Tyres are an essential yet often neglected part of many vehicles. Most motorists lavish the bodies of their cars with attention and invest in high-tech installations, all while overlooking their tyres. This results in an aesthetically pleasing metal set on top of bricks.
Well maintained tyres are crucial for efficiency and ensuring safety. Taking care of your tyres does not have to be a difficult task. Small adjustments will go a long way in keeping your tyres in the best shape possible. Some of the measures you can take to get the best service out of your tyres include;
- Invest in an excellent brand.In an attempt to save some money on the initial cost of tyres, you may be tempted to go for the cheapest option. However, not all tyres are created equal. Go for tyres constructed with a durable material. Poorly manufactured tyres will deteriorate quickly and require constant replacements. Eventually, you’ll be spending more money in the long run, a classic case of cheap is expensive.
- Maintain the right tyre pressure.Tyres will gradually lose air over time. You need to be vigilant and check your tyres frequently to confirm that they are neither under-inflated nor over-inflated. Over- inflation results in the wearing of the center tread and also negatively impacts handling. Under-inflated tyres, on the other hand, have a greater rolling resistance and will, therefore, result in uneconomical fuel consumption and damaged treads.
- Rotate your tyresIt is advisable to rotate your tyres every 5000 to 7000 miles to ensure that they wear uniformly and, thus, last longer. You can also counter unequal wearing of tyres by replacing all four of them at the same time. However, this may be impractical at times since the front tyres tend to wear faster than the rear ones. In this situation, replace only two of the tyres and fit the new tyres at the rear to uphold stability when emergency braking or negotiating corners. You should then move the partly-worn tyres to the front.
- Drive Smoothly.Aim to drive at a constant pace and refrain from frequent and hard braking as it will result in skidding, which causes your tyres to lose treads and wear faster.
When stuck in snow, mud, ice, or sand, do not unduly spin your tyres as this will generate a lot of heat that could irreparably damage your tyres. You are better off rocking your vehicle forward and backward gently to free it.
- Protect your tyres from UV light.If your vehicle is left standing in direct sunlight for a long duration, the sidewalls of the tyres will deteriorate due to the rubber drying up. It is, therefore, imperative that you use a car cover if a garage is not available.
- Wheel alignmentWheel alignment entails rectifying the angles of the wheels to match the specifications of the car manufacturer. Vehicle suspension misalignment, even by a few millimeters, can be a costly affair. It will result in accelerated, uneven wear of your tyres. It will also compromise the handling and safety of your car. It is recommended that you align your wheels every two to three years or when you replace your tyres. Your vehicle can also let you know when you are due for an alignment. Some of the tell-tale signs of poor wheel alignment are;
- Vehicle pulling to either side on a straight road.
- Uneven and quicker wearing of tyres.
- Squealing tyres when turning.
- A steering wheel that is crooked when driving straight.
- Wheel balancingWheel balancing is an essential process aimed at minimizing tyre vibrations and promoting a smoother ride. Most car manufacturers recommend that you have your wheels balanced every 7000 miles or after installation of new tyres. Some signs of unbalanced tyres to watch out for include;
- Vibrations in the steering wheel, floorboards, and the front and rear seats.
- Rapid and uneven wearing of treads.
- Bad fuel economy.
- Deterioration of shocks, bearings and the wheel assembly.Unbalanced tyres will not only wear your tyres but other components of your car, resulting in expensive repairs and replacements.Following the above measures will add some precious years to your tyres. However, all tyres wear out eventually, and you should replace your tyres before they get to the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
Your tyres should not be an afterthought. Pay close attention to your wheels as your safety, and that of your passengers depends on it.