We've said it before and we'll say it over and over until flying cars are a thing: Don't take your tires for granted. The rubber bits underneath your car are what separate you from the asphalt, so you should treat them with the utmost care and respect. Don't scrimp on quality just to save a bit of money, because it could cost you a lot more later on.
That said, no one wants to spend when they don't have to. Once you pony up the right amount of cash for quality tires, you should then do everything in your power to make sure they last. More than not getting your money's worth, early or uneven tire wear poses serious safety risks.
To make sure your car's tires stay in tip-top shape, avoid the following pitfalls:
1) Driving with improper inflation pressure.
Your car's manufacturer specifies the ideal inflation pressure for your tires for good reason. Inflated correctly, your tire can handle things like the vehicle's load, acceleration, braking, and cornering. If the tire pressure is too low or high, the contact patch of the tire tread won't be optimized for those tasks. This can lead to uneven tire wear, among other things.
2) Driving on misaligned wheels.
A misaligned wheel or two is inevitable if you drive your car long enough, that's why it's a regular part of your casa's preventive maintenance service. But if ever you feel your car pulling to one side when you're supposed to be moving in a straight line, get it fixed ASAP. If your wheels aren't aligned, it means your tires are making contact with the road at odd angles, which can cause uneven wear.
3) Not rotating your tires regularly.
Another thing you should be routinely doing to your tires is rotating them. This is done because your tires don't bear equal weight at all times, so some will naturally wear out faster than others. Changing their positions every so often ensures that their wear stays relatively even. Forget to do so, and you'll find yourself replacing your tires more often than you'd like.
4) Too much dry steering.
Dry steering refers to the practice of turning your steering wheel while the car is stationary. In the past when power steering wasn't so common, you had to actually move your car to be able to turn the wheel. Nowadays though, we often dry steer without realizing it.
Why is it so bad? Because you're essentially grinding the tires against the ground as you turn, which can cause ripping and tearing along the rubber. Dry steering when absolutely necessary (like in a tight parallel parking spot) is fine, but don't make a habit of it.
5) Ignoring problems with your suspension.
If you spot leaking around your wheel well, or you feel that your car's ride is a bit off, get your suspension looked at right away. Worn shocks and the like can result in scalloped dips forming along your tires. This results from lack of damping force from the suspension, causing the tire to move around excessively.
6) Your own driving habits.
Do you brake too hard? Spin your tires when the light turns green? Run through potholes and speed humps like a bat out of hell? All these bad habits can cause damage to your tires and everything else on this list. To ensure longevity, drive your car with the utmost care.