. The TPMS works by sending a signal from the pressure sensor, located in your vehicle’s wheel, to the instrument control panel which alerts you when the tire pressure is low. It is recommended that a trained professional inspect, and, if necessary, service your TPMS to help ensure it is working properly.  

HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT AIR PRESSURE IS LOW OR WHETHER YOUR GMC TPMS HAS MALFUNCTIONED?

If the Tire Pressure Monitor light illuminates and stays solid with a Check Tire Pressure, Low Tire Pressure, or Add Air To Tire message, then check and adjust all tire air pressures to the recommended levels. Next, drive the vehicle to turn the light off.

If the Tire Pressure Monitor light appears as a blinking yellow lamp for more than one minute and stays solid, then diagnostic service is needed. If your TPMS is not functioning properly, it cannot detect or signal a low-tire condition.  

WHAT ARE THE PARTS OF MY TIRE?

INNER LAYERS

1. BELTS
Rubber-coated layers of steel, fiberglass, rayon, and other materials located between the tread and plies. Belts provide resistance to punctures and help treads stay flat to contact the road.

2. INNER LINER
The innermost layer of a tubeless tire that prevents air from escaping through the tire.

OUTER LAYERS

3. TREAD
The portion of the tire that comes into contact with the road.

4. SIPES
Special treads within the tread that improve traction on wet, dirty, sandy, or snowy road surfaces.

5. GROOVES
The spaces between two adjacent tread ribs. These allow water to escape effectively.

SIDE STRUCTURES

6. SIDEWALL
Protects cord plies and features markings and tire information such as tire size and type.

7. SHOULDER
The outer edge of the tread that wraps into the sidewall area.  

HOW TO READ A TIRE SIDEWALL

TIRE SIZE

Tire Type The letter "P" at the beginning of the "Tire Size" tells us the tire is a P-Metric tire, referring to tires intended for Passenger vehicles. The letters "LT," would indicate it was designed for light trucks.

Tire Width Tire width is measured in millimeters from sidewall to sidewall. The first three-digit number in the tire size refers to the tire width. For instance, in a size P185/60 R14 tire, the width is 185 millimeters.

Aspect Ratio The ratio of the height to width. For example, in a P185/60 R14 tire, the 60 means the height is equal to 60% of the tire's width. The bigger the aspect ratio, the taller the tire's sidewall.

Construction The letter "R" in a tire size stands for Radial, which means the layers run radially across the tire.

Wheel Diameter The size of the wheel the tire is intended to fit. A size P185/60 R14 tire is made for a 14" diameter wheel.

DOT NUMBERS

1. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION (DOT)
The DOT code indicates that the tire is in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

2. TIRE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (TIN)
The letters and numbers following the DOT code make up the TIN. The TIN shows the manufacturer and plant code, tire size, and date the tire was manufactured. The TIN is molded onto both sides of the tire, although only one side may have the date of manufacture.

SIDE STRUCTURES

3. TIRE PLY MATERIAL
The type of cord and number of plies in the sidewall and under the tread.

4. UNIFORM TIRE QUALITY GRADING (UTQG)
A tire information system that provides consumers with ratings for a tire’s traction (from AA to C) and for temperature (from A to C). Tread wear is normally rated from 60 to 620. Ratings are determined by tire manufacturers using government-prescribed test procedures and are molded into the sidewall of the tire.

5. MAXIMUM COLD INFLATION LOAD LIMIT
This information tells the maximum load that can be carried and the maximum pressure needed to support that load. Find more information on tire pressure and inflation

6. TIRE PERFORMANCE CRITERIA SPECIFICATION (TPC SPEC)
Most OE tires designed to GM’s specific tire performance criteria have a TPC spec code molded onto the sidewall. GM’s TPC specs meet or exceed all federal safety guidelines.

TIRE PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE

Provide us with a better price on select brands at the time of purchase and we’ll match it. Find a better price within 30 days of the purchase, and we’ll refund the difference.

300 x 120

CHAT

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  • Eligible Tire Brands: BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, General,  Goodyear, Hankook, Kelly, Michelin, Pirelli, and Uniroyal.

  • Ad, written estimate, or internet quote for identical tire(s) from a competing tire retailer/installer located within 100 miles of the dealer required during guarantee period for price match. Offer valid at participating U.S. dealers.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges. Bed/Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers shown. Requires crossbars or Thule Rack Solution. Non-GM warranty. Warranty by Thule®. See dealer for more information.

  • Canyon’s 7000-lb rating requires available trailering package and 3.6L V-6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra's 12,500-lb rating requires Sierra Double Cab or Crew Cab Short box 2wd with 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine and NHT Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra Denali's 9,300-lb rating requires 2wd. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Savana Cargo's 10,000-lb rating requires 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 Wheel Base with 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle and trailer combination, including the weight of driver, passengers, fuel, optional equipment and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

  • When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Sierra Denali's 9,300-lb rating requires 2wd. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped, includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.