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The Art of Tire Maintenance For Off Roaders

Aug 1, 2008
A proactive approach to tire maintenance is best -- if you address potential issues before things get ugly, or as soon as they become apparent, the better chance you have of staying safe.

Here are a few easy ways to care for your vehicle tires.

Inflation (The Good Kind):

It's usually a given that proper inflation gives you more efficient fuel usage. And it is certainly true for street driving, that under-inflated tires can greatly decrease your mileage, make your car more prone to skid in wet conditions, and cause uneven tire wear.

But for a vehicle that you take off-road, there are different considerations and conditions. So many Jeep owners actually prefer softened, aired-down bias tires. But, these are definitely not street tires, so there is additional maintenance required is you use these types of tires.

You may wish to consider off-road savvy radial tires. These would seem to provide the best of both worlds. However, you will need to adjust the inflation depending on whether you are on paved streets or negotiating off-road conditions and obstacles.

Either way, one tool you cannot afford to be without is a portable air compressor. This allows you to inflate or deflate your Jeep tires on the go, all from a compact and easy-to-use compression unit.

As The Tires Rotate:

Once again, what you know about automobile tire rotation doesn't directly correlate to what should be done for a 4-wheel off-road vehicle.

Generally, off roading tires require more frequent tire rotations than a street vehicle. This is because an aggressive tread wears faster. Given the wear discrepancy between front and rear tires, tread balance becomes uneven quickly, resulting in major loss of performance.

Generally, off road vehicles require tire rotation every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, but more use and wear may necessitate rotations as frequently as every 4,000 to 6,000 miles. This is where being proactive in maintaining your tires comes in handy. If you are actively monitoring your tire wear, you will be able to judge best how often to rotate your tires.

Keep in mind that for new tires, the first rotation is the most critical. You will want to pay particular attention to tire inflation and alignment. You can do a lot of damage quickly if you don't take the time to make the required adjustments at the start.

Also, tire rotations in a Jeep should not be done front to back, as with a street vehicle. Rather they should be done in an X. This means that front-left goes to rear-right, and vice versa, while front-right goes to rear-left, and vice versa.

Consider Nitrogen:

Essentially, nitrogen gas tire inflation is nothing more than replacing the air in your tires with nitrogen gas. This modification provides improved gas mileage, longer tire wear, and better performance. Best of all it is also environmentally friendly. So you can go off-road and go green at the same time.

Nitrogen gas tire inflation for your Jeep tires is becoming more common as it becomes more readily available. If it is not available to you now, keep watching your favorite auto supply store. It should be available soon. This is one enhancement you will want to adopt.
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing author of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and reviews visit Jetfly Automotive Blog now. Also, for the best up-to-date related online products, check out Jetfly Tire Collectibles Shop for todays current online deals.
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